Harry Potter can’t wait for his holidays with the dire Dursleys to end. But a small, self-punishing house-elf warns Harry of mortal danger awaiting him at Hogwarts. Returning to the castle nevertheless, Harry hears a rumour about a Chamber of Secrets, holding unknown horrors for wizards of Muggle parentage. Now someone is casting spells that turn people to stone, and a terrible warning is found painted on the wall. The chief suspect – always in the wrong place – is Harry. But something much more terrifying has yet to be unleashed.
Harry is a much stronger character in the second novel. He’s less indecisive and doesn’t doubt himself as much, and seems more driven to uncover information about Draco and the Chamber of Secrets. Professor Lockhart is a hilarious character, and I loved his interaction with Harry. I do wish more of his dialogue made it into the film – his hilarious comments about Harry wanting fame should’ve made it into the movie! I read all of these books before the films all came out, and now that I’m re-reading them, I have all of the actors in my mind. I wonder what I thought of this novel when I read it for the first time.
Some of the twists in the book were predictable (like Tom Riddle being a bad character and how Draco wasn’t the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets), but I didn’t see the twist with Ginny coming (obviously I did this time around because I’m re-reading it, but the first time I read it, that twist was a huge shock). And J.K Rowling really planned out everything so that it all made sense and it all paralleled each other in the novel. For example, you came to understand the significance of Harry being a parselmouth in this book.
J.K. Rowling also gives more information about this wizarding world. I think with fantasy, particularly children’s fantasy, there’s a tendency to dump all this information in the first book so that the reader knows absolutely everything from the start. But I love that new students and new parts of the castle are introduced to the reader in this book.
This book is only about 250 pages, so it can easily be read in an afternoon (this cannot be said for books four, five, six, and seven). Like the first one, I recommend this book to every single person, because it’s an enriching tale and the characters are three dimensional and fleshed out to the reader. Also, this book gives the reader a teaser of information about a few things to come in the later books (why Harry is a parselmouth, Horcruxes, and the prophecy).
My Score: 10/10