RATING :: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
AUTHOR :: J.K. ROWLING
GENRE :: YA FICTION
You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it. -Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter is back at Hogwarts and trouble has already started. After several strange occurrences take place (being warned not to go back to Hogwarts, unable to board the Hogwarts Express when the station’s entrance is mysteriously closed, and arriving to Hogwarts in a flying car that nearly gets him expelled), Harry finds himself facing another dilemma- The Chamber of Secrets.
The Heir of Slytherin is the only one who can open the Chamber of Secrets, and there is said to be a beast lurking within it’s walls.
But just who exactly IS the heir of Slytherin? Is it Draco Malfoy, since he comes from a pure blood wizard family who hates half-bloods, or, as they call them, mud-bloods. Or could it be Harry himself, since the sorting hat had once told him that Slytherin could help him on the path to greatness, and because, as it turns out, he can speak Parseltoungue, just like Salazar Slytherin…
Will Harry be able to uncover the mystery of the chamber of secrets before another student gets Petrified? Who exactly is Tom Riddle, and where did he come? And what exactly IS the beast within the walls of the chamber of secrets?
The clock is ticking…
Unlike the first HP book, I gave this one four stars for the lack of suspense and somewhat boring parts in the book. I still enjoyed it, and felt like it still had the ability to keep my attention, just not as much as the first book.
I felt like the beginning of the story was lagging so much, and Dobby really killed it for me. I was more eager for Harry to get to Hogwarts, but I ended up enduring a couple chapters of Harry’s depressing time with the Dursley’s (and Dobby) and then somewhat less-than-thrilling time with the Weasley family.
Once at Hogwarts, I felt like the story was still taking its time building up the suspense. And I felt a tiny bit bored reading in between the major events that take place.
Dobby’s second appearance officially made me dislike him. His one act of helpfulness in the end still wasn’t enough to redeem him. He makes Malfoy seem more likable. He was officially the worst character in the story, and that’s saying a lot considering how I felt about Hagrid in the first book…
…and he still annoyed the hell out of me in this book after blindly encouraging Ron and Harry to ‘follow the spiders,’ so he’d have his name cleared of a false accusation.
I actually agreed with Ron’s anger towards Hagrid, after he threw up from, what would understandably be, the greatest trauma he’d ever experienced. Or will ever experience. In his LIFE.
Ginny and Dobby are two characters that I had no interest for; they were both annoying. Of course, I don’t find Ginny as badly annoying as Dobby. Ginny simply annoyed me because she confided secrets to Tom without thinking, ‘um, this journal is writing me back. Shouldn’t I check to see if it’s safe first, even though magical journals shouldn’t be a surprise in the wizarding world?’ I did cut her some slack though since, after all, it was her first year at Hogwarts, and she is fairly young.
Dobby, however, set the record for the most annoying character in the whole book. He knows Harry defeated Voldemort, but he’s trying to protect him instead of allowing Harry to protect himself; in other words, what makes him think Harry cannot handle another attack from whomever is seeking to hurt him? His intentions may have been good, but he only made matters worse for Harry, kinda like Ginny.
Another thing, if he could reveal Lucius’s secrets away at the end (while hitting himself on the head) BEFORE being set free, then why couldn’t he have done that in the beginning or the other times he’d appeared to Harry? He could have killed Harry, but he argues that he was simply trying to protect him by hurting him just a little so he wouldn’t be at Hogwarts….? Yeah, this dude earned the honor of being on my list of dislikable fiction characters.
Also, I know I’m rambling on about the parts of the story I didn’t like, but, trust me, although the rants make the book sound bad, I DID enjoy this book.
One final rant: Argus Filch and his cat are annoying. I wish Filch’s cat had been more than just Petrified. And Dumbledore, kind as he is, shouldn’t have assigned such a bitter, angry old ‘squib’ for a Caretaker. He’s rude to the students, and blames without proper investigation.
Okay. Rant officially over.
Now let me dig into what I truly enjoyed about this book, starting with the new characters.
I thought Malfoy’s father, Lucius Malfoy, was introduced well into the story. His attitude towards the Weasleys, half bloods, Harry, and anyone who tries standing in his way makes him the perfect villain.
He made Quirrell (from the first book) appear more thoughtful, if not nicer. His behavior towards Dobby made me feel a little sympathetic towards the house elf even after he pissed me off. There’s nothing nice about this guy, and his one, seemingly harmless act towards Ginny proves how cruel he truly is. He’s terrible and fascinating all at the same time.
Gilderoy Lockhart. Good ole’ Lockhart. Good ole’ lying, narcissistic Lockhart; he truly is a remarkable character, but only because he was just pure comedy.
I was both annoyed and greatly amused by his personality, even though it was incredibly obvious that he was nothing but a phony. I loved how the other professors knew how to handle him, especially Professor McGonagall. I never came to like him, but I never came to hate him, especially when his charm spell backfires. I’d say he was simply fun to read.
Tom Riddle- aka young Voldemort- comes across as the type of character you at first feel sorry for until you realize what his agenda is truly about. Tom and Harry share some-what similar life experiences, but Harry handles his disappointments in life different. Tom on the other hand becomes manipulative, selfish, and cruel. His behavior towards Ginny proves just how much of a jerk he really is. It was hard deciding who was worse- him or Lucius. Either way, he’s Voldemort, so what good can you expect from him, right?
Harry, Ron, and Hermione have come a long way. They’ve matured, even though they still have a lot more to learn. There’s a higher level of respect between the three of them… even though Hermione is still as feisty and, somewhat, bossy as ever. I love how Ron and Hermione have an incredible, individually unique way of supporting and helping Harry- Ron is loyal to Harry even in the worst of circumstances (like spiders), and Hermione’s intelligence helps Harry even when she’s in a ‘Petrified coma.’
The plot of this book was highly entertaining . I enjoyed reading the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets, young Voldemort’s prior life at Hogwarts, and Harry’s growing knowledge of his past as well as the wizarding world. The story just keeps building up, leaving me with the desire to know what’s going to happen next.
I love how the wizarding world is full of surprises; there are so many interesting spells & unusual characters. I know I’ll enjoy reading more about the magic of the wizarding world in the next books.
All in all, this book is a fun read. It’s got its cons, and I don’t think it matches the awesomeness of the first book, but it’s still an awesome read.
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