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Book review: <i>Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets</i> by J. K. Rowling

Ah, Harry Potter the second. With such a favourable impression left upon me by the first one, of course I had to read the second one. And by the time the second one was out in Australia, Harry Potter fever had begun and everybody wanted a copy. It was make or break time—could she do it again? Or was she just a one-trick-Harry-Potter pony? And I don’t think there were many disappointed people out there with Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets—Harry and his friends, on another dazzling adventure just as thrilling as the last.

The content

The story begins, once again, at Harry’s aunt and uncle’s place in Little Whinging, where Harry has to spend the summer. Hermione and Ron aren’t writing, and he is thoroughly bored... until his aunt comes to visit, and he is under pain of death by Uncle Vernon to behave. While he has the best of intentions, an errant house elf comes to warn him off returning to school—wreaking havoc when Harry refuses to agree and causing him to miss the train to Hogwarts. When Harry gets to school he finds that Dobby the house elf was trying to warn him for his own safety, and he gets embroiled in an even more dangerous adventure than last year!

Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets is just as exciting and involving and well written as the first Harry Potter novel. The writing is excellent, the dry British wit remains, the storyline is a little darker, and the mythology is present. The characters are familiar, but their development continues throughout this story and makes them more lovable and three-dimensionable. Rowling always makes sure to involve peripheral characters in the development, which helps to present a fuller picture of life at Hogwarts. Once again, the story encompasses a full school year, with the action taking place throughout the year and successfully being resolved by Harry and his friends right at the end. And, while the formulaic nature of the Harry Potter series becomes evident in this second novel, that’s okay! Sometimes, and particularly for children, a little dependability is nice, and makes them feel like reading on because they KNOW what’s going to happen with the story line. And, hey, sometimes that’s nice for adults too.

Who is this book for?

Like I said with the last one—if you have a spark of childlike spirit, you certainly don’t have to be a child to love Harry Potter. And if you liked the last one, you will also like this one. Anyone who wants a rollicking good read that’s funny and classic and innocent, this one’s for you!

If you like this book, you would also like...

Well obviously, if you haven’t read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone then get to it! Also what I wrote in the last Harry Potter review still stands: go your other timeless classics in the realm of fantasy, like Tolkien’s The Hobbit, C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Michael Ende’s The Never Ending Story (make sure you get a decent translation), the list goes on.

In short

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J. K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 0747562180
Year published: 1998
Pages: 251
Review Type: