I think this, while not the darkest of the Harry Potter novels, begins to get us into the deeper waters of the story as we deal with betrayal, enemies, dangers from the Dark Lord, and much of the past, including what happened to Harry’s parents, is brought to light. This is a more mature Potter novel, in my opinion, but it still takes us on a great ride through Hogwarts and the world of Harry and his friends.
The story begins with Harry learning of Sirius Black escaping, causing some chaos with his Aunt and Uncle, then runs away in the hopes of freeing himself from his troubling guardians. He winds up in Diagon Alley, starts his way back to Hogwarts, learns what a Dementor is, and meets the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
From here we get a fun story, which is the norm for Harry Potter, and as I reread this I remembered getting pulled into the story the first time. This is probably top 3 of the series for me because it really sets the story in motion. The first two books, for me, were simply setting the stage, introducing us to the big bad guy and the dangers the wizarding world.
Yet, in Azkaban we learn of some of the darker sides of their world and the disturbing past of Harry’s parents and the friend that betrayed them. While most people are probably familiar with the plot, I am doing this series because I am reading through some of the books that I really enjoyed when I was a younger man, which I’m sure is a surprise seeing the title of my little review series here.
But as we get along in the series I want to stress how enjoyable these books are and want to encourage anyone who hasn’t read them to try. I know the movies were a huge success and some people have seen those and are skipping out on the book but I think those folks are missing out on a treasure of a series.