September 3rd, 2013
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling
Who really isn't a fan of J.K.Rowling? I believe it is difficult to grade a Harry Potter book without bias. It is a book series that touched so many people, whether through it's pages or onscreen. I will do my best to grade it without bias.
Most of us are already quite familiar with the world-building aspect of this series. I will admit, I secretly watched the film before the book, so I expected most of things that I saw. I think however, had I not seen this film, I would have found it quite suspenseful. :) It was consistent and reliable, although there were a few pacing issues for me.
The best thing about this series in general is how relatable Harry Potter actually is. I'm not a 13 year old white British boy, but I really felt for him. I wish I could say that I knew what it was like to go through all the terrible things he'd gone through, but that made me feel for him. I honestly felt throughout the story that I was him. That's how sympathetic his character is written. There is plenty of backstory and conflict for those of us cheaters who completed the films before the books. There's actually many details that are need-to-knows that I'm surprised the movie lacked. I've seen this film four times, and had I read it before hand, I would have known extremely important details to the origins of Harry's "Patronus" and the "Marauder's Map." This book is unique, as it is the most mainstream a book about wizards and witches has ever gotten.
I have little to no complaints about grammar, although a bunch of times I didn't understand Hagrid. Im sure it's because he's a Scotsman and his dialogue is written how he speaks, but sometimes I had to google terms he used. The editing is to the standard of the industry. One thing I will say is that in climatic scenes, there was WAY too much dialogue. I understand the whole scene where all the most important details about Sirius Black are revealed, but there were several pages where it was mostly dialogue. The beats were few, and it seemed like a lot of "telling" vs "showing".
Diversity wise is where J.K. lost me. Mind you, i've seen the films. I am well aware that certain characters are different races. However, Im grading the book on diversity, not the film. Outside of the obvious ethnic names of Padma and Parvati Patil, and Cho Chang, you really can't tell there is more than that. And for the most part they're side characters. Names that are passed around just for the sake of it. I know in the UK it's a melting pot, that consists of mainly whites. But only the white characters get to go through Harry's adventures. I give it a C for effort, as it does mingle other different types of British folks(Scottish, Welsh, English, what appears to be Northern Ireland). But none that make the list of Harry's quest companions.
The title is amazing and captures the essence of the book. The cover is also amazing(though I may have the first edition. I see they're now releasing new covers). I find the character names appropriate, and unique enough to stand out from a crowd, but simple enough to remember. Character descriptions? I feel only "certain" characters get described in detail. Meaning the white characters. I only have clear pictures of these characters because I've seen the films, but I would've assumed they were all white, aside from Cho and the Patil twins.
Overall I LOVED THIS BOOK! I look extremely forward to the fourth book, and hope J.K. finally describes the characters I had issues with. My rating will definitely be higher once those issues are dealt with.
Dreamcast? The movies spoiled my thought process so I only thought of the actual cinematic cast when reading.