Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

As I said on my review of the first Harry Potter book - The Philosopher's Stone - this is the book that made me fall mad, head over heels, in love with the HP series. As I wasn't that bothered about the first book, I only read the second one as my friend lent it to me and I had little else to do. Good job I never turn down a book!

The book starts the same way as all of them. Harry is at home with the Dursleys. It's become one of my favourite parts of the book as its often the only glimpse into the Dursley household that we get but yet they are such an integral part of the story. It's also become a great way to link the muggles with the wizards, providing hilarious insights into the muggle world courtesy of the Weasley family who often find their actions mystifying and amusing.
This book also introduces us to a new character who, while extremely annoying, becomes one of my favourite characters of the series - Dobby the house elf. Rowling, yet again opens up a whole new world, introducing us to the weird and wonderful world of house elves in wizarding households. Dobby appears initially to try and stop Harry from going back to school but fails to succeed when Ron comes and rescues Harry with the help of his flying car (I won't spoil the story, it's definitely one to read for yourself!
It all to soon becomes clear why Dobby was so reluctant to let Harry return to school - Voldemort is definitely back in the wizarding world, although there are mixed reactions to his return, with many doubting it, most likely due to the fear and horrors his return represents.
So, the Chamber of Secrets...again I won't spoil the surprise except to say this: Ginny, Ron's younger sister is in her first year at Hogwarts and like many first years, is often lonely and nervous but finds comfort in a diary that she can write in, only for it to write back. Harry hears voices in the walls of the school corridors. Students, including Mrs Norris, the janitor's cat, are attacked by  being petrified randomly in the school. Hagrid's past is opened up to us and we learn more about the boy who became Lord Voldemort.
Super exciting and fascinating to read as the story and secrets unfold! I loved it!! It's no longer my favourite book in the series but will always hold a special place in my heart as the book that made me love the books.

Rating: 5 out of  5
Why: JK Rowling completely captivated me with this book. While the first was jammed pack with characters, this one introduces even more and their paths are all linked. This is shown throughout all 7 books, and frankly, I don't know how she remembers it all! She opens up the background to the characters and the ways in which she makes the muggle world seem "weird" over the wizarding world is brilliant, completely sucking you in and making you almost believe you too are part of the wizarding world and community. Simply brilliant.

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