I very rarely read series back-to-back but the first three books were pretty much all read over the course of a week. I just couldn’t help it ♥! Prisoner of Azkaban tends to be the fan favorite and for YEARS I never really understood why. It wasn’t until my reread that I saw just how awesome this book is – and I totally get why people love it so much.
LUPIN + SIRIUS. Well that’s a given, right? These two were always characters I enjoyed, but man oh man, this time around I fell hard for both of them. Maybe because I know what comes next? The fate that lies ahead for each man? Maybe I’m simply seeing them in a new light, an adult perspective rather than that of a tween. Regardless, my feelings for these two changed and I adored them immensely.
A DARKER TONE. Whereas the first two novels had a distinct Middle Grade feel, Prisoner of Azkaban is starting to hint at what’s to come and that includes not only darker imagery and characters like the Dementors, but a darker, more mature voice to the story itself. While rereading Sorcerer’s Stone I was caught off guard by how young the book felt – short sentences and simple sentence structure were things I had forgotten about. Harry was very much a 10-almost-11 year old boy at the start of the series and the book reflected that. Now, at 13, he’s older and beginning the grasp the weight of his status as Chosen One, the Boy Who Lived, and it’s coming through in PoA’s pages.
THE TIME-TURNER STILL BLOWS MY MIND. I have a very vivid memory of reading PoA for the first time and not understanding the Time-Turner at all. My mom was reading the series as well and I remember asking her to explain how Harry could have conjured his Patronus right in front of his past-self. How could they have saved Buckbeak (♥ SO glad to be reunited with my Beaky ♥) How did Dumbledore know Harry and Hermione would be right there behind him once he locked them inside the hospital wing? While I understand the paradox now, I still can’t give it too much thought or my brain turns to mush :)
A lot went down in this book – Hogsmeade! the Marauder’s Map! Pettigrew! – and with PoA it feels like JKR finally hit her groove and has really started the chain of events for the next four books. The sunshiney optimism and excitement that comes with finding out you’re a wizard is no more and some pretty heavy (and scary and painful) things are in store for Harry. I never fully appreciated PoA until this reread. It’s an incredible addition to the series (and just a fantastic book on its own) and easily takes top spot for my favorite out of the first three.
Chamber of Secrets
you are here! → Prisoner of Azkaban
Goblet of Fire
Order of the Phoenix
Half Blood Prince