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103 of 112 found the following review helpful:
One of my favorite books, 2nd best of the Potter booksOct 17, 2007
By Mike London
For my money, though I like the first two Potter books, this is where Rowling struck gold. I started reading the series in late 1999 or early 2000, well before GOBLET came out, and when I finished the three books that at that time were out, I thought AZKABAN was not only easily the best of three, but one of the best books I had read in a long time. The storyline is easily the strongest of the first three installments, and for once Voldemort is not the main villain driving the plot, but, so it is thought, a renegade supporter of his who murdered 13 people with a single curse.
In AZKABAN, we learn an escaped criminal from the wizard prison Azkaban by the name of Sirius Black is out on the lam looking for Potter. Black was once a vehement supporter for Voldemort, and now Black is gunning to finish off the job by murdering Potter, a task he had tried to do several years ago. Not only that, Potter learns during the course of the plot that Black was James' best friend, along with the new defense against the dark arts teacher, Remus Lupin. We get to learn who Scabbers really is (another instant of an character mentioned in passing on the first two novels who is hugely important here). Black is Potter's godfather, and yet he betrayed the Potters!
What makes Azkaban so interesting is you really get to learn about the relationships between James Potter, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and Severus Snape. These five characters, and their relationships with one another, are huge portions of the foundation on which Rowling built her series. You need a clear understanding of these characters to fully experience Rowling's series, and it is thru these characters that this book, and the series itself, is as rich as it is. The fact no one knew that the three characters were unregistered animagus to help Remus cope with his condition was pretty cool.
For once, Rowling introduces a new magical artifiact called the Marauder's Map, which she uncharacteristically fully explains by the end of the novel. It was made by Padfoot, Moony, Wormtail, and Prongs, which are the nicknames of James and his crew. The map shows you the location of every one on the Hogwarts grounds, a tremendously useful item, supplied, appropriately enough, by those masters of mischief, Fred and George.
Another great new bit of magic in the book is the Patronus, a magical spell that will help fight back the dementors and fear, a very advanced piece of magic for third years. It is also very touching to know why Harry's patronus is a stag, as that is what his father transformed into.
There are also other memorable scenes and events. You get Hermione and the Time Turners, Buckbeak the Hippogriff, Professor Trelawney, the Dementors, the Maurader's Map, etc. The climax of the novel is great, but for me, it's that time when Remus, Sirus, Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Snape are all in that Shreiking Shack, and you finally get to learn a lot of key information about Harry's past.
Ironically enough, though I have long held the opinion this is the best Potter book of them all (not including Book 7), this book has the worst movie adaptation, BECAUSE they don't fully establish all the different relationships between the four, or even explain the Marauder's Map.
For myself, this is easily my favorite of the Potter novels, or was until DEATHLY HALLOWS came out. Still, I have had a great history with this book, and probably reread this more than all the other Potter books. This is the second best Potter book.
These are my order of Potter books by preference:
Prisoner of Azkaban
Order of the Phoenix
Philosopher's Stone/Chamber of Secrets (I rank them both the same)
Goblet of Fire.
205 of 232 found the following review helpful:
I'm 23 and I've read it twiceJun 12, 2000
In anticipation of Harry Potter, Book 4, I had to read the first three books again. What I was struck with, again, is the sheer imaginative nature of J.K. Rowling's books. Simply put, these books are instant classics.
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is the third in the series following Harry Potter at Hogwart's school of wizardry. Harry is now a 13-year old (his birthday occurring at the beginning of the book), and concerned mostly with classes, Quidditch (a wizard sport), and the fact that he's not allowed to visit the local wizard village of Hogsmeade with his friends on the weekends. One of the reasons for this is that Sirius Black, a convicted murderer, has broken out of Azkaban, the wizard prison, and word has it that he's out to get Harry.
In keeping with Harry Potter tradition, the reader can expect surprises, twists and turns, malicious rivals, uncommonly kind professors, terrible relatives, amazing magic candy, true friendships, and a whiz-bang ending.
It's delightful to see how Rowling can stay true to the feel of the previous books, and yet allow Harry and friends to mature. This book is a little longer than the previous books, but the imagination never lets up, and gradually Harry's world is widening.
I would recommend this book to ANYONE (any age) who enjoys the writings of Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, or J.R.R. Tolkien. This is a very fun, humourous, and enjoyable fantasy novel, and one that should be read more than once!
84 of 94 found the following review helpful:
Terrific!May 27, 2000
Every Once in a while, a book comes along that spellbinds millions. Like The Hobbit, You certainly know Bilbo Baggins, and you know all about Tolkien. A new book has come, Harry Potter. I love this book. I enhale all of the information exhales. Please say my vote was helpful. I am 82 years old and nothing would please me more than to be a top reviewer.
164 of 188 found the following review helpful:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)Mar 01, 2000
(Previously Posted) This series is the best I've ever read, and Harry Potter's latest year at Hogwarts is no disappointment. The powerful dark wizard, Sirius Black, has escaped from the magical prison Azkaban, and he's after Harry! But Harry and his best friends(Ron and Hermione) don't know the whole story. Harry learns the secrets behind what happened the night Voldemort failed to destroy him. And really...why DOES Professor Snape hate him? All the old characters return, along with the introduction of new ones, for another terrific book. Enjoying a well-deserved stint at the top of various selling lists, the story is intelligent, thrilling, and laugh out loud humorous. I am a 14 year old high school student, but when I began to hear all about Harry, I just had to purchase all three books for myself--using my own money! But it was well worth it. I read all three books over and over. They will keep readers of all ages entertained with their intriguing plots. Other children's authors I enjoy are Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, and E.B. White.
52 of 57 found the following review helpful:
Rowling's work reaches an even better level.Mar 19, 2000
By Joy Kim
_Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban_ is a wonderful addition Rowling's series. It is the third book in the series, which should be read *in order.* It's the best way to understand and to fully enjoy the series. Book 3 is somewhat more complex and more mature than Book 1 and Book 2. I enjoyed Books 1 and 2; Book 3 made me a true Harry Potter devotee. I think its plot has considerably more emotional weight. It's not just a pleasantly exciting story; it deals with issues of trust and friendship that make you feel and think as you read.
The basic premise of the book is simple: Sirius Black has escaped from the wizard prison, Azkaban, and is on the loose, looking for Harry. Adventures ensue. A wonderful character (perhaps my favorite in the series to date), Professor Remus Lupin, joins the Hogwarts cast. The book contains fascinating revelations about Harry's family and draws on small clues offered in the earlier books.
As an evangelical Christian and an avid reader of fantasy, I'm aware that certain other Christians have condemmed the Harry Potter series as supporting the occult. That's pure rubbish. I would suggest that parents of very young Potter fans be careful to supervise the reading of Book 3 by their children. It is rather more frightening than its predecessors. Older children should be fine.
All in all, _Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban_ is a wonderful novel for children. Adult fans of Rowlings will also find a lot to enjoy in it. (Note: Pay attention to the characters' names. There are hints hidden within them!). This book and the series as a whole are highly recommended.
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