Mjhancock's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)
I tend to view the Harry Potter series as split into two parts: the first part being a children's series of almost one-off mystery stories with most things resolved at the end, and the second half a YA series focusing more on Harry's coming of age and the ongoing war against Voldemort. Book 4 is a sort of transition book, which means this is the last book firmly in the first camp. I'd also argue that, out of the first three, the mystery is handled the best, as it's less obvious than the first, and less left field than the second--and considering that this plot involves time travel, mistaken identities, and werewolves, that's saying a lot. I liked that Hermione got a plotline of sorts that was more than her quarrelling with Ron or Harry, although she doesn't so much learn a lesson from that (that she can't do everything, and doesn't have to) as she fixes things by dropping two courses she doesn't need anyway. The dementors are maybe the most disturbing creatures introduced yet, and we see a very dark side of the wizard incarceration system, that they'd subject criminals to the dementors despite knowing that most go mad. It fits very much with the out of sight, out of mind approach that the Ministry adopts in books 4 and 5. This is also the book where Harry's father issues come to the forefront, as he confronts the man whom he believes led to his father's death. In short, there's a lot going on, perhaps more than ever before, and Rowling is showing the long term planning and plotting that serves her well in the longer books.
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