It’s been years since we read the Harry Potter series, and once the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 movie is getting closer, we’ve decided to accept the challenge a lot of book bloggers are doing: to reread and review all the seven books before the movie hits the theaters on July 15, 2011.
For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort, and might even have assisted in the deaths of James and Lily Potter—Harry Potter’s parents.
Now Black has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard him muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts… he’s at Hogwarts.”
Of course, Harry already had plenty to worry about. After inflating his nasty aunt and running away on the magical Knight Bus, he finds he’s being pursued by death omens at every turn. He receives two wonderful gifts: a top-of-the-line Firebolt broomstick, and the Marauder’s Map, a magical diagram of Hogwarts made by the mysterious “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs.” Hermione disappears frequently, burdened down by a seemingly impossible course schedule. And the soulless Dementors have come to guard Hogwarts—supposedly to protect Harry from Sirius Black, but they terrify Harry more than the fugitive ever could.
To strengthen himself against them, Harry reaches out to Remus Lupin, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who was once a friend of his father’s. Lupin teaches Harry about the Patronus Charm, a defensive measure well above the level of magic generally mastered by wizards Harry’s age. But even with his broom, his map, his magic, and his loyal friends, Harry isn’t safe.
Because on top of everything else, there’s a traitor hidden at Hogwarts…
Harry Potter’s life isn’t easy, we all know that. And it gets worse when a prisoner escapes from Azkaban—but, hey, isn’t this the wizard’s prison, the one from where nobody has ever escaped?—and everyone believes he’s coming after the boy who survived. As expected, everybody gets overprotective and Potter, of course, gets himself in trouble all the time.
This book has some awesome highlights. We finally get to know a little bit of Hogsmeade, and I found myself daydreaming I could shop on those stores—something that me and Guta are totally going to do this summer, when we’re going to the Harry Potter park in Orlando!—, we find out more about Harry’s dad and his friends and there’s also the Dementors, creatures Rowling created based on her depression phase. Oh, and we get to know more about Snape, one of the best characters on this entire series, in my opinion!
What else can I say about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? I liked the Hippogriff flight much more on the movie than on the book, and I laughed a lot with Trelawney and her crazy talks. And I liked the fact that this book shows that not all the bad guys are Slytherins—something that people usually don’t remember whenever I say that I’d totally be a Slytherin if my owl hadn’t gotten lost on my 11th birthday!
Author: J.K. Rowling
Country: United Kingdom
Publisher: Bloomsbury (UK) / Scholastic (US)
Publication date: 8 July 1999 (UK) / 8 September 1999 (US)
Pages: 317 (UK) / 435 (US)
My favorite quotes on this book are bellow. We’ve decided not to mark the quotes with spoiler because… Er, it’s Harry Potter. If you haven’t read it yet, you may have watched the movie—and if you haven’t, we’re sure you have heard about it, so you probably don’t care about spoilers or at least don’t have any plans to read the series…
“How come the Muggles don’t hear the bus?” said Harry.
“Them!” said Stan contemptuously. “Don’ listen properly, do they? Don’ look properly either. Never notice nuffink, they don’.”
“It was an accident! We don’t send people to Azkaban just for blowing up their aunts!”
Now Harry understood why Hagrid said it would come in useful. He felt relieved; he had been wondering whether Hagrid wanted help with some terrifying new pet.
“It’s because of you, Perce,” said George seriously. “And there’ll be little flags on the hoods, with HB on them —”
“— for Humongous Bighead,” said Fred.
“Why would I go looking for someone I know wants to kill me?”
“Yeah, we’ll call you,” muttered Ron as the knight disappeared, “if we ever need someone mental.”
“It looks like a Grim if you do this,” he said, with his eyes almost shut, “but it looks more like a donkey from here,” he said, leaning to the left.
“But I wish I could have had a turn with the boggart —”
“What would it have been for you?” said Ron, sniggering. “A piece of homework that only got nine out of then?”
“My dears! Which one of you left his seat first? Which?”
“Dunno,” said Ron, looking uneasily at Harry.
“I doubt it will make much difference,” said Professor McGonagall coldly, “unless a mad axe-man is waiting outside the doors to slaughter the first into the entrance hall.”
“We’ll see each other again,” he said. “You are — truly your father son, Harry…”
“Fellow seems quite unbalanced,” said Fudge, staring after him. “I’d watch out for him if I were you, Dumbledore.”
“Oh, he’s not unbalanced,” said Dumbledore quietly. “He’s just suffered a severe disappointment.”
“You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself mostplainly when you need him.”