What is it about?
Harry Potter is now in his third year at Hogwarts and, once again, his life is in danger – although this time, a convicted mass-murderer called Sirius Black is baying for his blood rather than a certain unnameable Dark Lord. This year sees Harry encountering new teachers, new monsters, new spells and a brand new broomstick.
Is it any good?
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is, in my opinion, the best novel of the series so far. It feels less like a book written for children and more like a book written for everyone to enjoy (although certain aspects might be a tad too frightening for younger readers). The Dementors are brilliantly creepy new villains and work really well as a metaphor for depression; they suck out joy and leave nothing but despair, and after an attack Harry feels embarrassed for having succumbed to it. I also really enjoyed the extra time that Harry got to spend in Diagon Alley and the several trips to the wizarding settlement of Hogsmeade, as it gives us a further glimpse into the magical world that Rowling has created. Other highlights for me include Buckbeak the proud Hippogriff (half eagle, half horse), Hermione’s new cat Crookshanks, the impossibly brilliant Marauder’s Map, and the simply fantastical Knight Bus. The most magical in the series yet, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban delves deeper into the world of Harry Potter than ever before.
How long did it take to read: three days
For fans of: Spirited Away, Cassandra Clare, Star Wars, Doctor Who
This book tastes like: crunchy peanut butter