Mini Reviews: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Posted April 8, 2013 by Stormy in Books / 4 Comments

So, since I’m doing my annual Harry Potter reread(well, I am at the moment when typing this, but this review will be a few weeks after the actual reading has occurred) I decided doing full length reviews for each book would get a bit overwhelming, so I decided to group some of them together. I did Sorcerer’s Stone as its own review, and I’ll probably do a few more separate as well, but I thought Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban would go nicely together.

Chamber of Secrets

Original Publishing Date: 1998
Length: 341 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Obtained Via: Personal Library
Format: Paperback
Find the summary on Goodreads

Review: Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

I love all the Harry Potter books, but I definitely have favorites and least favorites. For a long while, Chamber of Secrets was my least favorite. I don’t know if I would claim it quite as my least favorite still, but I have to admit after reading that I’m still not intrigued by this story as I am by almost all of the others(except maybe Order of the Phoenix).

I will admit that I love this book a lot more now that I know how the series ends and how important the events in this book are later on, but the book itself doesn’t completely captivate my interests. I do like the Chamber of Secrets plot, but some of the events leading up to the big reveal in this book seem a bit to simplistic for me. I believe my fear of spiders(I’m like Ron in that aspect) may have something to do with why this one is towards the least-favorite end of the spectrum.

Of course, a least favorite in the Harry Potter series is still a favorite over-all. I love reading Harry Potter again after knowing the ending. J.K. Rowling has an amazing ability to foreshadow things in the smallest, most subtle of ways, which makes every re-reading a great experience because there’s always something new to find.

Final Impression: While I love the series, Chamber of Secrets doesn’t occupy the top for me. I like it much better knowing the end to the series and being able to realize the magnitude of some of the events, but the way the plot progresses have never kept my attention fully. A good book, but not as great as many of those in the series. 4/5 stars. 

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Prisoner of Azkaban

Original Publishing Date: 1999
Length: 435 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Obtained Via: Personal Library
Format: Hardback
Find the summary on Goodreads

Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite Harry Potter book as soon as I read it. That spot goes to The Deathly Hallows now, but Prisoner of Azkaban continues to remain one of my favorites. There’s so much I love about this book! This is the first book you can tell the characters are a bit older–not a whole lot, but Harry’s come along way in two years from that 11 year old who didn’t know how to get onto Platform 9 3/4ths.

I also really liked how Lupin helped Harry learn to conjure a Patronus and in general, just be there for him. Harry hasn’t had a whole lot of great adults to look up to or confide in, and the older I’ve gotten I’ve really appreciated that aspect of this book. Plus, the Patronus is my favorite charm in the entire series, and I love that it’s introduced here. I like the addition of more random things in the wizarding world: the Knight Bus, Hogsmeade, and Butterbeer.

But the part I love most about this book is we start to get more back story about Harry’s parents and what exactly happened. I love the introduction of the Marauders and I feel this is where Harry gets the feeling–just the small feeling–like Voldemort went after his parents for a specific reason that had to do with him. It’s never expressly said in the book, but I think this is the book where the events of the past and what will happen in future books really starts to take shape and become complex and layered.

Final Impression: Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorite books in the entire series, and it’s stood up to multiple reads. I loved learning more about Harry’s parents and the world in general. This book bridges the lighter first two Harry Potter books with the rest of the series, which is considerably darker, and I think it strikes the perfect balance. 5/5 stars. 

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4 responses to “Mini Reviews: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  1. Chamber of Secrets is my least favorite. I usually reread the books every two years or so (sometimes sooner) every single time I find myself paging ahead and skipping parts in that one. Can’t explain it. I really didn’t like Ginny being taken over as part of it

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