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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The second novel in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

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Hogwarts isn't all fun and Quidditch!

  • Feb 23, 2004
Pros: Magic!! Harry and friends, fun, fantastic detail

Cons: Nothing!

The Bottom Line: This is a great second book in the Harry Potter series... I can't wait to start the next one!

Ok, after reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I couldn't resist picking this one up. As difficult as school is getting for me, and as busy as it is keeping me, it's been odd that I can find the time to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But oh, what a treat it's been!

Our book begins while Harry is on summer break back at the Dursley's house. The Dursley's are Harry's Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and cousin Dudley, and they despise Harry and his magical abilities. One day while Harry is shut up in his room (his "family" is having dinner visitors, and they don't want him to embarrass them), he is visited by a house elf named Dobby, who warns Harry not to go back to Hogwarts, though he won't tell why. Harry refuses to stay in the dreadful Dursley house, and to prove a point, Dobby ruins the dinner party, though Harry gets blamed for it. Suddenly, Harry finds himself locked in his room, with no way out!

Thanks to his good friend Ron Weasley, Harry eventually finds a way out of the house, and is ready to start a new year at Hogwarts. But when the time comes for Harry and Ron to jump together through the barrier to the Hogwarts Express, they find they can't get through! Who is trying to keep Harry from returning to Hogwarts? And why??

When Harry and Ron finally make it back to Hogwarts, they find the school just as exciting and wonderful as they left it at the beginning of the summer, except for their new, annoyingly arrogant teacher Gilderoy Lockhart, famous for millions of things he manages to mention daily. Of course there are still things at Hogwarts that Harry dislikes. Draco Malfoy for instance (Harry's enemy from Slytherin), and Severus Snape, the head of the Slytherin house. Then one day, Harry hears a creepy voice, that no one else seems to hear. And another time, the caretaker's cat is found petrified with a mysterious message about the "heir of Slytherin" written above it on the wall. What's going on at Hogwarts? Soon, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine Granger find out about the legend of the Chamber of Secrets. But is it a legend? Could the Chamber of Secrets have something to do with the mischief?

It soon becomes clear, after people are found petrified, that whoever (or whatever) is causing the trouble is after Muggle-borns, or witches and wizards that were born from humans. Harry, Ron, and Hermoine suspect that Draco Malfoy may be causing the trouble, after all, he expresses a clear dislike for "Mudbloods." But many other students at Hogwarts suspect Harry Potter himself! After all, the heir of Slytherin is said to be a parseltounge (someone who can converse with snakes), and Harry himself proves, unknowingly -in front of several other Hogwarts students- to be a parseltounge.

What can Harry do to prove his innocence? And what can the do to stop this heir of Slytherin from petrifying more Muggle-born students? After all, Harry's good friend Hermoine was born to Muggles, and they don't want to see her petrified!

J. K. Rowling has produced another Harry Potter book, just as exciting as the first. What's not to love about Harry Potter? He's a fantastically drawn character, whose stubborn, curious qualities make him interesting and easy to relate to. Hermoine and Ron are other main characters that are easy to love. Ron's character adds quite a bit of humor to the story, and Hermoine is a good example of a "goody-two-shoes" who can sometimes be, well... not quite so good.

This book is wonderful because though it deals with magic, witches, and wizards, it doesn't dwell on anything to scary or "bad." Children and adults alike will love the Harry Potter books; at least I know they'll love the two I've read so far! The detail, as I said in my other review, is spectacular. As if the story itself weren't enough to keep you entertained, the book is filled with wonderful things, like the Mandrakes, plants whose scream is deadly, the Forbidden Forest, and of course Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Quidditch, the ever-popular sport of the magic world!

I, myself am a slow reader, and though this book was over 340 pages, I finished it within a few days. The story itself was interesting; it's a mystery that isn't given away in the first few pages, and its not obvious who did it, either. There are several people who could have done it, making this interesting and keeping my eyes glued to the page. As I said earlier, the detail and amount of characters and things in the story only add to this book. I just loved hearing about the little things; mistakes a young wizard or witch may have made during transfiguration class, Ron's wand backfiring on him several times, and the ever-present rivalry between Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter. There isn't a page that goes by without some little interesting, fun tidbit, and though the book was long, it was interesting through and through.

