Name: Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Children’s, Fantasy
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets is the second novel in J.K. Rowling’s all conquering children’s series. Though I did read the books as a child I have decided to give them a re-read.
In this second adventure Harry is at home with the Dursleys for the summer holidays and is upset that his friends at Hogwarts, Ron and Hermione haven’t written to him all summer. However one evening a house elf named Dobby turns up to tell Harry not to go back to Hogwarts this year. Harry refuses so Dobby pulls a prank on the Dursleys which makes them lock him up and bar his window as his Uncle Vernon is entertaining guests and misses out on a crucial business deal as a result.
A few nights later, Ron and his brothers fly their dad’s Ford Anglia to the house and pick up Harry to take him to the Burrow for the rest of the holidays. They also go to Diagon Alley but Harry makes a mistake with the Floo Powder that allows wizards to travel by fireplace and ends up in Knockturn Alley. There he spies Draco Malfoy and his father Lucius trying to sell some old relics containing Dark Magic. Harry isn’t caught but later on Lucius and Ron’s dad Arthur get into a fight in Flourish and Blotts the bookshop.
Finally September 1st rolls around and Harry and the Weasleys set off to Kings Cross but for some reason the train barrier that they have to run through to get to Platform Nine and Three Quarters isn’t working, forcing them to fly to Hogwarts in the Ford Anglia. When they arrive at Hogwarts however the car crashes into the Whomping Willow and they also get a detention from Professor McGonagall.
However things soon take a dark turn, Harry starts hearing a mysterious voice threatening to kill someone and one night Mrs. Norris, the caretaker’s cat is found Petrified with a massage daubed in blood on the wall that “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened enemies of the heir beware”…
Overall I absolutely love the Harry Potter books and have done since I was child so it was a fantastic opportunity to read the books again and enjoy the wonderful world J. K. Rowling created.
This second book expands on the first with more interesting information about the magical world. We visit the foreboding Knockturn Alley and we also learn about the Ministry of Magic, as well as the wizard prison Azkaban and the Whomping Willow which as fans of the book know, sets up the third book in the series.
The plotline of the story is in some ways similar to the first book as the trio is again forced to investigate a mysterious threat at Hogwarts Castle, but this time an ancient one from Salazar Slytherin himself. I did enjoy the origin of the Chamber of Secrets story as it is a great piece of worldbuilding and also with the messages in blood on the wall it makes the story more threatening than the first book and raises the stakes.
I think the main thing that I did notice whilst reading it as an adult is there are unfortunately some plotholes. I will put these next two paragraphs in a spoiler box as it mainly concerns the ending.
When Harry gets down to the Chamber and the ghost of Tom Riddle does the big reveal that Ginny was the culprit who opened the Chamber after being tricked by him using the diary it isn’t quite clear how Ginny was actually able to do it. Also when Tom Riddle reveals he is Lord Voldermort and the diary contained a preserved version of himself at 16 he seems to expect that when he is fully formed that he will be back to how he was at the height of his powers when surely the memory of him at 16 would be his abilities at that age.
The story does also have a bit of a contrivance around how Ginny gets the diary that Lucius appears to smuggle it into her school books during the fight at Flourish and Blotts when it doesn’t really make sense that someone who is working for the Ministry of Magic and is trying to distance themselves from it would be so willing to risk it all and walk around Diagon Alley carrying a part of Voldermort’s soul, not least as it could be quite easily traced back to him.
Overall I still absolutely love the Harry Potter series so I would still recommend giving it a try. If you have read the books before or are a fan, let me know down in the comments below.