The magic continues…
After reading the first book in the Harry Potter series I admittedly wasn’t too excited to continue on and read the Chamber of Secrets as it is not one of my favourites, however this was based on my views of the film therefore I chose to take a chance on the book and read it with a fresh perspective. Thank goodness I did because honestly I felt that this book was just as magical to read as the first one!
As I continue my magical journey with Harry Potter and learn more about his discovery of the wizarding world and what it has to offer him, I was completely engrossed with the level of detail this book offered compared to the film which I don’t think did it much justice. We learn all about House Elves, flying cars, wizarding families, deathday parties, squibs and much more…
Again this is not going to be a step by step review of the book, just my thoughts and feelings of select events.
Harry is introduced to what life as a fully magical family is like, going to spend the last few weeks of his summer holidays with his best friend Ron Weasley (getting there in a flying car might I add) opened his eyes to what being a wizard could really mean. This included ‘de-gnoming’ the garden which turns into a sport of some kind and having Quidditch practice out of sight of muggles in the back yard with Ron and his brothers. With a vibrant and busy household it does make Privet Drive look much more bleak and unwelcoming however this was one of the best summer holidays Harry has ever had.
More firsts for Harry and myself as a reader would be learning about ‘Squibs’ – in the film this didn’t get explained yet in the book we learn about how Filtch (the caretaker at Hogwarts) was born into a magical family yet possesses no magical abilities. When Harry discovers the Kwickspell course letter on Filtch’s desk he becomes aware that Filtch doesn’t know any magic but wishes to learn and this is branded him being a ‘squib’. The more these books continue I start to realise that there are so many ‘types’ of wizards out there that we don’t know about yet I am happy to find out!
One part of the book that I really enjoyed reading was about St Nicolas (nearly headless Nick) and his Deathday Party. For all you muggles out there that don’t know what this is, it is a celebration of the day St Nicolas died. Similar to a birthday party but for the anniversary of his death. As morbid as this may sound for me to enjoy this part I must say that it is an interesting twist as we learn more about the ghosts that hang around Hogwarts and their traditions and history. This party consisted of many ghosts (including the headless huntsmen) rotten food laid out for the party guests and more black candles than you could imagine. Personally I would have loved to be invited…
Another part of this book that stood out for me was the in-depth encounter Harry has with Tom Riddle’s diary, when Harry begins to write to Tom Riddle we learn that the attacks on students have happened before due to the Chamber of Secrets being opened in the past, we also learn that Tom Riddle got bribed into not telling who opened the Chamber and showed Harry his ‘memory’ of what happened, revealing that Hagrid got expelled for unleashing a ‘monster’ into Hogwarts. From this moment on I started to become suspicious of ‘Riddle’ but wished to learn more.
Dobby the House Elf… Need I say more? Now Dobby was portrayed early on as a nuisance to Harry, creating upset in the Dursley’s house causing Aunt Petunia’s pudding to float and fall on top of Uncle Vernon’s head. Then closing the entrance to Platform 9 and 3/4 so that Harry and Ron could not catch the Hogwarts Express, finally cursing a bludger to knock Harry from his broom causing him to end up in the hospital wing. However as the book goes on we learn that Dobby is only looking out for Harry trying to save his life (his methods are slightly flawed) and I personally loved how Harry returns the favour and freed Dobby from Malfoy’s father by offering him his sock. Thus creating a loyal friend and ally that would continue to ‘protect’ Harry Potter.
Finally as Harry enters the Chamber of Secrets it becomes more clear to me how rubbish Professor Lockheart is, from the beginning I didn’t like him due to his self-centered nature, yet when choosing to go into the Chamber of Secrets I know that I would not have chosen Lockheart to accompany me. However Harry becomes victorious and defeats Tom Riddle (spoiler alert!) who is in fact Lord Voldemort, rescues Ginny and from the help of Fawkes escapes the Chamber alive and well.
This book does have a lot more that I could praise and thankfully it has changed my view on this particular novel, overall I’m sure you can tell that this book was an enjoyable read and I can’t wait to continue Harry’s journey further and learn more about the wizarding world and what other things he can do to get into trouble when reading ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’.