Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Ah, said a nasty little voice in his brain, but the Sorting Hat wanted to put you in Slytherin, don’t you remember?


“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling

One thing about a series featuring main characters through several years is that you can always chalk things up to growing pains. Many people I’ve talked to have claimed that the second book in the infamous Harry Potter series is one of their least favorites; it’s after this book that J.K. Rowling really seems to hit her stride and, when I first read it, I was inclined to disagree, but after several more readings, their points become a little clearer. Although it’s clear that quite a few things are being set up in this book that become relevant later (as is very much Rowling’s style with this series), it still feels as though we’re getting our footing, maybe drifting into the pool up to our knees before truly diving in. It’s a transitional book, more than anything else, where much is established to get us on with the story.

Chamber of Secrets brings us into Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where some of the strangeness of discovering you’re a wizard has worn off a little, but there’s still a lot of wonder to be had, but also a great deal of danger. A vile presence has crept into the school, leaving people paralyzed and attacking students within the supposedly safe walls of the school. Eyes turn suspiciously towards Harry as a potential culprit, and he must unearth a shocking history to clear his name and save his fellow classmates from the strange terror lurking the halls.

As I said, this book is mostly a transitional book, which leads it to be not a favorite among my group of friends, though I do like certain parts of it. There’s a great wealth of imagination running strong through Rowling’s world, which I feel is stronger and more mystical in the earlier books than the later ones, where things start to get a bit more bogged down in the rigors of the magical society (as well as the oppression of teenage angst). This is Harry still fairly innocent, not yet jaded or injured by who he is and who is out to get him. Because of that, I still rather like this book, that last slice of wonder before shit really starts to hit the fan,

Books read: 023/100.

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