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Chamber of secrets ...
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Book 2 - J.K. Rowling
Member Name: dawnymarie
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Book 2 - J.K. Rowling
Date: 04/09/12, updated on 19/09/12 (92 review reads)
Advantages: Continued adventure with my new friend Harry - Rowling fills the pages with wit and humour
Why read this one...
First off my daughter has been foisting these upon me for many months and secondly Stephen King endorsed them - well that did it for me as I know how much he likes an author to stick to the story. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book - Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone - I was eager to get my hands on this one.
It is time to return to Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry and for Harry this cannot come soon enough - he has stayed with his aunt and uncle again and it is never a pleasant experience. It will soon become apparent that some strange force is at work and he is being prevented from returning to school. When he finally manages to arrive at school he will be in for some shocking surprises and a mystery will tempt him to investigate further. Random attacks cause fear and unrest among the students and the finger of suspicion will be placed firmly on Harry...until one personal attack makes it clear that Potter is not responsible. The school is at risk of being closed down due to the continued attacks and then it gets very personal and Mr Potter takes action......
First off I will tell you that I have seen the movie that was based on this book. I enjoyed it but soon forgot about it. Having read this book I feel that I want to see the movie again to see the characters brought to life and enjoy more insight than I did first time around. As is often found, there is much more in the prose than you can ever experience in the film.
The tale begins, once again, with life at the Dursley's (Harry's aunt and uncle...oh and his cousin, Dudley) and as I enjoyed the wit and humour that this concept presented in the first book I was pleased to begin with them. Once again we see Harry being made to feel as worthless and unloved as is humanly possible. You get a clear message from these relatives that it would please them most if they never saw Harry ever again....ever! I really enjoy the rivalry between Dudley and Harry, the chubby, mollycoddled young bully boy will push his luck at every opportunity but Harry will always have the upper hand now and cannot resist a little tormenting of his own when they are out of sight. It is laugh out loud funny. This time around Harry is hidden away from special visitors and must stay like a church mouse in his room - he is a miserable prisoner and it looks like he will be prevented from returning to Hogwarts until a valiant rescue by his good friend Ron Weasley. A tantalising and imaginative piece of writing awaits and the pages turned quickly.
All will not be smooth running for Harry and Ron on their return to school. After a comfortable stay for Harry at the Wesley's - and some fond admiring looks from Ginny who is Ron's young sister (I totally missed this concept in all the early movies!) - they will have to make their own way to school and end up having quite an adventure high above the train. I was captivated and intrigued - it didn't make sense that they wouldn't be able to get through the supernatural gateway to the platform at the train station and though I knew that someone was trying to stop Harry from returning to school it never occurred to me during this chapter who it might be. It had me guessing and this was the start of the prose so I had some time to ponder this little mystery.
I totally loved the bumpy landing and resulting mayhem that the boys encountered when they arrived at Hogwarts. It was very fitting and funny, whilst at the same time it had me holding my breath to see how things turned out. Rowling excels in these scary though funny episodes.
As the students settle back into life at school I am getting to know the main characters all the better and they too are settling into strong friendships. I was oblivious to the growing feelings between Ron and Hermione in the movies and remember thinking that it would be Harry that she fell for! The prose tells so much more and the little hints are there. I am really getting to know Harry now and I'm finding him easy to like. He has great courage and a sense of what is right, though he can be rash at times too which makes him more real. Ron is Ron and without him and his clumsy demeanour and less courageous traits the book would be seriously lacking - he is very likeable. Hermione is growing in my affections too, she is the sensible one of the three but she is now breaking rules when the situation demands it and has the courage of a lioness. Ron's younger sister, Ginny, is now a student and from reading the book I learn just how much this redheaded youngster likes Harry...if he ever found her diary it would cause her many blushes!
As you would expect it is not long before some dark doings begin at Hogwarts and I am wondering if the attack on Harry during a Quiddich match has anything to do with it. There are so many villains to choose from and I'm guessing at Draco Malfoy, his father or Professor Snape maybe? In his hospital bed Harry will discover who put his life at risk....it is a shock for him and for me...I didn't see that coming.
After Harry has been heard speaking parsletongue (to snakes) some students are quick to turn against him and accuse him of being the person who is attacking students and petrifying them - the hospital is filling up and Professor Dumbledore is growing increasingly concerned - though he doesn't think Harry had anything to do with it. Harry sees his good friend Hagrid blamed for it and he is taken to wizard prison. Things are becoming bleak and the attacks continue. I am all over the place from one suspect to another - I really do not know (or remember from the movie) who it is!
Deep in the forbidden forest Harry and Ron will come face to face with Aragog - when I saw the name at the beginning of the chapter I thought it was a forest dwelling man as I had forgotten this bit too from the movie. After a heated and suspenseful run up to this meeting I was most surprised and horrified by Aragog. This meeting has tension and fear running through it and I was wondering how on earth it was going to end....I was guessing that Hagrid would be the saviour but once again Rowling has something special and a little crazy up her sleeve - it works very well.
There is a lot to come after this and Harry will be tested to the extremes. The pages turn fast as he faces danger and learns the answer to the mystery. He will be disarmed and vulnerable but through all he will remain loyal to his beliefs - this will prove to be all the strength he needs in a life or death confrontation.
I can tell you that the outcome is very satisfactory and Rowling has done it again...left me eager to begin the next book.
Rowling sticks to the story and crafts it masterfully - it is a treat, a comfort read and one which I would likely read again. Children and adults alike will enjoy this tale.
It is a solid five stars from me. Having read the first instalment and knowing that Rowling sticks to the story, without being tempted to go off on tangents, I was eager to read this tale. I was not disappointed. First off there is the superb wit and humour that lights the pages up when we begin at the Dursley's. Life for Harry is miserable as he suffers at the hands of his horrible relatives ... but he has his fun when he and Dudley are alone and it is such fun to read. Back with a bump at Hogwarts the term begins and all seems reasonably normal barring the odd attack on Harry...strange times that had me bewildered. Dark times begin soon enough and danger is around most of the peculiar corners. The usual villain's play their roles well and I particularly like the way Draco Malfoy is developing into a real prima donna dark lord ... he is nasty but it is funny. My favourite, Hagrid, makes an appearance and I find him utterly fascinating - big heart, big man and big pets! As the mystery of the attacks rolls on I am turning pages faster, though I am digesting all the words as this is a wonderful piece of writing, I want to know the outcome and as I care about the characters of Ron, Harry, Hermione and Hagrid I don't want to stop. Once again I feel like this is a real comfort read - a treat - and I sink deep into my chair as I read. A dramatic ending ties up all that needs to be tied up and is satisfying. All set up for the next book now and eager to read it.
Published on Ciao
Summary: More magic and mayhem at Hogwarts after some splendid antics with the Dursleys