Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Great read

children's fantasy book reviews Harry Potter 2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

children's fantasy book reviews Harry Potter 2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry has had a miserable summer. None of his friends have written to him and he wonders whether Hogwarts and the world of wizardry that he discovered the year before is just a dream. Four weeks before he is due to return to school he has a visit from Dobby the House Elf who warns him not to return to Hogwarts. And so we embark on another year at Hogwarts and another mystery — this time involving the Chamber of Secrets.

I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but not quite as much as I enjoyed the first book, mostly because of the clumsy recapping. The worst instance was when Colin and Harry are walking to the Quidditch pitch and Harry has to explain how it all works — it isn’t completely unforgiveable since Colin has only just started at Hogwarts, but I felt it was superfluous nonetheless, and this was not the only instance.

My other complaint was Gilderoy Lockhart — a very tiresome character who boasts constantly about his achievements. I can see how some people might regard him as humourous but I begrudged any of his ‘screentime’ and wished he hadn’t been introduced.

In this book the fright factor is increased. There is a spine chilling scene in the Forbidden Forest, especially if you are not that fond of spiders, and I still have nerves when Harry faces off against Tom Riddle. Some younger readers might well be scared.

Once again, the characters are fleshed out fantastically, even minor characters such as Lee Jordan (who commentates the Quidditch matches in a very entertaining manner). All of them are extremely memorable and, even in just this second book of the series, very familiar to the reader. It is a tribute to Rowling’s writing of these characters that I never mix up my Professor Sprout with my Professor Flitwick — each of the people who roam the wizarding world have their own characteristics and personalities.

The little details also charmed me. I love the fact that the students have to turn in essays of a certain length in inches on their rolled parchment, rather than word count or pages. I enjoy the Dickensian element of the story — the quills, the clothes, and the robes. The descriptions of the feasts are unbelievable — they make you wish you could be transported to eat there.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is not my favourite Harry Potter book, but it is still a great read!

~Amanda Rutter

 It’s fun to watch the characters develop in this second book in the series, but it’s also apparent that the themes are growing darker, bit by bit. The books grow in depth and theme even as the children the books portray grow up.

~Terry Weyna

I was surprised at how dark this book was compared to the first, but I liked it. And, as we know now, it only gets darker from here.

~Kat Hooper

~Kelly Lasiter

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AMANDA RUTTER, one of our guest reviewers, used to be an accountant in the UK but she escaped the world of numbers and is now living in a fantasy world she creates. She runs Angry Robot's YA imprint, Strange Chemistry. And we knew her when....

View all posts by Amanda Rutter (guest)

One comment

  1. I’ve been slowly making my way through the Harry Potter franchise. And I gotta say that the first three have been my faves–I’ve only got the final book left to read. Chamber of Secrets was a very good read and may be the one that reminded me the most of Roald Dahl’s stuff.

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