I admit that I didn't read the Harry Potter series for such a long time because fantasy just isn't really my thing. I was amazed at how many people I overheard talking about it all the time, and I can recall a Harry Potter program we had at the library, where tons of kids from ages 4-13 came (some even dressed the part!) and watched several of us make potions and do fun crafts. J. K. Rowling's series has done something fantastic in my mind: it has gotten kids of all ages interested in reading, which is very important.

Don't pass this up!

Check out Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first book in the Harry Potter series.


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More Harry Potter and the Chamber o... reviews
review by . January 09, 2010
Harry and company are back for seconds--a second year at Hogwarts--and Rowling ratchets up the the mystery and action in this worthy followup.    Having firmly established the characters in the first year (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1)) of Hogwarts, Rowling plays off of them nicely. We get to meet the Weasley family at home and bask in their normalcy and loving relationships, and we find Harry Potter, hated at home but famous in wizardry, deflated in both settings …
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
this book was honestly a kind of filler for the HP series, after youve read all of them. it was interesting, but the only purpose of the whole book i see is so that he can find out later that he already destroyed a horcrux, and that hes parseltounge. not my fave but still a 4 because of its importance.
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
this one has a great suprise ending and lots of twists. i love dumbledore and harry is just starting to get to know him.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Pass. Yes, Lockhart is fun; Riddle is an interesting character, but I fear this is the weakest of the series because of lack of a real Voldemort. You see Harry wandering around in a magical environment, but I think this just does not compare to others, especially its follow-up, Prisoner of Azkaban.
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
For being the second book in the Harry Potter Series..I have to say that its a good book.... I have read all of the books and am wanting to read them over and over again.....
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
review by . February 27, 2006
"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" is the second book in the well-loved "Harry Potter" series. Even though I've watched all of the films that have been released up to this point, this is only the second book that I've read. I have to admit that this tale is wonderful, but compared to the first book, it isn't quite as good. Don't get me wrong, this is a great read compared to many other novels out there, but it ended a little bit too abruptly for my tastes.     All of the …
review by . March 17, 2005
Very much recommend this one. Book two continues the saga of Harry Potter and is as well done, if not better, than the first book in the series. Actually, this is some of the best writing in this particular genre in quite a few years. It goes quiet beyond juvinal fiction, although I suspect this series will turn out to be one of those that crosses age lines quite nicely. Being as successful as they have been, they are quite open to cheap shot (goodness, there are a bunch of them here), but I would …
review by . December 06, 2001
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE was a good book. It was filled with interesting characters, a fantastical setting, and some great dialog. However, much of the book was setting up the world in which Harry was entering. We, like Harry, had to have everything explained to us. This isn't a bad thing, but a lot of character development was delayed, because of the explanations.In CHAMBER OF SECRETS, J.K. Rowling doesn't have to do tons of explaining. The readers are already familiar with Diagon …
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Laura Elizabeth 'Anderson' Brack ()
Ranked #319
I'm brand new to Lunch and looking to get settled. I write on epinions.com as laurashrti, and enjoy writing product reviews.      I'm a 27-year-old library employee working … more
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It's hard to fall in love with an earnest, appealing young hero like Harry Potter and then to watch helplessly as he steps into terrible danger! And in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the much anticipated sequel to the award-winningHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, he is in terrible danger indeed. As if it's not bad enough that after a long summer with the horrid Dursleys he is thwarted in his attempts to hop the train to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to begin his second year. But when his only transportation option is a magical flying car, it is just his luck to crash into a valuable (but clearly vexed) Whomping Willow. Still, all this seems like a day in the park compared to what happens that fall within the haunted halls of Hogwarts.

Chilling, malevolent voices whisper from the walls only to Harry, and it seems certain that his classmate Draco Malfoy is out to get him. Soon it's not just Harry who is worried about survival, as dreadful things begin to happen at Hogwarts. The mysteriously gleaming, foot-high words on the wall proclaim, "The Chamber of Secrets Has Been Opened. Enemies of the Heir, Beware." But what exactly does it mean? Harry, Hermione, and Ron do everything that is wizardly possible--including risking their own lives--to solve this 50-year-old, seemingly deadly mystery. This deliciously suspenseful novel is every bit as gripping, imaginative, and creepy as the first; familiar ...

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ISBN-10: 0439064872
ISBN-13: 978-0848710682
Author: J. K. Rowling
Genre: Children's Books, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks, Scholastic
Format: Novel
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