The third Harry Potter book is reviewed below, with some spoilers. The movie adaptation of this one has been delayed to the summer of 2004.

General Information

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J. K. Rowling
Original Publication Date: 1999
ISBN: 1-55912-478-1
Cover Price: $11.95 Can
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The world’s best known thirteen year old wizard is attending his third
year at Hogwart’s when a very dangerous criminal escapes from the
wizard prison, Azkaban.

High Point

Harry’s final conversation with Uncle Vernon.

Low Point

I doubt Hermione’s secret could have been kept secret from so many
people. It’s not a problem with the story until the conclusion, but
at that point, it becomes a large problem.

The Scores

The most original part of this novel was writing it as if
there were no mystery to solve. It’s another year at Hagwart’s, for
the most part. I give it 4 out of 6.

The imagery is the standard Harry Potter stuff; it gets the
job done, but doesn’t go beyond that. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story catches the reader’s interest quickly, but the year
passes by very fast. It’s getting a little harder to swallow the idea
that most of the interesting events in a school year happen in the
first week, the last week, Hallowe’en night, or Christmas break.
Something’s bound to happen in the middle of the year at some point.
Apart from that artistic license, it’s pretty well done. The only
other flaw (besides the low point) that I noticed was the play for
comedy on the train; it’s only been a few pages since Harry used the
“Lumos” spell almost on instinct, and he didn’t do it there? I give
it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is, once again, fairly well done. New
secondary characters, like Cho Chang, are still barely developed, but
we learn a bit more about the others, particularly James Potter and
Severus Snape. Professor Lupin is well developed, too, but as a
Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, he’s not expected to be around
for another book. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was fairly strong.
There was a good sense of tension in the events, accompanied by the
sense that there is a considerable amount of foreshadowing going on in
this book. I give it 5 out of 6.

The editing is done fairly well. The seemingly extraneous
bits are more familiar, as they feel like foreshadowing rather than
simply playing in a fun universe as they did in earlier books. I give
it 5 out of 6.

Overall, I think this is the best of the first three
books. It doesn’t have the same sense of fresh and wonderful stuff as
the first one, but rereading the series (as I am now) reduces the
effect that has. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban receives
33 out of 42.