• Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
    J.K. Rowling
    ★★★★★
    This is probably the funniest of the books. Not because awful things fail to happen and it's a laugh-fest, but because there are few things funnier than teenage intergender interactions. If you view these books as a record of Harry's emotional development, in Prisoner of Azkaban he dealt with the death of his parents, and with that worked out, he can now spend his spare time looking like a idiot in front of his crush, Cho.

    If you don't care that much about that aspect (i.e. you're a male and won't admit to caring about that aspect, except to laugh at it, because of course that *never* happened to you), there's lots of adventure and some really disturbingly evil happenings.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 9, 2006 | 18 users.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)
    J.K. Rowling
    ★★★★★
    This third book in the Harry Potter series transitions from the primarily mystery and adventure plots of Sorceror's Stone and Chamber of Secrets to a greater emphasis on Harry's emotional state, personified by the soul-sucking dementors that force him to relive the darkest memories of his life just by being nearby.

    Prisoner of Azkaban is the book in which Harry finds himself working at becoming stronger instead of relying, as he had previously, mainly on what natural talent and luck he had, as he takes struggles to overcome the dementors in private lessons with Lupin. This trend will continue through the other books, and Harry will increasingly stand alone in a world in which he was already singled out.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 9, 2006 | 18 users.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)
    J.K. Rowling
    ★★★★★
    This is the second book of the Harry Potter series, and the effect of the success of the first book is clear. While Sorceror's Stone had the feel of a pilot, and the plot was fully wrapped up though leaving an opening for future work, Chamber of Secrets seems to have more carefully laid preparations to be exploited (and indeed history has shown they have been exploited) by later books.

    Even so, it still manages to be a great book in and of itself.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 9, 2006 | 18 users.
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1)
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1)
    J.K. Rowling
    ★★★★★
    The first book of the famous Harry Potter series. The story is largely appealing because it's just barely off ordinary. It's set in 1990's Britain, but with a race of witches and wizards that live hidden in plain sight, as it were. Combined with this hidden world that we can easily relate to, the protagonist enters it from our perspective, as an 11 year old that's lived with muggles for his entire life.

    Even in this first book, the subject matter is not light, though it is treated fairly lightly. Whether this is intentional to convey the idyllic perspective of the young Harry or is a result of targetting at a young audience is questionable. Nonetheless, this does not detract from the book, especially since the books get progressively darker, following Harry's development, so whether or not it was intentional, it turned out well.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 9, 2006 | 23 users.
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