Number of pages: 317
This is my favourite of the Harry Potter books, and it always struck me as the cleverest. It's also the point when the Harry Potter series turns really dark, mostly with the first appearance of the dementors and the apparent threat from Sirius Black.
I believe it's the only one of the seven books in which Lord Voldemort does not appear, although he is mentioned a lot, as always.
What I liked about this book was that it took the characters into what seemed like quite a bleak situation, and then turned things around with the use of time travel that changed my perception of what was happening over the previous few chapters.
I noticed that Snape becomes really difficult to like in this one, particularly towards the end. I know he's meant to be one of the good guys, but he seems really nasty, particularly towards Lupin.
I remember feeling a bit let down by the film, because they seemed to water down a few elements, possibly to make sure it remained kid-friendly, but re-reading this book helped me remember all the dark moments over again. I also noticed a few things that I'd not spotted before, like Professor Trelawney predicting events at the end of the next book. At the end, I had to flick back to the early chapters to spot the reference to Sirius watching Harry outside the Dursleys' house; I'd either forgotten or missed that bit.
Next book: The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen)