Book Review: Harry Potter Parts 1-3

Time Cover1

Potter-palooza continues!!!!

This is it. This is the home stretch to the last and final Harry Potter book, Year 7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Will all of our questions be answered? Is Professor Snape good or bad? Is Dumbledore really dead? Will someone else die? Will Voldemort finally be defeated? Will Harry become an Auror? Will he go back to Hogwarts for his seventh year? Who knows? I don’t. I hope at least some of these questions are answered in some form or another. Regardless, there will be no more Harry Potter adventures. I don’t even know if JK Rowling will continue writing books, much less continue stories in the Potter universe. This is a momentous occasion. We are on the brink, and it’s f’n KILLING ME.

Thank goodness I at least had the deliciousness of a new Potter movie (which is FANTASTIC by the way) to tide me over. Now I gotta sit here and wait for Saturday. That should be the theme of this week; Potter-palooza: Waiting for Saturday. In preparation for the momentous occasion on Saturday, I am going to take a look back at the first 6 books in the Potter series. Are you ready? No? Well catch up, people, cause it’s time to roll out.

Harry Potter 1Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – The first book was published in the summer of 1997. It would take a year or so for the word of mouth to really get started. Take a glance at the Time magazine cover at the top of this article. It was published in September 1999. I was flying to/from Tampa and saw this magazine in the airport. I was wondering, “Who the hell is this Harry Potter and how did he make the cover of Time magazine?” Word had really been getting around and I was curious. Having just finished a book and nothing left to read, I wandered into the airport book store and browsed a paperback copy of the first book. By this point in time the second book was already published and the third book was just getting ready to come out the following summer. I decided to buy the first book and see if it was any good. Little did I know that this would start a love of the series that was almost embarrassing. This first book introduces you to the entire universe of Harry Potter. You see Hogwarts, Hagrid, Dumbledore and Harry meets Ron and Hermione on the Hogwarts Express for the first time. It’s all new and shiny. It’s a great underdog story because you see how really badly Harry is treated by his aunt and uncle and how he goes from living in a cupboard under the stairs to being one of the most famous wizards alive. I cry every time I read this book (well, every time I read any of these books). Unbelievable start to one of the best series of books I have ever read. If this had been no good, then I never would have picked up Book 2…

Harry Potter 2Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Book 2 was released in 1998, about a year before I would buy the first book. After reading the first book in record time, I went back to the bookstore to buy this second book. As a matter of fact, I may have bought this book before I even finished Sorceror’s Stone. For me, this is the most overlooked story of the series. The first time I read it I was a little underwhelmed. Just coming off the all-out awesomeness of the first book, this one was darker and a lot more adult. It felt weird to me. However, I have read it several times since and I have realized that this is a really good book, and a very bold story to tell as the second in this series. The storylines are definitely growing up with each successive book as much as the characters that are in them. It’s also amazing to see how storylines in this book are referred back to in the newer books. Several things in this book are clarified and enhanced in Book 5 and it makes subsequent readings of this book even more exciting. I don’t know how far ahead Rowling plans these things, but she weaves the intricate plot details throughout the entire series as if she has it all planned out. Unbelievable.

Harry Potter 3Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Book 3 was released during the summer of 1999. I actually had to wait a bit to get Prisoner of Azkaban because I had already read 1 and 2 months before the book would be released. Suffice it to say, this was the first book I bought in hardcover, but not on release day as I actually bought this book several months after the day it was released (I forget why I waited). After being a little disappointed with 2 at the time, I think I was reluctant to try Book 3. However, the concept was too good to pass up and I bought the book and started reading. This third book would keep the darker storyline but ratchet up the excitement and fantastic storytelling. So much happens in this book and you are introduced to so many more characters that I literally could not put this book down. After this book Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were my new favorite characters. I loved the concept and use of the Time Turner. Also, the idea that a high-security wizarding prison called Azkaban existed was almost enough to make my internal bad-ass meter get pegged and explode. I couldn’t believe how awesome this book was. It still ranks as my #2 favorite (by a very close margin). This book restored in me the Potter faith and I HAD to read the next book. Luckily, Goblet of Fire was set to be released in the Spring.

That covers books 1-3. Stay tuned and I’ll post reviews of the next three books in the series tomorrow.

Click here for part II of this review which includes books 4-6.

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6 Responses to “Book Review: Harry Potter Parts 1-3”

  1. I was in middle school when I read the first Harry Potter book. A guy that I talked to in one of my classes saw me reading one day and asked me if I liked to read (where of course I gushed about loving to read and how I was volunteering in the school library at the time) so he pulled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone out of his book bag and made me read it. Needless to say, I’ve been a huge fan of everything Harry Potter ever since!

  2. That is an awesome story. Not only for how you started reading the series, but it also points out how f’n old I am. I was 2 years out of college.

    Where’s my Geritol?

  3. […] of Harry Potter books 3 – 6 ready to go. If you missed the first reviews including books 1 – 3 then click right here. If you read those already, then you, my Potter-fied little friend, are ready to move on to the […]

  4. You Are Brilliant. Nice Work HEre,

  5. Hi, I recently started reading this blog – thanks for the good work. Just wanted to let you know that it’s not showing up correctly on the BlackBerry Browser (I have a Pearl). Either way, I’m now subscribed to your RSS feed on my home PC, so thanks again!

  6. Hi, I posted around 1 year ago explaining that I was not able to see your blog properly. I am not certain if you fixed your site but I can now read it properly, thank you. I’m using a Blackberry Storm.

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