UP!–When a Book is a “THRILL RIDE”!

Cover-AzkabanDon’t you just love when, as a book’s “passenger,” you never want the ride to end? I and thousands of readers agree that J. K. Rowling’s writing style grabs your imagination and emotions by the collar, straps you in its seat and won’t let go! Thanks to Sheila at Book Journey, I’m on that ride again 🙂

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is the third leg of this thrilling “roller coaster” ride. We’re filled with expectation as our author ushers us in with another packed carful of characters. She flips the switch, the cars lurch and we start off slowly, with Vernon Dursley’s sister, Marge, who’s every bit as horrible as he is. Her opinion of Harry is that of a dog, and a mangy one at that, ultimately pushing Harry over the edge. As a reader, we feel as satisfied as Harry in justice having been served when so well-deserved!

Roller Coaster - from morguefileThe anticipation rises with an exciting turn, taking our first trip on the Knight Bus with Stan Shunpike and Ernie, where we get our first glimpse of the criminal, Sirius Black. The coaster car climbs its first peak as we board the Hogwarts Express and encounter the dreaded Dementors. We dip when hearing of the Grim, through the mysterious and foreboding words of Sybil Trelawney, Professor of Divination, which, according to Professor McGonagall (and Hermione) is “one of the most imprecise branches of magic.”*

Getting to know Professor Lupin is a high point, for sure, with his approach to teaching the Dark Arts being not only practical and beneficial—but amusing! He takes Harry under his wing, and as we get to know him, we can’t help but find Lupin endearing. Our imaginations scream with hands held high when the Weasley twins introduce Harry to the Marauder’s Map (its history never revealed to movie watchers, by the way!), and our dreams spin at the the thought of having a Time-Turner!

The chapters that really raise our adrenalin with “triple-loop” excitement and peril are those which hurl us into the bowels of the Whomping Willow. Back story is revealed in such riveting ways, our blood pumps fiercely with the many twists and turns, making this book the one that takes this ride to a new level. The tug on our heartstrings grows stronger, our curiosity piques higher, and with the ever-increasing threat of Voldemort, we eagerly and anxiously get on line, ticket in hand, for the next thrill ride: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Have you read this book? How was your “ride”?

I do not advocate any form of “magic” or “fortune telling,” outside of fantasy fiction.

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Roller Coaster image from http://www.morguefile.com/

30 thoughts on “UP!–When a Book is a “THRILL RIDE”!

  1. Ah, yes, this book gave us Sirius, one of the most compelling characters of the series. It was also the first one where Rowling appeared liberated to explore in depth some of the darker aspects of her characters, and not have everybody either a white hat or a black hat. It’s not my favorite of the series–that would be #6–but I don’t want to get ahead of you here! Thanks for bringing me back to the series.

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    • Hey, Patrick! So nice to “see” you 😀 And I’m happy to hear you’ve read this series. I don’t know why, but wouldn’t have pegged you as a “Harry Potter” kind of a guy lol And, you know, I have to say that, of all the books, there’s something about the 6th one that got me, too. I think it was the type of things revealed and the depth of what occurred that really pulls me back to that one the most. It was also after reading that one that I got into the BNU online forums with all the discussion of the series prior to the release of Hallows. That was a very special, memorable, enjoyable time for me! I love all the books in their own way, but the 3rd, 5th and 6th do tend to come to the forefront.

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      • I’ve read the entire series twice; 6 and 7 more than that. She really grew as a writer in terms of plot and character development as the series progressed; it also appeared, however, that her editors became increasingly afraid to touch her work, as the first half of 7 could have been trimmed by at least a third. I’ve reviewed each book on Goodreads.

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        • You know, Patrick, I can’t recall if you commented on any of my other “Harry Potter Reread” posts, but something tells me I should’ve known/remembered you read them. It’s funny how readers have different opinions about the books. Most of the people I knew wanted even more in that last book…so many more questions answered, but they’re getting what they want now, through Pottermore, with all the back story and future story she’s adding!

