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

details
Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Series: Harry Potter #2.
Writer(s): J.K. Rowling.
Publisher: Raincoast Books.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: 2000.
Original Release Date: July 2nd, 1998.
Pages: 251.
Genre(s): Young-Adult, Fantasy.
ISBN13: 9781551923703.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Previously in the Harry Potter series:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.

thoughts

Young, it is difficult to understand our place in the world. From the expectations hinged upon one’s shoulders from adults to the inevitable comparisons drawn by oneself with others of our age, our identity becomes a fragile concept, one that is contingent on our resilience to the outside world and the endeavours we must face. Little do we know that much of who we are and who we want to become remains within the palm of our hands, in consonance with the choices that we make, no matter what we are capable of. In the second book of her critically-acclaimed young-adult fantasy series, writer J.K. Rowling presents an adventurous sequel that introduces new characters while building on the foundations she’s already intricately established in her first novel.

What is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets about? The story follows Harry Potter in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Desperately desiring a life far away from the Dursleys, he finds himself visited by a mysterious house-elf called Dobby who warns him of the danger that awaits him at Hogwarts if he doesn’t stay away from this life of magic. Refusing to abide, Harry rejoins his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasly as they pursue their education in all things magical. As the year progresses, Harry is confronted with sinister messages left on the walls of the school’s corridor referring to the “Chamber of Secrets” as well as threats that lead to devastating attacks on the school’s residents. Puzzled, the trio embarks on an adventure to unravel this mystery and identify the depraved soul who might be orchestrating these attacks.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

J.K. Rowling

With the whole “Chamber of Secrets” mystery serving as the overarching plot that propels the story forward in a clear direction, the episodic nature of this adventure, whimsically constructed in an engaging and colourful fashion, offers an amusing display of a motley of relationships, from the core trio’s wonderful friendship full of compassion and propensity to sacrifice to Harry and Draco’s unruly animosity, an assorted amount of magical creatures, and strategically-placed opportunities to expand on the magical school’s lore. The scattered exploration of various corners of Hogwarts does steer the story away from a decisive and goal-oriented story-telling but paves the way to a more exploratory approach that allows the narrative to contain various entertaining digressions.

The mystery behind the “Chamber of Secrets” also benefits from how the suspense was handled throughout the story, surgically teased at with the growing threat, and then its thrilling resolution that builds up an exciting and tense final encounter. While the ending doesn’t add much to the series itself, it does bring to light some key story-telling pieces and some unforgettable bits of wisdom that will forever stick with the reader. Writer J.K. Rowling’s wonderful characterization does merit credit for the book’s success as her execution allows her characters and their interactions to seem incredibly human and relatable. It remains to be seen how these heroes survive what’s to come.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is an enthralling mystery adventure building on its established characters’s identities, their relationships, and the mysterious past hidden within Hogwarts.


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29 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

  1. I read the HP books some time ago and marveled at how enjoyable they were even if I’m well beyond the target age for the series: I guess that these stories can appeal to the child still living inside us, and that’s probably the main reason for the way they resonate with readers, no matter how young (or old…) they are 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They definitely resonate with the kid within me! It’s wonderful when books are timeless and for all kinds of audiences, no matter their age. I look forward to the next book already and, eventually, to rewatching the movies just to see all the flagrant differences with the books. 😀 Thanks for reading, Maddalena!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review, it brings back fond memories of HP. I think the next couple of books might be the best, in case you wonder if you should continue with the series. Btw. if this is your first time reading them, you are a bit late to the party 😉

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  3. I tried reading the first book once, and I’ve watched the first movie, and though neither resonated with me I was able to see why they both draw in so many people and I always love hearing about how much folks enjoy these stories. It’s always great when a book, series or author are able to create something that pulls such a wide and diverse crowd together, hopefully increasing their love of reading (or watching movies, I suppose). I love stories with a tight nit group at their core and these seem to have that. I suspect I might have enjoyed them more if they’d existed when I was much younger, but other series and stories ended up taking the place these would have. Very glad to see you’re enjoying the series and I hope they just get better from here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah snap, sorry to hear that both mediums didn’t work for you. I’m also in awe at how these books helped the world discover/rediscover reading. There’s plenty to adore in this wizarding adventure and I can see how many authors tried to simulate similar structure and success since Rowling’s creation. I’m definitely excited to dive into the next book. I also look forward to rewatching the movies again once I’ve read them all just to see how they diverge from the source material.

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  4. Only two books in and you’ve already reached the point where the movies and books are noticeably different. There’s already a lot of stuff in the books that the movies don’t have time for. The third movie/book is where you start seeing straight up changes, even if the most noteworthy change is the location of the climax.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay, so exciting that you’re reading through the Harry Potter series! The second one is probably my least favourite somehow, and the third one was my favourite growing up, so I look forward to reading your thoughts on that one too! You should also know that I will expect you to rank them from favourite to least favourite when you’re done with the series 😛

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