Why did I pick it up?
Continuation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I never stop reading a series once I start and I go until it's done, well, unless it's taking too long between books or there are 17+ books then I get annoyed and wait for it to finish. And yes, I am currently waiting on a 17+ book series to finish so I can buy everything at once then go from the beginning. I might name the author at some point.
Anyway, I started this one on January 29th and finished it on February 2nd, again reading on breaks at work and maybe an hour outside of work. This is how short these books are and I know if I really wanted to I could finish the series in a week. But meh. Onwards.
The Review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling:
I'm starting to think the same pattern is going to continue with every book and I'm not sure if I want to be annoyed or not yet. We left Harry heading home to his muggle foster parents who hate him and we pick up with him having another crappy summer. To be honest I can't remember what happened to Harry this summer...wait, he ballooned his equally horrible aunt and spent the summer in the Leaky Cauldron. Right.
He did actually make it on the train though and ended up sharing the compartment with Remus Lupine who is the new Dark Arts teacher.
This is another thing that's starting to make me roll my eyes. Every year they get a new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher. I get the firing of the first one. He was working with Voldemort. I get the firing of the second one. He was a weak plot device and an idiot. I was kind of hoping Lupine stuck around because he was a good teacher but no. Turns out he's a werewolf and the parents are afraid of him freaking out so he elects to leave. Never mind the fact he can be controlled with a potion. It's just tradition for the teacher to leave and for Harry to get a new one.
And oops, revealed the werewolf thing a little early. But really, with a name like Lupine and drinking something Snape cooks up for him once a month, you kind of suspect something's up.
We also have the Sirius Black plot line and of course (like in other books) Black isn't who everyone says he is. Oh, neither is Ron's rat Scabbers. I do appreciate the Scabbers and Black story line. Those were well done.
Harry completely disregards the rules multiple times despite them being put in place especially for him since everyone things Black is out to kill him. I get the whole "I do what I want cuz I'm the main character and I'm special thing" but this is ridiculous. And I'm fairly sure all the Weasley Twins are is a plot device to help Harry get out of Hogwarts. Neville's a plot device to have tightened security with the whole password thing. Wood is a plot device, 2D character to talk about Quiddich and you KNOW because Wood says it's his final year on the team they're going to win the cup. This is how things work.
And yes, make the book-worm take on more than she can chew and have her freak out. It's believable but the fact Hermione uses a Time Turner to illegally take more classes is a bit, eh. She slaps Malfoy too which is so out of character even Ron didn't know what to do with it. She is 13 by this time so...
Again Harry breaks a bunch of rules and is virtually unpunished. This time Ron breaks a leg, literally, so many in the next book Harry with think before dawning his invisibly cloak to go recklessly solving some new mystery, yes? I doubt it.
I get he's a main character and he's supposed to be kind of reckless and his dad was the same way but really now, this is getting a little disbelieving. The fact the Headmaster of the school is letting Harry get away with all this stuff is a bit insulting. It's Dumbledore's job to teach his students to kind of you know, respect the rules and all that.
But hey, kids book so I can't complain too much. The bows were neatly tied but had a bit more mystery to them this time around. You can tell Rowling's becoming better at making a mystery and stringing you along with this book.
Oh, the Dementors were iffy. Basically they're these kind of mindless drones that feed of positive emotions regardless if a person is innocent or not. Kind of a crappy punisher-type person to send out and an equally worse security guard. I can say they'd have fun trying to beat up a few of my characters. When someone IS fear and nightmares, well...
Would I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban again?
Since it would only take four or so hours: sure, why not? It's entertaining and a light read when someone doesn't want to think.
There's a formula to the plot and I can all ready predict the next book: Harry has a summer with his horrible Muggle foster parents but gets saved by Ron, Harry goes to school and discovers a new mystery to solve (presumably there's a Goblet of Fire), Ron and Hermione get into an argument of some sort, Neville acts as a plot device, Snape and Draco do mean things to Harry, Harry breaks a bunch of rules to narrowly save the day with Dumbledore's uncanny help and everything ends neatly wrapped. Oh, and a new Defense of the Dark Arts Teacher. And Quiddich. TO THE AMAZON REVIEWS!
These are seriously becoming my favorite part of doing the Harry Potter reviews because they're so freaking hilarious.
...and now my fun-time is ruined by Amazon who has for some strange reason put reviews for Deathly Hallows into book 3. HUH? The first two for Azkaban are the same Pottermore complaints. You'd think someone would have picked up on the Pottermore issue by now...
OH! There's a "this book is evil and teaches our kids to practice horrible magic!" fanatic Christian review. One goes as far to say this book will affect a child's spiritual health. Hey, Christian Parents: IT IS FICTION! IT IS DESIGNED TO GET YOUR CHILDREN TO BE CREATIVE! Also: The Hell book are you going to find out there that doesn't include magic or "violence" or evil? When you do find one, lemme know.
I do like the review from the young girl who says she thought the book was the best ever back in grade 1 but because she's gone on to read other things, she's realized it's not. Harry Potter was her stepping stone into the world of fantasy fiction and I give kudos to JK Rowling for making it happen.
Then someone compares Harry's scar to being a Satanic "S" for "destroyer" and representing Zeus. *giggles* Also, reading tea-leaves is demonic, don't you know? Oh, there's the "this is to(o) long!" complaints.
And AGAIN someone telling people to go read GRR Martin. PEOPLE. HARRY POTTER IS FOR UNDER 10 YEAR OLDS. UNDER 10 YEAR OLDS SHOULD NOT BE READING GRR MARTIN BECAUSE HE "DOES FANTASY BETTER". Christ. And while we're at it: Tolkien and CS Lewis are meant for older audiences as well.
There are a few "the plot is recycled" reviews which are entirely true. But a newer reader won't notice. Again: these books are MADE for the newer readers.
Final Review: 2/5 for the voracious reader. 4/5 for the children it's meant for.
Until next time: thoughts, comments, rage, rants, questions, and out-right insults can be directed to the comments.