Bonnie Gayle's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
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Jul 26, 09

bookshelves: fantasy-sf, reviewed
Read in June, 2009

This book had not one, but 2 finely tuned mysteries. I read somewhere that Rowling wants to write a mystery book for adults, and she definitely has the skills to do it. Not only are you wondering about the dog/Lupin/Sirius Black situation, but you also are wondering how Hermione keeps appearing out of the blue. In the end, when it's all revealed, you realize the clues have been there all along (and especially during rereadings) which is exactly what you want to happen.

I had it all messed up my first time around, because I suspected Lupin of being the dog, which I thought was actually a wolf. Lupin actually rocks though, in this book, which makes it so disappointing when he randomly turns into Oscar the Grouch in the rest of the books because he's *mooning* (get it?) over that purple haired chick.

I love the time turner. Rowling's always pulling out different types of magic, so her world never gets stale. Time travel is notoriously difficult to write, without there being inconsistencies. My Mom still tells me how much the movie "Somewhere in Time" bugged her, because there's a pocket watch that doesn't make sense (he gives it to her in the past, she gives it to him in the present, repeat ad nauseam, but where did it originally come from?), and that movie's from 1980. I remember reading this book for the first time and thinking that it didn't quite all fit together...was Buckbeak killed the first time around...? but the movie did a really excellent job with the time travel element (but don't get me started on the random huge clocks that suddenly appeared everywhere on campus). I love how they did Buckbeak's "death," Hermione seeing herself, and also the howling, so it worked both times around in the movie.

Oh! And I love the beginning. Not the blowing up the aunt part, and the line about bitches and blood, thank you very much, but when he stays in an inn in town, eats ice cream everyday, and gets great help with his homework. Just goes to show that Rowling is in touch with what kids want, because isn't that every school kids fantasy--to get away from home, eat junk food, and find a source that will get you easy A's--all under Cornelius Fudge's okay, no less!

The Dementors are really creepy, and it's just another way to ratchet up the 'not totally kid friendly' factor, which is good she did that gradually. I loved the animagus idea, and how Harry's patronus is Prongs, and how he thinks he sees his Dad save him. And I can forgive the line, "I did it because I already knew I could, if that makes sense" line, because it almost, kind of, maybe does make sense.

I really don't see any reason for them not to have figured out a way to capture Pettigrew the 2nd time around. That always bugs me, and I was shouting at my car cd player "get him! get him this time!" when I listened to the audio book. But they didn't. Sigh.

My least favorite thing in the book (and following books--well, maybe not LEAST, but close) is the Divination lessons. Yawn! I really, REALLY wish that Harry and Ron had both dropped the class when Hermione did. And besides, then we would get to see what arithmancy is, because I don't think we ever do. I picture it being arithmetic (math in other words) like, but I guess I'll never know!

I also didn't like how Hermione and Ron fought so much about Scabbers and Crookshanks (neither of which are very appetizing names, by the way). I'm just not happy when the 3 of them aren't getting along. But I do take Ron's side. Hermione says in her cat's defense, "Cats attack rats. It's in their nature." True. But then why did you choose a cat for a pet, when you knew that it would have to be around Scabbers all the time, eh Hermione? A bit passive-aggressive, if you ask me! >P
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