Author: J K Rowling
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Length: 434 Pages (Paperback)
Release: July 1999
Growing up, The Prisoner of Azkaban was always my favorite of the Harry Potter novels. So far, that is still the case. I did notice more things this time around that are less satisfying to my adult mind than they were to my eleven-year-old self. For one, I find Dumbledore very useless at this point. Maybe as I continue my mind will be changed, but he really hasn't impressed me in these first three books. He seems content to allow a group of young teenagers solve all of his problems.
Another slight issue that I have is with Harry himself. He had an extremely difficult childhood, I know, but in this one he becomes rather selfish. He always wants what he wants, no matter what it means for his friends or those who are trying to help him. It became extremely frustrating.
The pacing of this in comparison to The Chamber of Secrets is phenomenal. There isn't really any lag time, the ending has plenty of time to unfold, and the plot is quite exciting. This one also hints at darker things to come than either of the previous installments did. Whether or not it was Rowling's intent to have the books grow in complexity and depth as the series progressed, she certainly achieved it.
One thing that continues to be cemented in my mind upon rereading this series is my love for Fred and George Weasley. For being only minor characters, they both have a lot of depth. They may be known for their troublemaking ways, but both of them are extremely caring and supportive. They consistently try to cheer up or defend those they care about. I just adore these two. I always have, but my appreciation has only grown upon revisiting the series.