Read because: I’m listening to all the HP books on CD
Borrowed from: the Sacramento Library
Rating: 8 out of 10
Synopsis: Harry is back and in fine form in the third installment of his adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His summer with the hideous Dursley family is cut short when, during a fit of quite understandable rage, he turns his Aunt Marge into an enormous balloon and then runs away. Soon, it becomes quite apparent that someone is trying to kill him; even after Harry is ensconed in the safety of fall term at Hogwarts, the attacks continue. Myriad subplots involving a new teacher with a secret, Hermione’s strangely heavy class schedule, and enmity between Ron’s old rat, Scabbers, and Hermione’s new cat, Crookshanks, all mesh to create a stunning climax. The pace is nonstop, with thrilling games of Quidditch, terrifying Omens of Death, some skillful time travel, and lots of slimy Slytherins sneaking about causing trouble.
My review: I really like book 3 of the series. Things get really dark, with omens of death for Harry, a mass murderer on the loose, and some really close calls for the three wizards. I also love the introduction of Sirius Black (played by Gary Oldman in my head), who is one of my favorite characters in the entire series. He’s extra crazy in this book, and it’s really fun to watch Rowling develop his character, not to mention the characters of other adults in the book — Snape, James Potter, Pettigrew, and Lupin. I also really like Lupin in this book, and how he gives support to Harry when most others write him off. And once again, Jim Dale is the best audio book reader out there. (Finished 11/23/09)