Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
By J.K. Rowling
Ah, the second book in my Harry Potter re-read this summer and what a wonderful story this one is. OK, I’ll probably say that about all of them so get over it now. Before I forget to mention it, there will be a number of spoilers in this one so stop reading now if you prefer not to know.
The short re-cap of this installment — Harry joins Ron and Hermione for their second year at Hogwarts. Harry finds out he’s a parseltongue (he can talk to snakes) and starts to hear voices, student turn up petrified, and the Chamber of Secrets is rumored to have been opened by the heir of Slytherin.
Flying cars, the Whomping Willow, and Dobby the house elf. Dobby is probably one of my favorite characters, just below Ginny Weasley. When he died in book seven, I was so upset, maybe even more upset than when Dumbledore died because I wasn’t expecting it. He’s amusing, sort of pathetic, and shows you just how awful the Malfoy’s are as a family. It’s not just Draco, it’s all of them. We learn more about Hagrid and we get to see how nasty some of the creatures are that he loves so dearly. I’m with Ron all that way on this one; I prefer the dragon to the gargantuan sized spiders. They are way too creepy, crawly, and there is something very disturbing about all those all those eyes looking back at you. Ginny joins the rest of the Weasley clan at school in year two and I love her shyness and the crush she has on Harry. It’s so cute. Still hating Snape as I expected to. Nasty, mean, greasy, undermining — I have nothing nice to say about him and that will not be changing. I know what’s coming and re-reading makes me dislike him ever more than ever. The Weasley twins set off more fireworks in this one and it’s nice to see their future in humor retail emerging. Such talent these two boys have for destruction but it’s all in good fun and someone has to be the comic relief.
Details, details, details. Rowling does such a great job of putting so many tiny hints in these books. First, the idea that Harry can talk to snakes appears in the Sorcerer’s Stone when he unleashes the snake at the zoo and now it’s explained even more here by Dumbledore when he tells Harry that part of Voldermort’s power was transferred to Harry when he attacked him. What I like even more is that it’s left out there for us to wonder what will happen with that bit of information later. I also like the mention of werewolves in this one preparing us for a new professor in book three which I will tell you now is my favorite. 🙂
Not having read these early books in such a long time makes me very happy to be doing so now. They are a treat to read and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. I can easily classify this series as a comfort read.