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Best Book of ALL
I couldn't love this book more. The intro paragraph is right. THIS is where Harry Potter gets interesting.

The plot is largely focused on the characters and their relationships with each other. Why does Snape hate Harry so? Did Sirius love his Potterites or was he a spy? Can Lupin bare to bond with Harry? Harry's happiest memory is a fantasy of his parents? Oh, good, the Woobie potential. And Sirius and Lupin's reaction to the ending mystery was heartbreaking.

The magic intrigues and invokes emotions: scary at times (the Dementor), hopeful at others (the Patronus), hilarious at others (the Boggart). Yet they tie into the same theme: shit is scary and life has terrible monsters just looking for ways to suck the life out of you, but you can never - give - up. Plus the magic isn't background fodder or tools to be used at human disposal. It is living, wild, threatening and temperamental and the value of a wizard is his ability to understand and work with that magic, not try to overpower it: Buckbeak and Malfoy, anyone?

And the plot... I know, I know, time travel rarely seems like a good plot device to use, but I liked this one. It was a stable time loop where the future events already happened and Harry just never saw it. Great! It used a magic that was already present throughout the story, making it something understandable upon the revelation (plus, not a DXM). Hermione was in two places at once, so was Harry. I loved how EVERYTHING fit into the climax. Sirius, Snape, Lupin, Scabbers, Buckbeak, Dementors and the Timeturner/Hermione's lessons. Everything fit into a nice bow that answered many questions and raised new ones. "Will Harry get to leave the Dursleys now?! Oh crap, Wormtail's going to go to Voldemort?! Noes!"

And, as far as series development, it gave Harry several new allies, taught him more than one spell, gave him diverse enemies to fight and deepened Hogwarts as a setting (plus, introducing Hogsmeade) and the Ministry of Magic as an institution. Which is more than what I can say for some bulkier sequels...

This is probably the only Harry Potter book I will ever own. Plus, it's only 435 pages (US).
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The True Wacky Wayside Tribe One,and the Tedious One
If Chamber of Secrets and this book were contested for Wacky Wayside Tribe as Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew are for the culprit behind Lily and James Potter's demise,it would be that the second book and Chris Columbus film are Sirius Black accused of in-universe making the least sense and sucking while the NOT-VOLDEMORT wielding third book and the Narmy Cuaron movie likewise get off scot-free like Pettigrew.

And yes I do believe this to not only be the truly most non-sensical book (and movie to) in-universe,but also the happiest book to,considering no one almost died,no evil deceiving objects[like the Mirror of Ersed],no Tear Jerkers,and mostly just a set-up of Chekovs Gunmen.

The plot is cliche and lacks any of the originality or possible suspense the others have.It started off fine and dandy with by far my favorite Dursley encounter with Aunt Marge getting blown up and the intro of her,but after Harry gets to The Leaky Cauldron it slows down to nothingness without even the slightest "Harry felt his scar" part,just Harry and Co. doing time at Hogwarts as if they were Hufflepuffs. It doesn't go anywhere until Malfoy gets attacked by Buckbeak,or maybe the Maurader's backstory [not quite sure which one happened first].Anyway everything after that was original and as fun as the the other 5 [once again not 7]. The writing during the slow parts was serviceable and often funny when describing some of the tender and cute moments and Rowling masterfully worked that climax. Between the Shrieking Shack and Lupin becoming a werewolf,goodness I need ,....some more.

In the end though the two new characters Lupin and Sirius were nice new entries,who were amusing to get to know delving through the pages,and the Character Development is great with the main trio. With Harry's darker side being explored a bit,Snape's nicer side it's hard to ignore that Rowling has done some things right. And it was nice to see the trio go places other than Hogwarts to add something new and fresh and Hogsmeade sounded like fun.But in the end it was just a big diversion from the main plot,at some times good,but mostly dull.

Grade: C-

Any questions I'll gladly elaborate
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