by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★
Harry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has already survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. But his hopes for a quiet term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison.
It’s assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it a coincidence that he can feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney’s ghoulish predictions seriously?[Goodreads]
Azkaban is one of my favorite HP books.
After another tough summer with the horrible Dursleys, the looming return to Hogwarts is at the forefront of Harry’s mind. He can’t wait to escape and see his friends again.
Shortly before Harry is due to return to Hogwarts, news spreads across Muggle land that there’s a dangerous escapee on the loose. Little does Harry know that he’s in grave danger. It seems that he’s actually the target of the escapee.
During a visit from horrible Aunt Marge, her nasty comments set off a chain of events that end with an angry Harry fleeing Privet Drive into the darkened night. With nowhere to go, Harry seems doomed and alone. Then, out of the blue, comes The Knight Bus which picks him up and whisks him away to the safety of The Leaky Cauldron. Much to his relief, he’s also reunited with his friends for the trip back to Hogwarts.
Throughout this book, there is the lingering danger that Harry is being stalked by the mad escapee, Sirius Black. It’s also in this book that we witness the dreadful powers of the Dementors. Much to Dumbledore’s disgust, they are stationed at Hogwarts to catch Black if he dares to show his face. Harry becomes aware of the danger and is horrified when he learns of the Black’s backstory. The teachers rally around, determined to protect Harry from certain death, although they don’t realize that he actually knows of the danger.
Meanwhile, Hermione has taken on extra classes. This extra study, along with the ongoing feud between her cat (Crookshanks) and Ron’s rat (Scabbers) cause her stress levels to slowly build to breaking point. After the main confrontation and revelations in the plot have occurred, her secret is revealed. And it just so happens that it’s what’s needed to set everything straight. For me, Hermione’s secret was one of the highlights (I’m a huge fan of ’her secret’ and I loved its role in the story).
In this book, J.K. reveals plenty of snippets of information about Harry’s family and it’s past. And of course, there’s the introduction of Sirius Black, who goes on to play such a pivotal role in Harry’s life.
The first time I read this book I found some of the twists of the plot were quite complex, and each time I’ve read it I’ve enjoyed it even more.
Azkaban is one of my favorite HP books. It was so good to get back to Hogwarts, catch up with everyone and learn more (again) about that fateful day in Harry’s life when he first encountered Voldemort.
Check out my other Harry Potter reviews:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire