Shannon's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1301989
's review
Feb 19, 10

Read in February, 2010

People love this book, I know, and I feel bad about giving it just two stars. But look, J.K. Rowling has a great imagination and is skilled at world-building, but those don't automatically add up to a good book. Writing skills are necessary, as is character development. And those are sorely lacking here. I know from having seen all the HP movies and from having read The Deathly Hallows that some things are resolved, such as Snape's hatred of Harry. But, really, what's the point of his hatred? How is it important to the story, other than to add an unexpected twist at the very end of the series? What's the point of the Dursleys? Why are they so over-the-top hideous to Harry? One expects to suspend disbelief when reading books about wizards and the magical world, but this was just too much. Nobody is purely evil or purely good, and yet everyone that surrounds Harry and his friends is exactly that. It gets tiresome.

There's plenty to like about this book. I love the descriptions of Hogwarts, of the people there, and of the classes. I can easily picture everything, and I find myself wishing I could attend Hogwarts, too. But that doesn't change the fact that this story leaves soooo much to be desired.

Good for the people who like this series, who can see things in it that I just can't see. I really wish I could love it as they do. But I just can't.
10 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-13)




dateUp_arrow    newest »

Brian Spiekerman You know, Snape hated Harry because Harry was the sole representative of the life that Snape could never have. Harry was the spitting image of his father, the man who tormented Snape ruthlessly in his school days. It was only till his very last moment alive that he came to respect Harry.


message 12: by Keya (new) - rated it 5 stars

Keya The Dursleys' hatred of Harry stemmed from various things. Petunia's was of her jealousy of her sister that she had forced herself to see as hatred. Vernon's was from his absolute loathing for anything abnormal and Petunia's influence. Dudley's was from his family and the fact that he was just a bully. They showed that you don't necessarily have to like your family. Despite this, they gave Harry a home. I also don't think any of the characters are purely good or evil. For example, Voldemort - he was an awful person, but think of his upbringing. Or Fudge, who was a completely power hungry imbecile, but wasn't EVIL by any stretch of imagination.


message 11: by Jm (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jm Carlos Then don't. No one is forcing you to do so.


Shannon Jm wrote: "Then don't. No one is forcing you to do so."

Geez. The Harry Potter series is just like any other: some people like it and some people don't. I don't particularly like the books, although I've read most of them. You're the second person to post something like this on my review - I deleted the first because it was just that bad - so I'd really like to know why it is that people get all up-in-arms over the fact that I reviewed a book that I didn't like. What makes this different from any other book? Seriously. This isn't rhetorical, JM. I'd really like to know.


Natalia Sulca Have you read all the books? It sounds like you are basing your opinion on mostly the movies and the end of the series rather than the story as a whole. If you'd read all the books, you'd realize that the writing is beautiful. Especially because the books are supposed to be for children, yet the writing is inclusive and skilled enough to interest any audience! As the story develops book by book we see each and every character grow, dissected and explained. They all have faults though! I could go on and on about the numerous faults of every one but I won't here. My point is, you are well with in your rights not to like them, but At least judge them based on the written content rather than the adaptations for social media, which are superb, but isn't what was written by this author! This is a review of the prisoner of azcaban book, not a movie!


Shannon Natalia wrote: "Have you read all the books? It sounds like you are basing your opinion on mostly the movies and the end of the series rather than the story as a whole. If you'd read all the books, you'd realiz..."

Natalia, I DID read the book. This IS a review of the book. I read four of the books and didn't find the writing to be beautiful. The world building is beautiful, certainly, but the writing? Not really. And now you're
asking me to defend a review I wrote nearly three years ago based on the fact that you believe...what? That I did the book a disservice? You're right: I shouldn't review a book based on a movie. I didn't do that here. And you don't need to tell me that, anyway. I'm a librarian. I read books all the time. I didn't enjoy this one. Period. I'm glad you liked it. Keep on liking it. But don't come to my Goodreads page and take me to task because I didn't. Sheesh!


message 7: by Natalia (last edited Oct 31, 2012 07:57PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Natalia Sulca Shannon wrote: "Natalia wrote: "Have you read all the books? It sounds like you are basing your opinion on mostly the movies and the end of the series rather than the story as a whole. If you'd read all the boo..."

