July 8th 1999
For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.
Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well; and the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts . . . he's at Hogwarts."
Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.
In great contrast to Chamber of Secrets, PoA is my favourite of the Harry Potter films, and I liked the book even better. It surprised me how much they'd actually changed the book from the film, actually, and they missed a lot of stuff out and added quite a bit in, but I also feel that if they'd kept the film and the book exactly the same, it wouldn't have worked as well, because the books aren't that cinematic. Everything they did add was to make the film dynamic in ways that the book is not, but I enjoyed how much more depth you get in the book, and I'm really starting to feel Harry Potter properly creepy under my skin now. I'm really, really loving them.
It's getting harder and harder to review these books now, because reading and posting these reviews within such close proximity to each other, I'm starting to feel more and more like I'm just saying the same things about everything. That being said, I am starting to feel a change in the series now. They're starting to feel less like children's books and more like young adult, and I'm really glad for that, because I can relate a lot more to the characters now.
I'm also starting to sense a slight change in the characters, too, as they start making their way further towards young adulthood. I think it'll be really interesting to see how they face growing up and becoming the people they're going to be in the midst of all this Voldemort business. I think I'm going to like Half-Blood Prince a lot primarily because of all the crazy relationship business that starts happening. And don't say that Harry and Hermione were meant to be together. Whatever JK intended, it's been obvious from the second book that Hermione and Ron have more romantic tension than Harry and Hermione. With those two, I just don't get it.
I feel kind of sad that they left out of all the Hermione stuff in the film, though, as much as I loved it. I liked getting to see more of Hermione and how taking all of those lessons was actually starting to put so much more pressure on her than she'd expected. I actually really like Hermione now, because she;s starting to see more like an actual person than a snotty school machine. I liked seeing her openly break the school rules once or twice in this book, too, and her scenes with Trelawny were some of my favourite, because it's good to see a little snark every now and again. I know that if I took Divination, I'd be on the table that kept on making rude offhand comments about how silly Divination is.
I also love the Marauders so much, and getting to hear all of their story in full, properly hearing about Lupin's being a werewolf, which I don't think we got in the film. I've always loved Lupin and Sirius, anyway, so I was really looking forward to the finale when you actually get to see them, together again, knowing that they're both innocent - something which Lupin didn't know for twelve years. I just want there to be a book about James and Lupin and Sirius please that would be awesome.
And the time-turned stuff! You know I love a bit of timey-wimey-ness, and this book was not lacking. I think that that's a major part of why I love this book/film so much in comparison to the rest of the series, as well as the fact that it isn't about Voldemort. I love all the Voldy stuff, don't get me wrong! I think that he's an excellent villain, but it would be a bit much if every book ended in a Harry-Voldy stand-off. I liked that this is more about Harry and his family, and him finding out more about his father, and that he has a Godfather and he's not actually a crazy psychopathic murderer.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is, and will probably always be my favourite Harry Potter book. I don't know why I love it so much, but I just really, really do. And I'm so freaking excited about reading the rest of the books. I'm such a fool for putting it off for so long.