fiction, review

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Continuing the first installment, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets brings us to the next adventure of Harry Potter. As a work of fantasy fiction, it definitely lives up to expectations, adventurous, full of magic, and extending the boundaries of your imagination. With more complicated twists and turns, J.K. Rowling invites the reader to follow her creation of a route towards a quick glimpse of the Dark Lord’s character as Harry enters his second year at Hogwarts.

Upon the arrival of the second academic year, Harry Potter is more than ready to leave his mean Muggle family’s home, namely the Dursleys’, for Hogwarts. But a house-elf named Dobby sneaks secretly into his room and tries to stop him from going. Harry refuses to stay, even with Dobby keeping him from leaving by any possible way he is capable of doing, and insists on going back to Hogwarts for he can’t imagine staying one more day with people who treat him inhumanely like a bag of trash. So he leaves anyway when Ron and his twin brothers come to collect him by a flying car.

Once at school, the warning Dobby has already given, which Harry ignores before at the Dursleys’, starts to become true as several students are found Petrified—being attacked to frozen—and Harry is the one to blame. However, over the time, it is obvious that it’s none of Harry’s doing, looking at the more attacks leading to someone, or something, other than Harry. That “something” is apparently hidden behind the Chamber of Secrets, built by Salazar Slytherin hundreds years ago and is last opened like fifty years before the latest scene. Breaking the school rules again, Harry and his two close friends, Hermione and Ron, set to find out what actually happens and who or what behind the Chamber of Secrets is. What comes as a shock is that the only one who can open the said chamber is the Heir of Slytherin, and Harry can surprisingly do it.

The three main characters show up just the way they are in the first book, without many alterations in their characterization as it is clear through the running plot. However, the Chamber of Secrets seems to try to present something more about being a child, especially a child who never gets to speak out her mind nor her bottled up distress. And Ginny is the embodiment of that “something more” Rowling is talking about here. The fact that Lord Voldemort makes use of Ginny’s unhappiness shows more than we think we’ve already perceived. Being the youngest child, Ginny never gets what any other youngest kids usually get from their family, more love, more attention, being spoiled to the quick. No. Kids are vulnerable, fragile beings, and those natures can be made worse by unimaginably appalling conditions and surroundings.

Rowling begins her second book of the Harry Potter series with a great opening, making me follow its intense storyline and unable to bring myself to put the book down far before it truly ends. She puts Harry and co. through a more dangerous challenge, a more intricate conflict, more revealing secrets, and blankets them with darker atmosphere that the Chamber of Secrets is better than the Philosopher’s Stone in an adventurous sense. But the narrative is just as great, telling us all how Rowling had been consistent in both her process and quality of writing. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is certainly an entertaining fantasy book, and it’s definitely a good read for any children. However, unfortunately, I find myself still liking Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone more. I still have this mixed feelings about why I prefer the first installment to this better second, but I’m sure that the first is always my favorite to this point.

Be that as it may, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is undeniably a great work of children’s literature. It has an amazing story, an unpredictable case, shocking secrets, and lots of magic. By this book, J.K. Rowling had established herself as the master of storytelling. I felt like I was petrified each time I turned its pages. So I strongly advise you to read this one and hopefully you will enjoy it.

Rating: 3.5/5

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