Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Book #3
by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 3.5 / 5
Genre: YA fantasy

Continuing with my first ever reading of the Harry Potter books, here’s #3. As a reminder, even though these books/movies have been out for a while and are really well known, I’ll still warn in advance that my reviews will likely contain spoilers.

It actually took me some time after finishing this book to decide how I felt about it. I realized that this was because it was not terribly exciting or cohesive throughout. I did find myself wanting to push to finish it, but that was as much because I wanted to find out if some of my theories were correct or not. Certain things that were going on seemed really obvious to me, and I wanted to know how they panned out.

I was not surprised to find out that Sirius Black was not evil like he was made out to be. I was, however, both surprised and disappointed to find out that Sirius Black, Harry’s dad, and a couple of other guys were the Fred & George Weasley of their time. I had not pictured Harry’s dad that way, and while I’m sure it’s not uncommon for “hooligans” to grow up and be respectable adults, it was strange to think of Harry’s dad as a bully, and to think of Snape as a victim.

Hermione’s arc was disappointing, as she was barely in this book except to anger Ron and then disappear for a while. And the reveal at the end about how she was going to so many classes at the same time was a bit unrealistic. Not because it’s time travel, but because I have a difficult time believing they’d let her time travel for school. And then later, there are some inconsistencies with the time travel that bugged me.

Harry himself was hit-or-miss for me. I know he’d done some things in the previous books that he wasn’t supposed to be doing, but when he snuck out to go to Hogsmeade in this book, it felt more outright defiant to me. I did enjoy the Quidditch scenes though, and laughed out loud at McGonagall’s reactions in the final match.

By some point in the 2nd half of the book, I realized how irritated all of the dashes in the book were making me, and to a lesser degree, ellipses. They were just so peppered throughout, for interrupted speech, faltering speech, and just…well, anything they’re normally used for. I use both of these punctuation types myself, and normally, it’s pretty innocuous. So for me to have noticed it so much, there must have been quite a lot of it.

Overall, I didn’t dislike the book, but didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the previous one. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here.

Find out more about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!

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