Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter #2

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself.

The Chamber of Secrets is the second book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. In the first book, The Philosophers Stone, Harry found out that he was a wizard, he can do magic! His aunt and uncle, where he was placed because he parents died when Harry was just a baby, kept this a secret for twelve years. He has had a terrible childhood but everything seems to be going a lot better. He made new genuine friends in Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. But as with any school, there is the summer holiday where the schools are closed and thus Harry has to return to the Dursleys. However there are some changes, now that Harry is being trained to become a wizard his aunt and uncle seem to fear hem even more and they do give him so more room but well they are still the horrible persons they have always been.

And thus at the start of The Chamber of Secrets we see Harry once again at the Dursleys. Every form of contact is broken with Harry's friends by the interference of Harry's uncle Vernon. When Harry for the millionth time is send back to his room, someone is waiting for him, Dobby the house elf who has come to warn Harry not to return to Hogwarts this year... And Dobby goes through quite the length to achieve this, hoping against hope that if he really messes it up with the Dursleys they won't allow him to go. Dobby does achieve this and Harry is banned to his room. Due to that Harry's friend haven't heard anything from Harry over the summer they go and find him, just at the right time!The Weasley family, Ron and his twin brothers George and Fred, are coming to find Harry.  They are the mischievous kind, like to mess about and break and bend the rules. Now of course we all know that under aged wizards aren't allowed to use magic. Here they have come up with a solution, they stole the car from their father, not just any car, a flying car and one that can turn invisible! So with having Harry broken out of the Dursley house they set course for the Burrow, the place where the Weasley family lives. Here a world once again opens for Harry, but with the short time before the new schoolyear starts, Harry has to visit Diagon Alley for new books and other supplies. Then it is time to set of on the Hogwarts Express once more. But if that would have been easy... The moment that Harry and Ron want to go to platform nine and three-quarters there road is blocked. They see no other option to get to Hogwarts then taking the flying car from Ron's father. With a lot of consequences. They are spotted and they land in the whomping willow on the Hogwarts grounds, which almost kills them. Not really that good of a start of the school year.

Since Quirrel, there defense against the dark arts teacher was in league with Voldemort they have gotten a new one, Gilderoy Lockheart. Who has quite the reputation when it comes down to telling about the things he has done but when it is put to the test, he doesn't put his money where he mouth is. Some can see this directly but especially the women are quite taken by his perfect smile... Even Hermoine. Just as Harry thought that Gilderoy would be his biggest annoyance of the year something weird starts to happen, fellow students are being turned, unexplainable into stone... all of this is also accompanied by a message, saying that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened. And that mudblood's should watch out, the Heir of Slytherin has returned.... The student's and staff are once again in danger. Mysteries arise that even teachers have a hard time explaining or figuring out, and since Harry is drawn into the mix, there is only one way to continue that is to go in head first and find out what exactly is going on.

The build up of the plot in The Chamber of Secrets is very nicely done, all seems to be well when the weird things happen, Harry of course place the center role. When Harry uncovers the diary of Tom Riddle everything changes, though only much later in the last scene with the Basilisk does everything become apparent. I can still remember when I read these part first, it was a real shocker, after having read most of the books a couple of time I know who Tom Riddle is but still, brilliantly put together.

When you look at the overall character development there is very nice development going on for the main characters. Harry has accepted him being a wizard and that he is more than often the star of the show with him being the sole survivor of the Death Curse that was cast by Lord Voldemort. He is still always stubborn and perhaps should learn to walk away from danger instead of facing it. Ron is an interesting charachter, neither Harry nor Ron is first or second they are equals and see themselves like that. True friendship as they come. Ron is less confident when it comes to certain things but luckily with some persuasion from Harry it all comes well. The broken wand scene and the slugs, ugh, but made me laugh a lot. Hermoine the bossy know it all, is well still the bossy know it all, but to a lesser degree, she also has seen the power that true friendship has and wouldn't want to miss it in the world. As for Draco Malefoy, i so want to punch this guy. He is the thing that I hated the most when I was in school. J.K. Rowling does an excellent job in portraying the characters, they are alive and could be just you and me, nobody is perfect and they don't need to be, they learn from there mistakes (most of the times).

The ending of THe Chamber of Secrets is a real plot twist. With such big events happening in the second book, almost the return of. It can only proof to be the instigator for the remainder of the series. A great sequel. On to book three! The Prisoner of Azkaban.


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