Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (by J K Rowling)

We bought 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' shortly after it was published, and since none of us could agree who would read it first, I read it aloud to my sons (aged 12 and 10 at the time). It's the third in JK Rowling's phenomenally successful series about the boy wizard and his friends at Hogwarts School.

An escaped and dangerous prisoner is apparently after Harry, so once again it's an exciting story. We're left guessing about who are the real villains until the last few chapters, when all is revealed in two climaxes. There's a slightly unbelievable time-travel event, and a highly satisfactory resolution.

As with the first two books, the writing is good, with humorous moments to break up the suspense, and the plotting very cleverly done.

Variations on the timeless good vs evil theme take on new life in this author's hands, and the characters are delightfully realistic (given the circumstances, of course, which requires something of a suspension of reality).

Highly recommended.

There's a longer review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban here when I read it four years later, and another review here when I re-read it yet again in 2005.

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