To continue on my previous post on the first Harry Potter book, I’ll do my review on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I finished reading it on October 30th this year when I was in London to visit my best friend. I thought it was entertaining to read Harry Potter as a 20-year-old in the London subway; it was one of the best reading experiences in my life.
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets open up on Harry in his bedroom at the Dursleys. Where he is visited by a strange house-elf called Dobby, who warns him not to come to Hogwarts this year because something terrible is going to happen. Dobby escapes from Harry’s room and destroys the dinner the Dursleys had. Harry is locked up in his bedroom and is forbidden to go back to Hogwarts. Having learned that, Ron and his brothers George and Fred come to the house to free Harry in their father’s flying car.
When they try to get to platform 9 3/4, the wall closes on Harry and Ron, and they take the flying car to Hogwarts. At the beginning of the school year, everything is fine, Harry and Ron find Hermione again, and Ron’s little sister, Ginny, begins her education at Hogwarts. Ron and Harry were grounded because of the flying car, which could have endangered the wizarding world’s secrecy. Ron has to work with Filch polishing cups. And Harry has to help the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart, with his fan mail.
When he is helping Pr Lockhart, Harry hears a voice inside the wall talking about killing someone. He hears it again when he is with Hermione and Ron. And they later find Filch’s cat petrified with an inscription on the wall ” the chamber of secrets has been opened Enemies of the heir…beware.” The whole castle begins to be afraid again of the legend that is the Chamber of Secrets.
Throughout the year, more student gets petrified. Everyone first thinks that a Slytherin is guilty. Because the Chamber of Secrets was built in the castle by Salazar Slytherin when he got into a disagreement with the other founders of the school, he wanted magical education to only be for purebloods, not muggle-born. So when the other refused, it is said that he built a secret chamber. And locked up a monster who was to “cleanse” the school of all the muggle-borns when his heir came to Hogwarts.
One day, at the dueling club, Harry and Draco Malfoy face each other, and Draco releases a snake on Harry. But, to everyone’s surprise, Harry talked to the snake and managed to avoid a disaster. It is discovered that Harry is a Parselmouth. He can speak to snakes, and so could Slytherin. So everyone at Hogwarts starts to believe that Harry is Salazar Slytherin’s heir. And that he is the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets.
When Ginny can’t be found, Harry and Ron try to find the opening to the Chamber of Secrets to rescue her. He discovers that it is a basilisk that lives inside the Chamber. And that Lord Voldemort, or Tom Marvolo Riddle, was the one behind the opening of the Chamber the first time. Having been separated from Ron, Harry has to face a young Voldemort and the basilisk on his own. He wins and destroys the diary that allowed Voldemort to come back as his 16-year-old self. Draco’s father planted it in Ginny’s stuff before the beginning of the school year.
Harry realizes that it was against that that Dobby tried to warn him. And he manages to trick Malfoy into releasing Dobby by giving him a sock. Harry unknowingly destroyed the first Horcrux of Lord Voldemort.
I really like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Not only because it kept up with the pace of the first one, but it increased it and brought a lot of elements in the mythology of Harry Potter, like animals, spells. And more importantly, the Horcrux, even though the word isn’t said in the second book.
I could, without any doubt, that Harry Potter remains, and will probably always be my favorite book. And this one just confirmed it!