“Children gripped by the funny, quirky and imaginative storylines of J.K. Rowling’s books will undoubtedly be hooked again.”

CONTAINS SPOILERS

The third book in the Potter series, and you can tell. Gone is much of the recapping and character background, it’s kept to a bare minimum on the assumption that you have read the first two books previously. Which, to be fair, most people will have done. If not everybody. There are, of course, brief descriptions and recaps but this is dealt with nicely as you are plunged back into the towering spires and wand waving antics of Harry, Ron, Hermione and the other assorted people/creatures/freaks that seem to gather around them.

This is a very accomplished effort and it’s apparent that J. K. Rowling was really beginning to get into her stride, probably in the knowledge that she had the freedom to finish her saga in a multi book deal. (I’m only guessing here).

It has more of a feel that it’s part of a whole rather than a stand alone work. One piece of a greater tale. But none the less, this book can still be read as a story on it’s own and it delivers this with the usual pace, intricacies and skill that the first two books showed. Better in fact.

The characters have grown, along with the readers, and there are nice touches that really deepen your understanding and knowledge, not only of the people, but the world they inhabit. There are morality choices laid before our protagonists and these are dealt with in such a clever way as to seep into the consciousness of the reader without it seeming like your being led. I really like this, that J. K. is influencing youngsters without them even realising. I read something the other day that said kids who read Harry Potter have greater tolerances and empathy. This doesn’t surprise me at all. And the very fact that she got a whole new generation into reading is almost hero like.

The story, as usual, is your basic good verses bad again, but this is no bad thing. Aren’t the majority of stories that? There is the introduction of a new character, Sirius Black, that now gives Harry a parental/guardian figure, although this is not clear most of the way through the book. It’s a nice addition and I have no doubt that this will be an ongoing story line. There are many things set up in this book that (I hope) will be followed up in the next books.

The whole book once again plunges you into the world of Hogwarts, complete with strange animals, even stranger people, magical happenings and a good amount of peril and humour. It is very nicely balanced. You find yourself wanting to actually learn more spells and immediately go and sign up for wizard classes. (There are none, believe me, I’ve looked.)

So once again Rowling delivers. A bit more in depth, a bit more adult, a bit more confident. Now I have to go and read the fourth book. I may be some time.

 

Reviewed by:

Jake Mann

Added 12th September 2015

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Jake Mann

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