Tuesday, May 22, 2012

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

Read from May 15, 2012
 to May 16, 2012
Book: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling
Publication Date: July 2, 1998
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Number of Pages: 251 pages
Genre/s: Fantasy

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts Schools of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. 

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart; a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom; and the unwanted attention of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny. 

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone—or something—starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects . . . Harry Potter himself? - Goodreads

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

If I remember correctly the Chamber of Secrets was one of the books that I can quote by heart. It is not exactly my favorite book in the series but there were just too many stand-out moments in the book that stayed with me ever since the first time I read it. In here, Harry Potter met Dobby, a house elf and from him comes a dire warning.

"..Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts.. There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make the most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year.."

Intent to keep Harry away from Hogwarts, Dobby hid Harry's letters from his friends and ruined Harry's uncle business deal that caused Harry to be locked up in his room with a barred window. With the help of his friend Ron and the twins, Harry escaped and spent the rest of his summer at the Burrow. But Dobby interfered again, and now Harry and Ron couldn't cross the gateway barrier for platform 9 3/4. Missing the train, they decided to use the enchanted flying car to Hogwarts, the same one that helped Harry escape the Dursleys, only to crash-land into the Whomping Willow. Bruised, battered and hungry, Snape hounded them with a promise of expulsion.

Harry's year is definitely not off to a good start. But all that's nothing compared to the horrors that would come next. The Chamber of Secrets has been opened once again after 50 years. Only the true heir of Slytherin has that ability and after several attacks, the castle was in panic and distress. It doesn't really help that Harry has the ability only a Dark Wizard can do. Now everyone thinks he's behind all the attacks and he has to clear his name and find the culprit before it's too late.

What I liked most about Chamber of Secrets is the atmosphere. You could really perceive the underlying peril, unlike in the first book, the danger here is active; it attacks and strikes. This created an adventure filled with dread, thrill and a lot of speculations. We also got a glimpsed at how the Dark Lord came to power, how he hated those that are not pure in blood and how immense this Mudblood loathing would affect the entire series.  

Readers were also introduced to a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Gilderoy Lockhart who is not only incompetent in his job but is also nothing but a sham. Seemingly minor characters have in fact crucial roles to portray in order to solve the mystery. 

The struggles of Harry is also presented here. His confusion and frustration about his capabilities and likeness to someone who's supposed to be the bad guy is completely conceivable and I couldn't help but to root for him and keenly engage myself as he sought to learn more about himself and his worth. Nevertheless, everything comes through in the end with the help of Hermione's clever thinking and Ron's sellotaped wand and wild car (*winks*).  Harry again proved how loyalty is one of his shining strengths and how it saved him yet again in his battle with the dark forces.

I know that the world-building in the Harry Potter series was several years in the making. It was  carefully plotted and even minute details were meticulously structured. Since I am already aware of what would happen next, I could really appreciate Rowling as I watched her build the foundation along the way and not forgetting that she has a story to tell. The humor was there, lightening up the scenes unexpectedly. Now that my reading count of this book is 5, I could still say that Chamber of Secrets still brings that certain amount of thrill and excitement I had the first time I read it. Or maybe I should just admit that I am forever biased when it comes to this series. I am such a Potterhead.

Cupid's Verdict:


  1. Ah, Dobby. One of my favorite characters. :) I agree with a lot of what you said. I especially love how J.K. Rowling entwined the myth about the basilisk into the plot! It really makes the book extraordinary. But then again, I biased, too. ;)

    Great review!

    1. Who can blame us for being biased? :) Thank you, Megan!

  2. Can you believe that I've never ever ever EVER read/watched anything Harry Potter before? With amazing reviews like yours out there, I have no idea why! Harry, Ron, and Hermione sound like a hilarious trio and the darkish atmosphere has me completely intrigued!

    Amazing and detailed review, Sarah! Hopefully I can start this series soon so I can be a Potterhead just like you :') <3

  3. I always enjoy this one more than I expect to. The last few books are so intense that I forget how good and fun the first ones are. I seriously love me some Harry Potter.

  4. great review.funny i've watched all hp movies (except for the last one) but never got the chance to read the books.

    btw, thanks for stopping by my blog and now your follower. nolander was good until the alien monster thing - not really into those themes. ;)

  5. Your review made me want to re-read my entire series! The world-building is definitely fantastic!

  6. Great review. Now I want to read it even more. Hopefully soon!

  7. Hi,
    Chamber of secrets is my favorite Harry potter books!!!!

  8. Chamber of Secrets was my FAVORITE part out of the entire series!! :D I recently made a review on Harry Potter as well! :)

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