Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can't wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn't if they lived with the horrible Dursleys?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There's an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school...
This (as well as Deathly Hallows) is one of my very favourite Harry Potter books. It is through reading Prisoner of Azkaban that I became addicted to this well-loved series and it is still one that I really cannot get enough of. Our heroes develop even further into completely lovable characters and it also introduces two of characters which I absolutely adore into the mix; Sirius Black and Remus Lupin.It is this novel that we finally begin to learn more of what happened on the night of Harry's parents deaths. Things begin to develop further and the series begins to darken. The introduction of the Dementors (probably one of the worst creatures created by Rowling) sends shivers up my spine and - despite knowing the ending - still find myself holding my breath during the final Dementor scene within the book:
“You don't understand!" whined Pettigrew. "He would have killed me, Sirius!"
"THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!" roared Black. "DIED, RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!"
Black and Lupin stood shoulder to shoulder, wands raised.
"You should have realized," said Lupin quietly. "If Voldemort didn't kill you, we would. Goodbye, Peter.”
“Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. Even Muggles feel their presence, though they can’t see them. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself — soul-less and evil. You’ll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.”
I really love this book. I love that Hagrid is a teacher. I love the reunion of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs within the grounds of Hogwarts. Ideally, Ms. Rowling would give these characters their own stories. I also love the Quidditch battles this book entails and the tensions which arise amongst our heroes. Hermione is not only taking more subjects than any other student - and is mysteriously present in each lesson despite timetable clashes - but she also ends up creating friction between herself and Ron. This is created either through Firebolt (Harry's new broom) issues or Crookshanks. vs. Scabbers issues (Hermione and Ron's pets). I really felt for Hermione in this book. She was only trying to take care of her friends and I found myself feeling increasingly frustrated at the selfishness of Ron.
A book which deals with various issues; human rights, imprisonment, corruption, animal rights, broken families, deceit, there is plenty to keep the reader turning the pages. As one of my favourite books ever, I highly recommend this book to anyone (if there is anyone) that has not read this!