Tuesday, 14 December 2010

[008] Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

What the Back of the Book Has to Say:

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...

Why I Picked It Up:

Optimistic attempt to reread the whole book series before the seventh movie. The seventh movie came out almost a month ago. I obviously failed.

What I Think:

Now, most of my thoughts on the early Harry Potter novels were pretty much summed up in my review of Philosopher's Stone so this review is going to be short and focused.

Chamber of Secrets is pretty awesome simply because it introduces us to Tom Riddle, one of the best characters in Harry Potter. I consider him a separate character from who he grows up to become because Voldemort, for much of the series, is more of an idea than he is a character and Tom Riddle just gives us so much to work with. He's smooth and charming and even vaguely sympathetic at times. Sure, he turns out to be evil but it's a face behind the mask and that makes it interesting.

Of course, this book also introduces us to Ginny. I'm kind of neutral towards Ginny; I  never really felt any sort of connection to her character other than as a love interest for Harry (and that was very poorly done, in my opinion) so I'd rather not comment on her. Having said that, however, I think this is possibly my favorite book for Ginny-antics. She's not pretty or alluring yet; she's Ron's mousy little sister that has a very obvious crush and acts like a typical eleven year old. That's the kind of Ginny I like and find adorable. When she gets older, not so much.

One thing I didn't mention in the last review is that I'm actually reading the British editions this time around, due to their availability. Now, obviously, not too much is different between the two countries but there are some instances of words we would not use in America confusing me upon first reading. While I have acclimatized myself to the use of 'jumpers' meaning 'sweaters' by now, at first glance I was a little worried for the Weasley's choice of apparel for boys. Reading the British edition definitely keeps you on your toes.

Chamber is getting into the swing of things for the Harry Potter series, more so than the first novel and leading into the third, where I think things really pick up. It's still a children's novel but it has a little more depth and is starting to look more like the epic it is destined to become. It introduces plot points that will come together in future books and it's clear that J.K. Rowling knew what she was building as she wrote this novel. It feels like it is aware of what it will soon be. A much better re-read.

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