Number three! I really liked this one! Harry passed out and got teased for it, and that was supposed to be horribly embarrassing, but it super wasn’t. Even Harry was only a little embarrassed about it! So that was nice. I think one of my least favorite parts of this series is how agonizingly embarrassing things are for Harry.
The third book also brings us Lupin, who I think is the first real likable character in the series who actually shows up more then once a book. In the first two books I liked a lot of the professors because we saw just enough of them to get the idea that they were cool, and not enough to find out that we were wrong. Like Dumbledore and McGonagall. They seem neat, but they have very minor parts (in the first two books, anyway). Lupin, on the other hand, is really likable, and a nice dude, and a major plot mover and shaker. (Like Mad-Eye Moody’s. I am very excited for Mad-Eye Moody. I remembering him being the best.)
I also liked the change in writing style. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but the third book is full of life and color in a way that the second one really wasn’t. (I think the first one didn’t have ‘it’ either, but got by because it was such a whimsical world exploring feeling book.) Maybe she did more ‘show don’t tell’. Or maybe she stopped writing “children’s books” and started writing “normal books”? I dunno.
Things I didn’t like:
Harry suffered from Main Character Watching syndrome pretty bad. That’s where Harry completely fails to act in a lot of situations where I thought he should act. I notice this in my own writing when I get so distracted describing what the main character is observing that I forget that they should have feelings about it.
Occasionally Harry stops telling us he is feeling things, so I feel like he just vanished off the page and then I look back at it and say: It really seems like Harry isn’t taking the conflict between Ron and Hermione seriously. Is that because he is used to people fighting all the time and so he doesn’t worry that it might reflect on their affection for each other, might signal an end to their friendship? Does he just not care about these people? Or did the author forget to tell us how he was feeling? I know for me when my friend fought in middle school it really scared me. But, hey, different people are different. Also, I wouldn’t put it past J.K. Rowling to have decided that Harry wasn’t going to worry about it because he’s used to fighting. I mean, he didn’t freak out when he heard Mrs. and Mr. Weasley arguing either, just didn’t want them to know he had heard. So maybe Harry isn’t worried about that kind of thing. Different families are different, you know?
But it put me off.
Overall though, The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the series! (Still. Again? So far.)