Friday, 29 July 2011

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Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling - WARNING! I am reviewing the Harry Potter ooks with the idea that those who read my reviews have read the books. There will be spoilers. If you haven't read Chamber of Secrets, read no further.

Harry Potter is a wizard. He is in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Little does he know that this year will be just as eventful as the last ...even getting there is an adventure in itself! The three firm friends, Harry, Ron and Hermione, are soon immersed in the daily round of Potions, Herbology, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, and Quidditch. But then horrible and mysterious things begin to happen. Harry keeps hearing strange voices, sinister and dark messages appear on the wall, and then Ron's sister Ginny disappears... From Amazon UK

Another re-read, and another just brilliant book! I had forgotten just how funny this book is! Dobby is just absolutely amazing, and I want him as my own little free house-elf! Isn't he just the cutest thing?! I love him! He's so funny and sweet, and though he's not human, I could quite easily adopt him. I also love Moaning Myrtle, how sensitive she is is just too funny. I always used to hate Gilderoy Lockhart because he just made such a mess of everything and was so completely arrogant. But reading this book as an adult, I have to say I think he was one of my favourite characters. He is just so funny, bumbling along and not having any clue! When the movie first came out, because I had built such strong images in my head of who these characters are, I was disappointed with Kenneth Branagh getting the role. However, I have wached the film recently as well as reading the book, and I hae to say, he is absolutely spot on! Just brilliant!

That's one thing I have noticed quite a bit as I've been re-reading the series - I'm imagining a lot of the cast members as the characters instead what I originally imagined when I read the books. Maggie Smith is McGonagall, Warick Davis is Flitwick (the version in the first lot of movies, not the new version), Dobby looks like he does in the movies, and even sometimes Robbie Coltrane is Hagrid! There is a story my Dad delights in telling anyone who will listen; that the first time I saw Philosopher's Stone, as soon as we first see Hagrid, I immediate said to my Dad, "He doesn't look like that!" Ooo, the imagination of a child. But as I re-read the books now, I still sometimes see a giant clean shaven biker with long greasy hair in a leather jacket that talks more cockney than farmer. Blame the flying motorbike he rides at the beginning of Philosopher's Stone.

But back to the book. Each book gts a little darker, and although humourous, Chamber of Secrets is no exception. Granted, it's not as dark as some of the later books - to be fair, nowhere near as dark as Prisoner of Azkaban, but it's the first time the life of someone who isn't one of the main three characters is in literal danger. Ginny. It takes it up a level. How bad is Voldemort, that he can actuall cause the death - or almost - of someone without actually being anywhere near, just through a memory? It's a little disturbing! And the strange voices Harry hears and no-one, not even Hermione, can explain it away... it's a little worrying! As I said a little earlier on, I did see the film recently, so when getting to the end of the book, it was a little anti-climatical. Why? Because the images you see on screen are remembered more easily than the images your brain creates, so I was expecting a lot more from the fight with the Basilisk, hen in fact, it's about 2-3 pages, if that. I do love the movies, but I think it's a little sad when a book you loved so much once is a little disappointing because of a movie. That's really not so great. I really need to shake off the movies as I re-read these books, because they are just fantastic, and I loved them long before the movies came along; I don't want them spoiling the reading experience for me anymore - the books as they are wowed me once upon a time, and they should do so now.

Before I finish, I just need to mention something I forgot to say in my review of Philosopher's Stone. J.K. Rowling is so clever! Having read all the books, and knowing how it ends, re-reading them, I notice all the little clues Rowling planted right earlier on. Hagrid talking about the security of Gringotts in PS, Nearly Headless Nick convincing Peeves to damage a cabinet - the Vanishing Cabinet - to get Harry out of trouble with Filch in CoS, Harry's discussion with Dumbledore at the end of CoS when he finds out Voldemort put a bit of him in Harry. There are so many other little hints and clues, some just one sentence now that end up being such a big deal later on. It's amazing! Rowling is just a genius!

And onwards through the series I go...

Published: 1998
Publisher: Ted Smart/The Book People (My edition. Normally Bloomsbury.)
Buy on Amazon US
J.K. Rowling's Website

Other reviews of the series:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


  1. I've always said that Rowling is like a modern-day Hitchcock in the way she buried clues throughout the entire series--minor throw-away references (like the locket) become major plot points later on in the series.

    While CoS was never my favorite of the Harry Potter books, I have a completely different viewpoint on it, now that we've seen the fate of certain characters (Dobby!!!) by the end of the series.


  2. I guess you'll probably find this a bad thing, but I don't know any Hitchcock. I've heard of him, but that's it. Haha!

    I KNOW! Dobby is lovely in the movies, but so much better in the books! It was the Dobby in the books that I cried for in Deathly Hallows part 1. Love him!