Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in the Harry Potter series and is the first to really delve deeper into Lord Voldemort’s background, increasing the magical world we found ourselves enveloped in the first book.
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As I read the penultimate book in the Harry Potter series, Half-Blood Prince, I thought I’d carry on my reviews of the previous books in the series which I’ve read over the past year. The Chamber of Secrets leads on from The Philosopher’s Stone (read my review of that here if you haven’t had the chance yet) and expands upon the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
Plot – 4.5/5
The Chamber of Secrets finds Harry, Hermione, Ron and friends back at Hogwarts for their second year. They’ve had the summer off after the heroic trio faced off against some magical trials, climaxing with Harry meeting Voldemort for the first time vicariously through their Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Quirrel.
JK Rowling starts off this sequel by reminding us exactly where Harry comes from but quickly also reminding us how contrastingly exciting the magical world is he can go back to. Upon returning to Hogwarts, Harry Ron and Hermione hope for a quiet year than the last but when a student is found “petrified” with blood on the wall saying “the chamber has been opened” things take a dark turn. When it comes out that this isn’t the first time this has happened, the trio find themselves once again involved in trying to find out what is happening.
Chamber of Secrets improves on Philosopher’s Stone in almost every single aspect – we find out more about Lord Voldemort including his history at Hogwarts, some of our favourite heroes end up in harm’s way and there’s a genuinely darker aspect to this book that draws you in.
Characters – 5/5
Something that many people say is the reason Harry Potter has done so well is the incredible characters that JK Rowling has created and continues to build upon throughout the novel. Harry, Ron and Hermione’s friendship is one that all kids strive to have – heck any adult would strive to have too. The characters around this trio are memorable for either their kindness, evilness or hilarity too.
In this particular book, we see the main trio’s friendship build and see them face some of their biggest fears in an attempt to save the school from a dark history that could see students being killed off. Their dynamics show their age brilliantly – Ron is growing into an awkward young man, Hermione is still the composed intelligent young woman and Harry is the slightly quiet but incredibly brave hero. The likes of Snape, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid and so many other characters bring in such a wonderfully diverse selection of different characters to love.
Summary – 5/5
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling once again delivers a wonderfully magical book. You’re probably wondering if it still holds up after all this time? And the answer is well and truly: Yes! There’s a reason people are still buying these books in their droves these days – their perfectly crafted world, wonderfully built characters and approachable writing style make them a must-read for any fiction fan.
The Chamber of Secrets continues this, building on our favourite characters, expanding on this brilliantly developed world and doing it all whilst effortlessly balancing humour and seriousness really well.