Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  • Rating: 5/5 Cats
  • Recommended for: Anyone craving a timeless fantasy
  • Reviewed by: Cassandra Rai

Warning: Spoilers Ahead (for those who don’t already know this classic storyline)

Onto the next novel, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. The fantasy world of Hogwarts keeps you hooked in this next installment and will keep you wanting to quickly pick up the next novel to follow the story along.

I like how the infamous Voldemort reigns his evil face again but in a different form than expected or seen in the previous novel. The entire premise of the novel is surrounded around the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets, the release the basilisk, and who is truly the Heir of Slytherin. I thought it was very mysterious how people kept getting petrified and no one could discover who was doing it. It was a twist when it wasn’t a current student but actually Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort) possessing Ginny and releasing the basilisk. I’m glad we finally found out how Hagrid got expelled from Hogwarts years ago (set up by Tom due to his “pet” spider Aragog) and think it’s clever how it was discovered by “teleporting” Harry into Tom’s memories (via the diary). We don’t discover till later books about this diary being a Horcrux but was still an unexpected twist that it’s young Voldy wrecking havoc onto Hogwarts (and Harry’s life) yet again.

One of my favorite characters introduced in this novel is Gilderoy Lockhart. He’s so arrogant and self absorbed yet a complete idiot. I think it’s funny how all the middle aged and younger women get all flustered and blushed around him, how he’s always flipping and fluffing up his golden hair, and how he always thinks people are as obsessed with him as he is with himself (like when he forces Harry to answer fan mail for hours as detention). Even though it’s a disaster, the part where Lockhart tries to fix Harry’s broken arm at the end of a Quiddith march and accidentally removes all the bones from his arm is hilarious. Lockhart has a dark side too when he tries to abandon Ginny in the Chamber and we discover all of Lockhart’s books are from stolen memories achieved by other people. Semi justice is achieved though when Ron’s wand rebounds and Lockhart loses his memory. Though this isn’t the last time we see Lockhart, I love one of his last lines in this novel when he’s getting carried out of the Chamber by Fawkes yelling “Amazing! Amazing! This is just like magic!”

Another character that I love is Dobby. He’s so quirky and hilarious with his desire to do good but has awful methodology. Dobby is so genuine with his feelings of support for Harry. I think it really demonstrates the corruption among the wizard laws on house elves when Dobby is forced to (and encouraged) to punish himself when he goes against the wishes of his Masters. Dobby pops up minimally in all the future books which I think is great. I love the part when Harry frees Dobby from the service of the Malfoys; he deserved it. “Least I could do, Dobby,” said Harry, grinning. “Just promise never to try and save my life again.”

I also like all the cool magic that is introduced in this novel. This includes the flying car magicked by Mr. Wesley that takes a wild mind of its own, the slug spewing spell cast by Ron, the Polyjuice Potion that allows individuals to transform into others, the unique ability to speak to snakes (aka Parselmouth), the Horcrux young Voldemort (aka Tom Riddle) that is able to possess Ginny, the sword of Gryffindor being pulled from the Sorting Hat, the phoenix named Fawkes with his healing tears, and many more. The magical world expanded during this 2nd book and in the best way.

I loved this 2nd book of Harry Potter. I found it very creative and fantastically satisfying. The magic just keeps growing and improving each novel. This is a classic that only gets better each time I read it.

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