Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré - 'It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.'

As I mentioned in my updated review of Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone, I am currently re-reading the Harry Potter series after years of staying away. So this is the second book in the series. Harry Potter is now 12, and fresh off his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Once again he finds himself stuck with the Dursleys, albeit only for the duration of Summer holiday. With the beginning of his second year fast approaching Harry receives an ominous warning. Terrible things are about the happen at Hogwarts and Harry above all else, is in grave danger. Despite this Harry returns to Hogwarts, not without great difficulty; but once he makes it back it soon becomes apparent that all is not well in his beloved school. Someone, or something is attacking students; causing them to become frozen. All the while Harry keeps hearing a strange disembodied voice throughout the castle, and following it always seems to end up with Harry at the wrong place at the wrong time. until he himself is the main suspect in this growing mystery.

Out of all the seven books in the series, Chamber of Secrets has never been a favorite of mine and I can never really pinpoint why. The first part drags a bit, and I think its because some of the novelty from the first book has worn off, but the characters are still so young. In Philosopher's Stone, there is a whole world to build and the reader experiences it for the first time. In CoS, there is no need for as much 'world-building' but the characters don't evolve all that much. I mean who does from age 11 to 12 anyways. The plot does pick up quite a bit during the second half of the book, and the reader gets many important clues on pivotal plot development for later books. As usual, Dumbledore's 'end of the book' chat with Harry reveals some key information: 'You can speak Parseltongue, Harry' said Dumbledore calmly, 'because Lord Voldemort- who is the last remaining descendant of Salazar Slytehrin- can speak Parseltongue. Unless I'm much mistaken, he transferred some of his powers to you the night he gave you that scar. Not something he intended to do, I'm sure...'

'Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?' Harry said, thunderstruck.

'It certainly seems so.'

A simplistic explanation, to be sure but a HUGE clue on upcoming plot development.

THIS is why I re-read Harry Potter and why I will be re-reading the series long into old age. JK Rowling had it all figured out, all planned out down to the most minor; and sometimes seemingly pointless details. And as I've mentioned, I absolutely love Harry Potter the character. He's relatable, courageous and has a bigger heart than most people in real life do. I'm off to get started on Prisoner of Azkaban (a long time favorite ♥)