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The first book in the Harry Potter series, set up the world of Harry Potter well. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling continues in its world-building and character development. As some connections deepen, others become to come into question. Harry begins to feel the pressure of bearing the scar on his forehead and continues to learn what it means to be a part of the wizarding world while still colliding with the Dursleys.
Similarly to the first book, we begin with the Dursleys. Harry is visited by a house elf named Dobby one evening while the Dursleys are throwing a dinner party and warns Harry not to return to school. Only after causing havoc and getting Harry in serious trouble though. The Dursleys then try to lock Harry in his bedroom, to prevent him from going to Hogwarts as punishment, before he is saved by Ron, Fred, and George in Mr. Weasley’s flying car.
Harry spends the rest of the summer before returning to Hogwarts, where the newest professor is all anyone can seem to talk about. The very full of himself, Gilderoy Lockhart. Harry also begins to hear voices that threaten violence and attacks on students, particularly those not born with magical blood, begin to leave them in a stunned state.
As the school year and attacks continue, Harry finds a diary that once belonged to Tom Riddle. We discover that Tom Riddle is actually Lord Voldemort and through Ginny Weasley’s writing in his diary, he was able to open the Chamber of Secrets and continue setting his own dark plans in motion.
Thoughts on the Book
As an adult reading the books for the first time, twelve-year-old me would have gone nuts over the first handful of books in the Harry Potter series. The writing is still fairly simplistic in a way that works perfectly for a children’s age novel.
I also enjoy delving a bit deeper into the wizarding world with Harry. As well as seeing different attitudes towards “muggle” borns. For instance, Mr. Weasley is endlessly fascinated by the non-magical world. Often questioning Harry about the use of seemingly meaningless objects such as rubber ducks. Which as a non-magical person, is hilarious to read.
Lockhart made me roll my eyes so many times throughout the book I genuinely began to worry my eyeballs would pop right out of their sockets. He is not your average villain, but definitely fits the type of underdog antagonist. He is a wannabe witty character who charms the young ladies, while everyone else can see right through his act.
The humor is as always great and I love the little bits of banter we often get between Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Especially Peeves, I seriously think every director that took on the Harry Potter movies really dropped the ball by not including Peeves.
Not my favorite Harry Potter book in the series, but definitely an enjoyable read.
Book vs. Movie
Likewise to the first movie adaptation in the Harry Potter series, the movies still didn’t stray too far away from the book. We see a lot of the same scenes play out in the movie as we do in the book. Dobby causing havoc, Ron flying Mr. Weasley’s car, and the Chamber of Secrets being opened.
Secondly, I still stand by my desire to SEE PEEVES IN THE MOVIES! *Debating starting a petition to have all the Harry Potter movies edited to add in Peeves the Poltergeist.
There were smaller scenes that played out differently in the book than the movie. The movies do start to take a little bit of a dramatic turn creatively. One of the biggest scenes to be dramatized from book to movie was in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (IYKYK) I will talk more about that in the review for the Goblet of Fire though. So as not to spoil this review.
The Chamber of Secrets was just as enjoyable as The Philosopher’s Stone in my opinion. J.K. Rowling continues to do a nice job of world-building as we get a bit of a taste of the celebrity life in the wizarding world. We also begin to understand a bit more about Lord Voldemort and the connection he shares with Harry.
We are also introduced to new characters, some which are very dislikable and others we must protect at all costs. Overall this was en enjoyable continuation to the Harry Potter series and I’m looking forward to posting my next review.
Check out my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone here.