Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Rowling proves that she has plenty of tricks left up her sleeve in this third Harry Potter adventure, set once again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Right before the start of term, a supremely dangerous criminal breaks out of a supposedly impregnable wizards' prison; it will come as no surprise to Potter fans that the villain, a henchman of Harry's old enemy Lord Voldemort, appears to have targeted Harry. In many ways this installment seems to serve a transitional role in the seven-volume series: while many of the adventures are breathlessly relayed, they appear to be laying groundwork for even more exciting adventures to come. The beauty here lies in the genius of Rowling's plotting. Seemingly minor details established in books one and two unfold to take on unforeseen significance, and the finale, while not airtight in its internal logic, is utterly thrilling. Rowling's wit never flags, whether constructing the workings of the wizard world (Just how would a magician be made to stay behind bars?) or tossing off quick jokes (a grandmother wears a hat decorated with a stuffed vulture; the divination classroom looks like a tawdry tea shop). The Potter spell is holding strong. All ages. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 4 Up-The third book in J.K. Rowling's wildly popular Harry Potter series (Scholastic, 1999) is spiritedly brought to life in this audiobook narrated by English actor/singer Jim Dale. In this installment, Harry's life seems to be in danger when Sirius Black, a wizard convicted of multiple murders, escapes from prison and appears to be heading towards Hogwarts to seek revenge against Harry for causing Voldemort's downfall. Dale, who also recorded the audio versions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Jan. 2000, p. 73) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (April 2000, p. 76) gives a tour de force reading performance as he chronicles Harry's third year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With his mastery of verbal inflection, expressive voice, and terrific accents, Dale deftly shifts from general narration to numerous character voices without disrupting the flow of the story. In fact, his tone is so warm and inviting that listeners don't feel the tapes nearly 12 hours length; instead, they will eagerly anticipate listening to more. Adding Dale's vocal talents to Rowling's already well-written and engaging story makes this a quality audiobook worthy of inclusion in all audio collections.-Lori Craft, Downers Grove Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
(Intermediate) All current reviews of Harry Potter books should probably be addressed to some future audience for whom Harry is book rather than pheno-menon; at the moment, reviews seem superfluous. For the record, then, O future reader, this latest installment in Harry's saga is quite a good book. The basics remain the same: it's another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (where there's perforce a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher); it's still Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Gryffindor House, and the headmaster versus Professor Snape, Draco Malfoy and his Slytherin goons, Lord Voldemort, and various other forces of darkness. But all the elements that make the formula work are heightened here. The characters are particularly interesting, especially the aforementioned new teacher, Professor Lupin, a man with a howling secret; Sirius Black, a feared, possibly mad, escaped prisoner who is believed to have betrayed Harry's parents and is now said to be after Harry; and Harry himself, who in facing the reality of his parents' violent deaths becomes a stronger person-and a more complex hero. The Quidditch action is the best yet; the Hogwarts classes (Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, and Potions) are inventive and entertaining; and Rowling pulls off a nifty bit of time manipulation in the book's exciting climax. There's hope, too, for a lessening in the power Harry's Muggle relatives seem to have over him-and so a probability that we won't have to endure quite so much of these tiresomely one-dimensional characters in the future. Speaking of which...have a hot butterbeer, future reader, and enjoy. m.v.p. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
The Harry Potter epic (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, p. 888, etc.) continues to gather speed as Harry enters his third year at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry and does battle with the traitor behind his parents' deaths. Besides coping with the usual adversaries'sneering classmate Draco Malfoy, evocatively-named Potions Master Snape'the young wizard-in-training has a new worry with the escape of Sirius Black, murderous minion of archenemy Lord Voldemort, from the magicians' prison of Azkaban. Folding in subplots and vividly conceived magical creatures'Azkaban's guards, known as dementors, are the very last brutes readers would want to meet in a dark alley'with characteristic abandon, Rowling creates a busy backdrop for Harry as she pushes him through a series of terrifying encounters and hard-fought games of Quidditch, on the way to a properly pulse-pounding climax strewn with mistaken identities and revelations about his dead father. The main characters and the continuing story both come along so smartly (and Harry at last shows a glimmer of interest in the opposite sex, a sure sign that the tides of adolescence are lapping at his toes) that the book seems shorter than its page count: have readers clear their calendars if they are fans, or get out of the way if they are not. (Fiction. 10-13)
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.