Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Over the past few years, J.K. Rowling has made statements that are TERF, or against the trans community (especially towards male-to-female). These statements are completely against the thoughts and ideas of the creator of this blog. I have been and always will be an ally for any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. You exist, and you are valid. If you are struggling and need to talk to a counselor, there are many resources available at thetrevorproject.org.

Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.

When Harry loses control, he ends up blowing his aunt up like a balloon. Not wanting to deal with the repercussions, Harry leaves the house and takes the Knight Bus to the Leaky Cauldron, the entrance to Diagon Alley. There, Harry learns that a prisoner escaped Azkaban, the wizard prison. The prisoner is Sirius Black, the man who shared the location of the Potters to Voldemort, thus resulting in their death.

As Harry, Ron, and Hermione make their way back to Hogwarts, the train is stopped by Dementors, the guards of Azkaban. Luckily, they were in a train car with the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Lupin. He then returns to Hogwarts to start his year, where one of he begins his least favorite class, Divination taught by Professor Trelawney. Trelawny has a habit of predicting that Harry will confront the “grim”, the omen of death. Harry also began Care of Magical Creatures Class with Hagrid. During the first class, Malfoy provokes the hippogriff, Buckbeak, causing him to be injured.

Since the Dursleys would not give him permission to join the rest of the students into the neighboring village of Hogsmeade, causing him to earn the Marauder’s Map from the Weasley twins, a map that shows him where people are within the castle grounds. Using the map, Harry learns that the reason Sirius ended up in Azkaban was because he killed his friend, Peter Pettigrew.

When dementors attack Harry during a quidditch match, Professor Lupin begins to teach him how to protect himself using a Patronus charm. While Harry gets better, it never becomes a full Patronus. Months later, Buckbeak is sentenced to death. On the way back from says goodbye, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are attacked by a dog which drags Ron beneath the Whomping Willow. As Harry and Hermione race after them, they race to the truth of what happened 12 years prior.

I would say that out of all the books, this one is probably my favorite. I don’t know if it is because of the content or the character development, but this one has always been my favorite. For that reason, I am going to give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

There are a lot of things the movie does right. Firstly, other than some order of things as well as the Quidditch matches, I think everything more or less is in the movie. I think out of all the movies, this one is my favorite. However, one of the things that the books take time to do that the movies do not is reenforce the fact that this is a school. We rarely see the students in class, and the times that we do are not about character development, but plot development. We learn a lot as the students grow up from their classes in un-plot moments. Movies are focused on motion not the person.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Over the past few years, J.K. Rowling has made statements that are TERF, or against the trans community (especially towards male-to-female). These statements are completely against the thoughts and ideas of the creator of this blog. I have been and always will be an ally for any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. You exist, and you are valid. If you are struggling and need to talk to a counselor, there are many resources available at thetrevorproject.org.

How I Read It: Audiobook/Print

Dates Read: 12/10/21-12/24/21

How I Found It: Childhood/ Pop Culture

Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.

Why hello everyone! To give you guys some context on my relationship with these books, I’m going to start by saying that I was about 1.5 years old when the first book was published. I was 11.5 years old when the final book was published. Actually, I remember going to a release party for Deathly Hallows in my hometown bookstore where I had butterbeer for the first time and within minutes of getting in the car, my friend read the epilogue of the book and spoiled the ending of the book for us. When I was 13, my dad told me that I could not read adult books if I couldn’t read these books. So as a dutiful daughter, I got to the 7th book and gave up almost 200 pages from the end. I have seen all of the movies multiple times (in large part because apparently they are Christmas movies now) and have even seen the Fantastic Beasts movies when they come out in theaters. But the fact that I never finished reading the 7th book has always been a weight on my shoulders, and something that I wanted to remedy. Almost 2 years ago, having started a blog where I give my opinions on books, I planned to read the books. And with all best laid intentions, I picked up the first book and brought it downstairs and never cracked it open.

The next question I am sure that you are wondering is why now? Well, we have officially reached 20 years since the first movie came out, and in order to honor that, the Harry Potter actors have come together for a reunion to talk about their time in the universe. And as I was trying to figure out what my next book was going to be, there was a huge draw to the series for me. After about 2 weeks, I have officially completed something I have wanted to do for a very long time, read the series that was supposed to be a gateway into adult fiction.

Firstly, it is hard to find fault in a series that has played such a big part in popular culture. With that being said, one of the most disappointing parts of this series is the lack of representation. Not only is there is no explicit LGBTQIA+ characters, but there is little representation of non-white characters, as well as terrible treatment of characters who are overweight.

Secondly, if you are someone who has only seen the movies, you are missing a very large part of the series. The most common thing across the board that is missing from the movies is the ghosts. They are introduced, but are not used, especially as we get later into the movies. Peeves, who isn’t introduced in the movies, plays a part in all of the books even into the 7th book.

And thirdly, the first 3 books are an easily digestible, but the fourth book is when the amount of pages almost doubles. It is actually kinda hysterical when you look at the size of the first 3 compared to the sizes of the last 4. If you have a hard time staying engrossed in longer books, the end of the series is a huge deterrent.

As a series, I would rate the overall series as a 4.75 out of 5 stars. There is definitely some part of that score that is purely due to my childhood memories, but I also think that this is a very well written series overall.

If you would like to see my individual posts on the books and other random Harry Potter topics, check out the links below!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!