Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
by Jonathan Dupont
January 4, 2000
< >Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a strange book, in that while being one of my top ten favourite books, I also don't like it all that much in some respects. It's one of the best sequels I've ever read to a book, and yet it still is a bit disappointing.
< >The reason for all of the above, is that the other two books, the more I read them, the more I prefer them to this one. And yet I still admire J K Rowling's skill to bring out such a good sequel after the huge success of the original. I could have been a lot more disappointed (take Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, for example). Another problem is I seem to be reading them much quicker. I read this one slower than Azkaban but it still only took an evening. However, that obviously isn't the book's fault.
< >The core plot of Chamber isn't bad, and is at least as good as that of Azkaban's. But while Azkaban stayed fairly tightly to the plot, only also putting in things additional things such as Quidditch matches, and the main plot of Philosopher was getting used to things in the school, with only small reminders of the actual plot, this is a bit different.
< >It includes things such as Gilderoy Lockhart, Dobby, a ghost's 'deathday' party, and Moaning Myrtle. To be honest, it isn't quite as bad as I make out, I just didn't find any of the above things interesting, and some of them quite annoying.
< >I would have preferred to focus more on Harry becoming an outcast as the 'Heir of Slytherin', and the fright of the pupils as people such as Hermoine getting shocked. Maybe Harry and Ron could have tried to work out what she had figured out.
< >There were still bits I liked in this book though. Aragog, was an interesting mix of a friend / enemy, and it was also interesting to find out about Hagrid and Voldemort's past. I also didn't manage to figure out the 'twist' to very near the end. The way the book was darker than the first was also nice,, but it would have been good if some more things had been left open or some questions unanswered like in the third book.
< >In the end the book manages to introduce a few characters which according to rumour will return (Aragog, Mr Weasley's car, and a few pupils), and tells us a small amount of history. When you compare that to the other books, it isn't really all that much.
< >This is still a far above average, excellent book, and if you have read the first you should definitely read this as well as the third. However, if you haven't read Philosopher, read that first. And of course, I can't wait for Book 4.
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