Author: JK Rowling (Website, Twitter, Facebook)
Series: Harry Potter #2
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Format: Paperback (256 pages)
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Harry Potter is a wizard. He is in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Little does he know that this year will be just as eventful as the last ... even getting there is an adventure in itself! The three firm friends, Harry, Ron and Hermione, are soon immersed in the daily round of Potions, Herbology, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Quidditch. But then horrible and mysterious things start happening. Harry keeps hearing strange voices, sinister and dark messages appear, and then Ron's sister Ginny disappears.... Summary from Back of UK Signature Edition
There are a few minor spoilers in this review.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the book in which I learned to love the characters the most. Now that all the introductions are done, except for a few new characters, you start to see their true nature. The dynamic of these characters is such that without a single one of them, it’d throw off the story in some form or another.
There are the main three, of course. Hermione is a bossy know-it-all, but without her love for all things learning and her incredible logic and intellect, I don’t think Harry or Ron would’ve got nearly as far as they did in solving the mysteries of each novel. Nor would they have kept on top of their studies. Ron is the funny best friend. He keeps both Harry and Hermione grounded and can even put Hermione in her place when she’s being too bossy. Harry is the hero, but not just any hero. Although he’s very uncertain of himself, we find that he’s brave and has a good heart. He doesn’t want anything to happen to anyone. And, if there’s anything he can do about it, he’ll do it, even if he’s not the best wizard for the job.
Fred and George Weasley bring humor to the story and help us remember than even in the darkest of times, we can still enjoy ourselves and have fun. Neville, although accident-prone and the most unlikely to be a great wizard in the school, is fiercely loyal, friendly, and determined to prove that he’s just as good as everyone else.
Then there are the characters that we hate or don’t know what to think of yet. Draco Malfoy is annoying, pompous, and snobbish. He thinks he deserves everything and that everyone’s beneath him. But, without him, Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s Hogwarts life would be just too easy. Even though Snape is harsh and unfriendly to most students, there’s more to him than meets the eye. And, Lockhart … I forgot how annoying he is until I started reading his character again. But, like Ron, I’m almost sad to see him go in the end.
Apart from the characters is the actual story in Chamber of Secrets. The complexity amazes me. Having read the future books, I can see the foreshadowing Rowling does even from this point in the series. There are so many little clues here and there that tell you what’s going to happen.
There are so many little things I love about this story. I love when Harry meets Fawkes, Professor Dumbledore’s phoenix, for the first time. I love reading about his uncertainty of whether Gryffindor is the right house for him. And, I love the interactions between him and Dobby.
The first time I read Chamber of Secrets in 2001, I figured out the mystery long before Harry, Ron, and Hermione did. But, I still remained on the edge of my seat, excited to see how and when they found out what everything meant and how to put a stop to it.
There’s so much more I can say about Chamber of Secrets, but I don’t think anyone wants to read all of it. Simply put, it’s a wonderfully, complex, rich story and makes me excited to continue on with Harry’s adventures in the next books.