||As the book went on, it grew more and more
interesting, until it was very difficult to put down in the last several
chapters. Even though I have seen the movie, the descriptions of the
last scenes were really well-done, and it was as if I was getting to
know the story for the first time -again.
I didn't remember much of this movie
going into the book. But every page I turned brought memories back. I
think just about everything in this book was actually represented in the
movie, which is quite impressive.
Harry's third year at Hogwarts
starts in fear, of course, as the person who was found guilty of killing
his parents escapes from prison. The element of fear was quite real
while outside Hogwarts, but within, it was less so, and the story was kept very
interesting by learning more about magic, and the classes that Harry,
Ron and Hermione were taking. As Harry points out several times,
Professor Lupin is the best defense against the dark arts teacher
they've had so far, but alas, he is forced to leave because of his
secret -that he is a werewolf. He was also great friends with Sirius
Black and Harry's father, until Valdemort came for them.
Harry's classes culminate with him
learning how to cast a spell that will keep the dementors at bay, since
the guardians of Azkaban are so drawn to him, even when he is playing
Quiddach. He also learns a prophecy, that Valdemort's spy will return to
him. And so as he learns Hermione's secret (she was time travelling in
order to take so many classes), he also time travels, in order to save
himself by casting the spell across the lake, and rescue Black from the
castle prison chamber upon Hagrid's poor Hippogrif, which was also
sentenced to death before he and Hermione rescued it. But Peter
Pettigrew, who was masquerading as Ron's rat for twelve years, and is
the real person to have betrayed Harry's parents, escapes, and
eventually returns to Valdemort.
I only have two real complaints
about the plot in this book. One was Lupin not mentioning Harry and
Hermione's double-location when he sees them on the map, as obviously
the time-travel loop was there when he first saw them, otherwise Harry
would never have survived his encounter with the Dementors -it could
have easily been a tease by the author, a throwaway line. The other part
is the treatment of Snape, which is really poor, I think. After the
things that are done to him here, especially having the three kids
disarm him and petrify him, and then having Dumbledore dismiss it with
no punishment, I'm sure he would quit. He often yells at Hermione (in
capital letters) and really
goes into hysterics. It seems uncharacteristic.
Regardless, this book was
impressive; it started off slow, but built steadily to a point where I
couldn't put it down at the end.