Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

My second post in one day concerning the Harry Potter books.  The first several books are fairly short, and as I’m still looking for a full time job, I have plenty of time to read.  The fact that they’re young adult books also makes them very easy to read.  I started the first book yesterday and finished it this morning, then started the second book this afternoon (don’t worry, I’ll take a short break before I start the third book tomorrow).  On with the review

Book Stats

341 pages

Fantasy

2nd book in the series (Sequel to HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

Characters

Our beloved trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione serve as the stars in this book as well, and their personalities translate well from the first book to this one.  I went into their overall personalities in the review for the first book, so I won’t go into it again here.  The three main characters are all more confident in their magical abilities in this book, and they’re still very well written.  Draco Malfoy, who was in the first book, is shown to be more of a thorn in Harry’s side in this book, and the way he’s written it makes it very easy for you to dislike him, which is pretty much why he’s in the book.

Setting

My thoughts about the setting in this book are the same as for the first book.  It’s an interesting setting, but Rowling doesn’t dwell on it.  She describes what she needs to describe but otherwise leaves it up to your imagination.  The world has enough concrete details to create a believable setting but it doesn’t drown you in unneeded details.

Plot

Fall has come again and it’s time for Harry to start his classes.  Once we get to Hogwarts again there are several things going on at once.  Rowling does a wonderful job of giving the students at Hogwarts real-life problems above and beyond the magical setting.  Having a bully picking on you (Malfoy) and dealing with problems with middle-school crushes give a deal of weight to the story to make the characters seem very real.  The main plot of the story deals with several students throughout the school becoming paralyzed by a mysterious curse and of course Harry, Ron, and Hermione are trying to find the cause of it.

Enjoyment

As I said in my review of the first book, the characters are wonderfully done and are the reason why the book resonates so well with readers.  The mixture of real-world problems within a magical setting is done very well.  The plot moves very quickly in large part because the book isn’t bogged down with an excess of setting detail.  The very end of this book also has a wonderful moment for a minor character that you have to smile when reading.  My only complaint about the book, and it’s very minor, is that Harry starts out with the Dursley’s again, and the end of the book makes it seem as though he is going back to them once again for the beginning of the next book.  As I said, it’s a minor complaint, but Harry has already found found ways to deal with his adoptive family, I don’t want to see him go through this for every book.  All in all however, the book is a quick and wonderful read.

Overall Grade

Very well done and a good progression from book one to book two.  Eagerly looking forward to starting book three tomorrow.

9/10

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2 Comments

  1. stacybuckeye

     /  July 28, 2011

    The first two of the series were my least favorite. It only gets better from here on out 🙂 You will have to suffer the Dursley’s a little while longer, though. I disliked them so much and I felt like Harry, being who he was, should have gotten a pass from those hideous people.

    Reply
    • My problem with the Dursleys constantly showing up is that it’s a kind of regression for Harry’s overall character. He’s already dealt with them on several occasions and been able to overcome his problems with them. It’s similar to Kvothe from The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. If we’ve already seen him overcome these problems, we don’t need to see him working through the same problems in every book. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed my blog.

      Reply

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