Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: J.K. Rowling, October 31—November 8, 2015

My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

HP Chamber Secrets.jpgThe second book in the Harry Potter series is even better than the first. The playground rumour at Hogwarts is that the titular Chamber of Secrets, which may or may not exist, is to open which will result in the gruesome end of Muggle-born wizards.

Even more worryingly, people are being petrified at the school. Victims are left in a vegetative state and suspicion falls on Harry as the culprit.

This excellent continuation is atmospheric and spooky. A darkness descends over Hogwarts as the pupils, and indeed staff, fear for their wellbeing and turn on each other in an effort to find the traitor in their midst.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. While the tension is amped up, so is the humour. A running joke involving Ron’s wonky wand results in a whole host of unfortunate outcomes for the ginger wizard, who also endures the wrath of his mother on more than one occasion. Meanwhile, Harry has a groupie and Professor Quirrell is replaced as Defence Against the Dark Arts by Gilderoy Lockhart. Lockhart is an egomaniac wizarding equivalent of Bear Grylls whose self-adoration is so extreme he could well be styled on Shrek’s Price Charming.

Another excellent addition to the cast comes in Dobby, the Malfoys’ house elf, who tries to save Harry Potter from a conspiracy but only makes his life more difficult with each intervention.

Where Philosopher’s Stone had a lot of work to do to establish the universe, here Rowling can have a lot of fun with her established, colourful cast. Investment in the story is sufficient that the futures of the characters and even Hogwarts itself can be threatened with great payoff, and there’s much more space to build a creepy, atmospheric story.

Chamber of Secrets builds on the successes of the first book but isn’t scared to bring in new characters and try new things, making this sequel even better than the original.

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2 comments on “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  1. Pingback: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | Simon's Bookcase

  2. Pingback: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix | Simon's Bookcase

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This entry was posted on November 8, 2015 by in 4 star, Harry Potter and tagged .

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@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare