Monday, July 8, 2013

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Book: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

Description: The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself? (book flap)

My Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed The Chamber of Secrets. As with the first book, it is still a children's book through and through, and contains nothing too heart-rending or emotionally challenging. Again, the mystery of the year (this time who is opening the Chamber of Secrets and how) was engaging and well-plotted.

A huge part of my enjoyment of Chamber of Secrets was the characters. Dobby and Professor Lockhart especially were loads of fun to read, and I laughed out loud every time either of them showed up.

I was struck after reading the final confrontation how symbolic of spiritual warfare it was in many ways. *spoiler alert* Fawkes, Dumbledore's representative while he is absent (the Holy Spirit?), completely saves Harry from the clutches and powers of evil (Tom Riddle/Voldemort and the basilisk), but only after Harry has shown his loyalty to Dumbledore; although Harry deals the death blow to both, he could not have done it without the encouragement and actions of Fawkes. *end spoilers* Also, the worldly perceptions of Harry, Ron, and Hermione was shown to be flawed, as they were unable to see who the true perpetrator was until he revealed himself.

A solid second book of the Harry Potter series. I saw Christian influences more clearly in this book than the first; it is also better written than the first.

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