(Harry Potter #3)
Author: J.K. Rowling, read by Jim Dale
Published: March 23rd, 2016 by Pottermore
Genres: young adult, fantasy
Format: Audiobook, 11 hours, 48 minutes
When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves... But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss...
This review contains spoilery content for the book and the series!
I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.
The more I listen to this series, the more I fall deeper in love with it. I read half of the series when I was younger, stopping at book 5, and of course I’ve seen all of the movies. But revisiting it has to be one of the best decisions I made in 2018, reading-wise.
Re-reading via audiobook wasn’t my first choice, but I knew I couldn’t take on 7 gigantic fantasy novels on top of everything else I wanted to read, so audiobook seemed like the only path I could take if I wanted to jump back into this wonderful series. I realized that listening to this story to and from work everyday was surprisingly easy!
The Golden Trio
Harry, Ron and Hermione’s friendship is one of my favorite things about this series. They defend each other, they are loyal, but they are also real. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Ron and Hermione’s friendship is tested, specifically, and the issue is with their pets! They get so frustrated with each other that they even reach a point of not speaking. Obviously I love when they are working together and being the best of friends, but I also love that Rowling gave them realistic things to fight about since they are teenagers.
Everyone knows Hermione is a big-brained know-it-all, but throughout this book, she has a major secret! She’s taking on way too many classes (more than any normal witch or wizard could handle), and Harry and Ron can’t figure out how she’s doing it. There’s no way she can be in more than one place at a time! Or is there?
For the 1% of you who haven’t read this series, or this book, avert your eyes now! … The one major plot point that makes Prisoner of Azkaban my top fave in the Harry Potter series is the time-travelling! Hermione gets her hands on a time turner – thanks to Professor McGonagall – and is able to go back in time and pile her classwork high. However, she is still drowning in books and quills and parchment through the majority of the book!
Hagrid’s New Position
Hagrid, everyone’s favorite giant, is now a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! I was so happy for him and loved how his passion for exotic and magical creatures shines in the way he talks about them. In his very first class, he introduces his students to a hippogriff, Buckbeak – or ‘Beaky’ as he fondly calls him. But then Malfoy /cue groans and eye rolls/ acts a fool and then blames Hagrid for an injury from the hippogriff, and I just felt so, so bad for Hagrid. I wished I could’ve jumped into the book and given him a hug! 😭
Two New Characters
Remus Lupin. He’s the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, and he is the best! I enjoyed every scene with him in it, and the interactions between him and Harry. Another major plus for his presence is that Harry learns more about his father through Professor Lupin, since he and James were schoolmates, and best friends. I also enjoyed the small bit of backstory on him and his connection with the Shrieking Shack.
Sirius Black. Sirius is painted as a madman and a lunatic from the very beginning, and even when confronted with him in the flesh, Black is seemingly unhinged. But it’s all an illusion, fabricated by a certain rat. Sirius is another vital character who helps Harry’s image of his parents be a little less blurry. I’m honestly not too sure how it would have been had Harry left Hogwarts to stay with Sirius over the summer, though… that would’ve been interesting.
The Marauder’s Map
Now let’s talk about my favorite magical trinket of Prisoner of Azkaban! This map is the cooliest! Since Harry blew up his aunt Marge, he couldn’t get his permission slip signed to visit Hogsmeade with all of the other third years. But Fred and George come in clutch! They bestow upon Harry a very valuable asset; one that will give him various ins and outs of the castle, while also showing him where any person is at any given moment. Truly magical, and brilliant.
It truly wouldn’t be a Harry Potter book without Harry himself sneaking off to places he shouldn’t be in, right?
Prisoner of Azkaban has always been my favorite in the series. There’s just something about it – it takes you on all kinds of different adventures, from Harry blowing up his heinous aunt, to Harry riding the ridiculous (but kind of frightening) Knight Bus, battling dementors and boggarts, training with Professor Lupin, traipsing through time to save a hippogriff and an innocent man who happens to be his godfather. There’s a lot of wonderfully amazing things happening here. Rowling’s ability to create amazing connections and fabulous side characters and take us in so many directions at once but somehow managing to tie it all up in the end is just … WOW. I wish to someday be capable of amazing story-weaving such as this. 🔮