Who didn’t love the Harry Potter series growing up? (Comment below) Who loved them so much they bought each new book by standing in long queues overnight ready for the release next day? (Comment below) I really enjoyed reading these books through out my school years, they were fun, interesting, and kept me entertained.
I recently read them again as an adult. Here is my review on this awesome series.
Warning. If you haven’t read these books (Where have you been?! What have you been doing?! Why haven’t you?!) Spoilers will be below.
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.
I first read this book by borrowing it of my teacher who was attempting to read it as a class. (Never happened, my class was too unruly for this to work). Back then I thought it was fun, but I did have a few problems with a couple of chapters.
For instance, when it came to Harry Potter and his mates sneaking out for a midnight duel with Malfoy, I couldn’t read it, skipped the whole chapter. Why? Because Harry was doing something naughty, he could get into so much trouble. (Yes, I was a goody two shoes in school who was scared of breaking the rules, what of it?) So, finally, as a 30+ year old adult, I read that chapter.
I like how you are introduced to all the main players in this book and watch how they develop over the series. I especially enjoy reading the quidditch. This gets your heart racing no matter how many times you read it.
The best part of this book for me, however, is the chapter ‘Through the Trapdoor’. This chapter is so much better then the movie portrayed it. I love all the defences left by the teacher. While it is great that professor McGonagall’s giant chess set made it into the movie, I did miss Snape’s Logic puzzle. This is so fun to read and try to work out on your own.
All in all the book is short, fun to read, and great to read aloud.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
This one was hard to read at first for the same reason I struggled with the first as a kid. Why’d they nick the car?! Really, was their no other option. From that moment at the train station to the moment of the howler I just want to bury my face and read no more. How was taking the car the last option to get to school. Boys!
Beyond that, Gilderoy Lockheart makes you bang your head against a wall, the determination to have the Polyjuice potion and how much trouble they would have been in if they’d been caught, I read this book through my fingers which were sat, semi-permanently, over my face trying to hide my eyes from the nightmare of rule breaking in front of me.
But, as hard as it was to read I noticed so much valuable information in this book I’d never noticed before. The introduction to the Horcrux for example. Although they never once mention horcrux in this book they do refer back in a later one. That diary means so much more and feels so much more dangerous reading this with that knowledge.
And then there’s Ginny. We did have a mention of Ginny in the previous book, but now she has started Hogwarts we can really see her develop. Percy too, knowing what he becomes, it is interesting to read about him and his love interest of the time.
Another one of the shorter books of the Harry Potter series, stuffed full of important characters that you see again and again in later books (Dobby for instance), loads of information that makes you smile because you know what they mean (the explosions coming from Fred and Georges room) and a set up for the final book (thee chamber itself with the basilisk fangs left inside). While I found this book the hardest to read it is so much full of these gems of information that it is worth the pain.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This one was my favourite as a kid and I found to still be my favourite as an adult. The boys have grown up some and we are faced with the realisms of friendships, Ron and Hermione having their falling out and getting back together again, Harry and Hermione having a falling out over a broomstick. This is holds so much truth in the things teens find important, it adds a tenseness to the whole book as you wait for them to get back together as you know they will.
Dementors. Got to be my favourite aspect of this book. The problem of the dementors and the introduction to Lupin. I love how the dementors affect Harry to the point of a boggart choosing that shape to scare him and I love how Lupin uses that t teach Harry how to produce a Patronus, a true Patronus. This is also great because of the use of this Patronus over the next few books.
And then we have Sirius Black and Buckbeak. Sirius Black was amazing in these books, the father Harry never had, even if they did et off to a rocky start. Just seeing him again in book 3 brought tears to my eyes. Maybe if I skip the chapter where he dies it won’t happen.
I must admit though, this book does take you for a loop with all the time travelling stuff. I enjoyed reading it and understanding what was going on, years ago I just accepted it, now with the capability of understanding how complex it actually is, and with Dr Who ringing in my ears on how bad things can go if time travel is not done right, I appreciate the book much, much more.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The final book I shall review in this post for two very good reasons. Reason 1: This will be a very long post if I continue on and review the whole collection. Reason 2: I have more reading to do. I have not quite finished re-reading the series yet.
The Twi-wizard tournament. The Death Eaters. The return of Voldemort. So much happens in this book, so many amazing things, so many events, so much mystery. It’s magical.
I will not go in to every amazing detail in this distinctly bigger book, I will be here a long time if I did. It would take a post of it’s own to explain the whole Mad eye Moody and Barty Crouch mess.
With all the books in this series you absolutely fall in love with Quidditch, so it comes as quite a treat when this book starts with a massive quidditch match. To see all the witches and wizards gathering together in this way is exciting to say the least, then for the camp to be disrupted by death eaters, to have the mark in the sky and to start the whole mystery of the Weasley twins secretiveness. A very well put together start of a book.
I say start, but that is actually many chapters, it is a while before we see Hogwarts at all. When we do get to Hogwarts the pace of the book does not calm down at all with the start of the Twi wizard tournament. Many a Harry Potter fan will curse the screaming Dumbledore who charged at Harry in the movie after his name came out of the cup. It’s not Dumbledore’s style, we all know he asked Harry calmly.
The romance between Hagrid and the half giant master of the visiting school is great. not to mention the Romance between Hermione and Krum. Come to think of it, there’s a lot of Romance bubbling up in this book, I’m not one for romance but I like it.
Thinking of romance, Cedric Diggory comes to mind. He was a good man, I can see why the girls like him. His death in the book was shocking, it was at this point the books were no longer a happy little game, or joyous read. His death hit hard. I swear that hurt more then the knowledge of Voldemort’s return. And, what an end to the book! To finally get the cup and wind up like it did. A joint win too…. just wow. It was unexpected the first time I read it, it was stressful reading it recently.
The book ends on such a high note of expectation, it’s infuriating. Especially knowing how Dumbledore’s words are not heeded. This book perfectly sets the scene for the next few books, it’s like the story is now really starting.