We are almost officially halfway through Shelia’s Harry Potter Readalong. I finished up The Prisoner of Azkaban just before the holidays. I loved it. Thanks again so much for prompting me to read this series, Shelia!
From here one out this post will be full of spoilers. In case I’m not the last person on earth to read The Prisoner of Azkaban, beware!
Prior to reading The Prisoner of Azkaban, I hoped I would be able to say the word Azkaban out loud from that point forward without mistake. Two or three weeks after finishing it, I still have problems. My lips still prefer Azbakan, but I loved the novel! What a great story! Here are my observations:
- Harry spent much of the book headed toward major depression. I thought he was worried enough during The Chamber of Secrets, but that was nothing. The combination of being denied access to Hogsmeade and hormones that must be flying around his system like pop rocks made for an unpleasant third year for him. While he may have been Harry Humorless for much of the book, it only served to make the revelations about Sirius Black that much more powerful. For that one hour, I was on Cloud 9 with you, Harry.
- Hermione. I’ve had a bone to pick with her from the first book. In this book, she didn’t rankle my nerves nearly as much. Despite Ron’s protests, I thought that it made perfect sense for Hermione to select Crookshanks to be pet. I can very much see her growing up to be a cat lady and I actually mean that in the best possible way. When everyone was led to believe that Crookshanks ate Scabbers, I even thought it was Ron who overreacted. Hermione was genuinely sorry and Ron was just being petulant. I’m sure hormones were at play there. Finally, when Hermione turned Harry’s broom into Professor McGonagall, I applauded her. Given their track record, she did the right thing. Oh, and she starts to realize her limits. Bravo!
- The Dementors. Ack! That first scene on the train it was as if they were sucking my breath out, too. Those things are what nightmares are made of. I compliment Rowling for creating them. I never would have gone into this series thinking anything would scare the crap out of me. First there was Snape and now these creatures. Still, I should thank them for helping the Hufflepuffs beat Griffyndor in Quidditch. Go Hufflepuffs!
- Speaking of Snape, I’m not sure how I feel about him. He is much more complex than I would ever have given him credit. I also think it was brilliant that Harry’s father isn’t a saint by any stretch of the imagination. He was very much like Ron’s twin brothers and he even was involved in bullying at Hogwarts. There has to be more to this story for him to be Harry’s father and the target of Lord Voldemort. I’m looking forward to finding out.
- The whole end of the book was just a delightful journey. I had no idea what to expect and all the twists and turns were fantastic. I won’t say much more, but that experience is what reading is all about. It was magical and perfect. Finishing that book will be a treasured memory for a long time. I dearly hope I’ll be able to read this book to my grandchildren someday. I want to experience it again through their eyes.
I am really looking forward to diving deeply into The Goblet of Fire. Just the first three chapters are making me happy. It’s hard to think of reading anything else.