Monday, July 02, 2007

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: 1999, Scholastic
Category: Young Adult/ Fantasy
Rating: 10/10

I've always thought that Azkaban was my favorite Harry Potter, but I just finished Goblet of Fire and I think I've changed my mind! (Next I'll finish 5 and 6 and think they're my favorites, maybe.) But this will always be one of my favorites.

I should probably say that this is not a proper review. It is me gushing and speculating. I just felt like giving it a ten anyway. :)

Random thoughts:
The Harry Potter books kind of break into two chunks: the first three, which are very much children's books, lighter and shorter, and the last three, which are much darker and more intricate, exciting, action-packed and often quite scary, with the fourth book sort of half and half bridging the gap. In Azkaban, Harry is definitely still a boy; he's growing up and changing but still has a youthful innocence that we see him lose in #4. He is happier in this book than in any of the others, which is nice.

Though this is the only book in which Harry does not come face to face with Voldemort, the villain portrayed is just as intimidating and scary, maybe even more so because he is thought to be insane.

There are some elements and characters introduced that I especially love: the Marauder's map is completely cool and presents all sorts of interesting plot twists in this and the next few books; I LOVE Professor Trelawney, she is always good for a laugh; Trelawney's prophecies, which we all know become very important; and we start to learn a bit more about Harry's parents, especially his dad.

The movie version of this one is currently my favorite, though I have great hopes for #5. They did really clever things with the time-turning scenes at the end---I love it when a screenplay takes what is great about a book and twists it around just a bit to make it work as a movie.

9 comments:

Marianne McA said...

This is slightly off-topic, but my attention was snagged by the thumbnail of the cover - I don't like it at all. Wouldn't usually notice covers, though I dislike the UK children's cover for HP7 so much that I'm pondering buying the adult version instead - but I definitely prefer the UK cover for Prisoner.

Apart from that, nothing. I'm really enjoying reading the reviews though.

Rosario said...

I see the real villains of this one as being the Dementors, and they are 1000 times as scary as Voldemort, IMO.

I think Azkaban's still my favourite. What I've always liked is how everything clicks so perfectly there in the end, and I'm someone who gets a headache just by thinking of time-travel.

And yeah on the movie... still the best. Alfonso CuarĂ³n is an excellent director.

Jennie said...

Marianne--I actually like the US versions better, I think. I just like Mary GrandPre's illustrations---though you're right this one's not as pretty as the others. The UK cover for 7 has the three kids falling out of some chute with gold coins or something, right? I like wondering where they could be! :)

Rosario--The dementors are scary (though Harry gets the better of them in the end). And the dementors joining forces with Voldemort--now that's even worse.

I wish Cuaron had agreed to do more than just the one movie. It was so much better than the first two.

Mailyn said...

Can't say I have a fave Potter book or movie. I think they are all 10/10 for me. Mehehe. I'm a fangirl. LOL.

C2 said...

Yup - this one's my fave, too. :o) GoF is my least favorite. There are pacing issues that I just can't get past. Reading it made me tired.

The Dementors are way creepy, aren't they?? Anything that sucks the joy out of people (hey, wait...my supervisor might be one!) is to be avoided at all costs. And I love the Marauders' Map! Who wouldn't have loved a map like that in school?

Devon said...

This was my favorite (it's still my favorite movie) but it got knocked off the pedestal by GoF which is still #1.

This one is great though. The dementors, Lupin, Black...lots of great stuff.

avidbookreader said...

Hi Jennie,

I started with *this* book oh so long ago and am reading The Order of the Phoenix right now, or at least trying to finish it before the release of the last book. I remember reading this book straight through, didn't put it down. I know there's backlash against this author and her books but they are just good reads.

Keishon

Mailyn said...

HAPPY 4th!!!!!!!

Jennie said...

Mailyn--I love them all too but I do think this one and GoF are just a smidge more enjoyable than the others. I hope #7's even better. ;)
Happy 4th to you too!

C2--Lol about the Dementors! I know some people like that too. :)

Devon--Yeah, GoF is just amazing. I just finished the reread for that one--I'll do a post soon and you can see me really gush like a rabid fangirl.

Hi Keishon! Yeah, I really don't understand why some people think these books are dangerous for children. They've all got wise, moral lessons in them AND they've gotten children reading again, which is a great thing. Like you say they are just good reads (for adults too!).