          As far as the editing, I didn’t get the feeling, during the 3 times I read it, that it was drawn out in any way. I guess I also know that most of what she includes is packed with foreshadowing; there’s always a reason.

          One thing I can tell you for a fact, though, is that she does get edited–and well. I, along with a few others, have spoken a bit with one of her editors about the books (at dinner). Also, at that same event during a workshop she was giving, someone made the comment that “J. K. Rowling doesn’t like to be edited,” and the reaction of this editor I’m speaking of (sorry, won’t name drop, but she’s the one who transported the original manuscript of “Hallows” from England to the U.S.), was pretty indignant/defensive. She basically said, “That’s totally untrue. Where did you here that?” And she went on to say a couple of things about it. Just wanted you to know 🙂

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  2. I read this when I was pregnant with my second and had one of the worst colds of my life. It wasn’t serious, but between the morning sickness, coughing, and plugged nose — I was miserable! Fortunately, once I started reading it completely took my mind off of my minor woes. It felt like pure magic how I went from miserable to thrilled and completely engrossed. Thank goodness for these books!

    What a fun review!

    Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tiffa, I’m glad the book was there for you, too! And it’s hard to imagine our “book life” without this series, right? I’m extremely thankful for it, not just as an avid reader, but as a still-green writer (green certainly in comparison to her!). There’s so much to learn from these books!

      And a Happy Everything to you, too 🙂 So glad you stopped by!

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  3. I remember reading that one in the series, and it was such an enjoyable read for me! It’s been a few years though, so it may be time for me to dive into a re-read. I was able to teach a Children’s/YA Fantasy Literature course in a graduate program for Children’s Literature one semester, and it was such an honor because we read the last Harry Potter for the course. I think it would have worked just as well to read this one for the course too. It seems that every time you re-read a Harry Potter book, you discover something new. I love that!

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    • Katie, you’re so right! And after you’ve finished the entire series, knowing how it turns out, when you reread you notice even more. I’m reading Phoenix now and I’m amazed at how certain details feel fresh ’cause my brain didn’t hold onto them, and believe me when I tell you, back then I knew these books SO well! lol I’m really enjoying this whole reread Sheila started 😀

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  4. Ah! my favourite HP book, it was starting to get pretty dark, a new place Hogsmeade to explore, Quidditch cancelled! New plot threads and back story and it had more pages than the first two. Yes brilliant stuff and I do love that feeling of knowing that you are going to absolutely love a book, it is a shame they do have to end!

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    • Hey, Ste J 🙂 You know, over the years. when the question is posed, I’d say Azkaban seems to be the most popular “favorite” of the series. I think it’s ’cause of all the stuff that happens in the Shrieking Shack 🙂 All the stuff being revealed. Amazing! 🙂

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  5. This one was one of my favorite ones. But, I noticed, around here (and #4) that pretty much a character dies in almost every book. (The evil professor in #1, Tom Riddle in #2 – Hmm… I can’t remember one in this one. But I think there is. If not, then this is the only one.

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    • He’s one of mine, too 🙂 Harry, Dumbledore, McGonagall and Hagrid have always been up there, along with Ron and Hermione and all the Weasleys, of course. There are SO many good ones, and ultimately, Snape ended up rising, too 🙂

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        • LOL Your daughter cracks me up 🙂 She’s got to be talking about Phoenix. And a lot of people said it was “teenage angst,” but I’ve always thought–and still think–he was completely justified. I’m rereading that one right now and it’s in the beginning where he’s really angry! lol

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  6. I’m readingthem in no particular order :] You bring new life with your descriptions and I feel the time when I will pick up one of these books, getting closer.

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  7. Hi Donna,
    I didn’t comment on this post when I read it a few weeks ago. As you know, I didn’t read any of the Harry Potter books. I’m not sure I could commit to read anything lately, not even my one paragraph horoscope.
    But I know the feeling of a catchy book and I also remember a few times seeing that I only missed to read a couple of pages and didn’t want the wonderful book to ever end but I was eager to know what was going to happen in the end. I guess that’s what a good book does to you 🙂

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