So which books did you read? Because it says here, sorely lacking here. I know from having seen all the HP movies and from having read The Deathly Hallows that some things are resolved, such as Snape's hatred of Harry. So it sounds like you skipped a bunch of books and just wanted to find out how the story ends. Harry potter is not just one book! No series is! They are all stories. Movies aren't books, either. You can't go from reading azcaban to reading the Hallows and not reading the ones in between and in order, and expect to understand any character! You can defeintly read the first book in a series and say, hey this sucks, and I don't care about any character and why they do the things they do. But here you're asking these questions, so. So all I was saying was based on what you wrote!


Shannon Natalia wrote: "Shannon wrote: "Natalia wrote: "Have you read all the books? It sounds like you are basing your opinion on mostly the movies and the end of the series rather than the story as a whole. If you'd r..."

Natalia, I read books 1-3 and then read the last book. Yes, I know things are resolved. Yes, I know movies aren't books. Yes, I know that Harry Potter isn't just one book. And yes, I know that I can't expect to understand a character who develops over multiple books by reading just one book. I'm evaluating one single book in my review. That's all. And, honestly, though your response to me was kind, it feels as if I'm not allowed to say "I don't like this book" without having to defend myself again and again. And, as I said before, I read this book nearly three years ago. I barely remember it. It's difficult to then respond to comments on my review now. But I stand by what I said: I like this book far less than I liked the first and the second. The Dursleys' behavior, by this point, had gotten old to me. What is the point of Snape's hatred at this point? These are valid questions. As of the third book, these characters are completely black and white with no depth. Do they acquire depth later? Yep, they sure do. But as of the third book it just isn't there. And I'm not attempting to review the entire series here. If I were then, yes, I'd need to read every single book. But I'm reviewing one title in the series.

Please, give it a rest now.


message 5: by Emma (new)

Emma But the problem with writing a review on one book when it just one from a series does a disservice to the one book, especially if you didn't read every book in the series. If you like Harry Potter or not is completely up to you but saying that they characters are or aren't created fully is false. This is only one part from a very large picture, even if you read six of the seven you still can't fully understand any of the characters. For example, you get to understand snapes hatred of Harry far more if you read books 5 and 6. Even Harry's father wasn't purely good, he was a bully and so was Sirius. And those are some incredibly basic characters, more often they have a depth that is amazing. If you compare it to watching a movie it would be like watching the second LOTR but not the first or third. It's incomplete


Shannon Emma wrote: "But the problem with writing a review on one book when it just one from a series does a disservice to the one book, especially if you didn't read every book in the series. If you like Harry Potter ..."

But that's not how Goodreads is set up. You review one single book. Period. So yes, I can easily review this book on its own without having to take the others into consideration. And, frankly, I'm so tired of being called on the carpet for expressing my opinion that this book - which I'm reviewing as a stand alone while having knowledge of the entire series - just isn't that great.

Sorry, Emma, but I've been questioned too many times over this. I've even deleted comments from people who criticized me as a person, simply because I didn't enjoy one single book. It's absurd. It's a book, one that is incredibly creative and, for many, is fun to read. I'm not one of them, but that doesn't make my review any less valid.


Ciara Why are the comments on this so venomous? Guys, it's an opinion. These books aren't perfect. Granted, people like to pretend they aren't books for a younger demographic and hold it to ridiculous standards. Some people also like to hate it just to hate it. This review clearly doesn't do that. So why don't my fellow Potterheads calm down?


Shannon Ciara wrote: "Why are the comments on this so venomous? Guys, it's an opinion. These books aren't perfect. Granted, people like to pretend they aren't books for a younger demographic and hold it to ridiculous st..."

Ciara, I just saw your comment and have to say, I really appreciate it. Thank you so much!


Ciara No problem at all! :)


back to top