“This diary holds memories of terrible things. Things that were covered up. Things that happened at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” – (Tom Marvolo Riddle) J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Book 2 of the Harry Potter series is not my favourite (that is book 3), but I really like how you get more of a background of Slytherin house and Salazar himself. Book 1 really focuses on the magic and the wonder for most of it, then it turns darker in the end. “…Chamber of Secrets” goes dark very fast. I really love how it just gets right into it. Dobby shows up and it’s all downhill from there for Harry.
I think the best part about book 2 is that, until the very end, nobody sees the Basilisk, but there is still this fear that anytime you could go around a corner, the beast would be waiting. Even in the end, the only one to see it alive was Harry and creepy Tom. Also, a lot of character development is in book 2, for instance we find out that Harry is known as a Parselmouth, someone who can talk to serpents, and it scares everyone. I think it was smart of Rowling to have people “turn on” Harry, you know?
After year 1, he’s this big hero who fought Voldemort in the dungeons and they recognize that Harry is a bit more…experienced? I don’t really have the word for it, but in some ways I think the students fear him and respect him at the same time. Then they think he is the one petrifying the Muggle-borns and the fear increases. So not only are they afraid of an invisible monster lurking around the hall, but they are scared of the only person who had survived the Dark Lord twice, the one that would end up saving them in the end.
Then there is Ginny. I did like how her and Harry turned out in the end, but I think she deserved way more credit, especially in the movies. At the start of book 2, Ginerva Weasley is a very timid little girl and is somewhat of a fangirl (Ginny is one of us!) to Harry and I think it is adorable,. You can tell how frightened she is about going to Hogwarts and it seems to be because her idiot brothers (Fred and George mostly) keep teasing her or that people make fun of her because of her infatuation with Harry, but the truth was a lot darker. I actually liked that Ginny was the one to discover Tom Riddle. It showed that even the most innocent of people could fall under the Dark Lord’s curse.
This also demonstrates a relationship that is starting to grow between Harry and Ginny. Harry starts to become very protective of the young Weasley and even though she is still very awkward around him, I think she understands that he is just Harry, rather than this famous child prodigy.
Speaking of child prodigy, let us take a turn down Draco lane. He is still a bit of dick in book 2, can I call a twelve year old that? Meh. Lucius Malfoy, Draco’s father is introduced and he reminds me so much of King Thranduil in the Hobbit, no? He holds himself above everyone else and you can tell that it is all for show. He is a bit of a coward in my eyes. I mean he claimed he was bewitched during the first war…bruh, YOU A DEATHEATER.
At times, there are moments in which you can see Draco sort of questioning his father, especially in Borgin and Burkes. Draco is my favourite character and that is because he has so many dimensions to him. There is the cocky spoiled little brat, the mean and hurtful one, the obedient son who tries so hard to please his father, the joyful boy who loves magic and candy, and then later on we see the tortured boy who had no choice in his action, but I’ll leave that for book 6 review.
Not only is this book about Tom Riddle and all that snake stuff (excellent diction there Haley), but it focuses on family. The Weasleys are really showcased in this book. From the twins and Ron saving Harry, visiting the burrow, Ginny becoming a victim, Arthur’s job, and even Percy getting a girlfriend. Through all the darkness and emerald green, the bright fiery orange light that is the Weasley family, keeps the hope alive.
There is so much in this book that is so important for the next five books, but I won’t spoil anything else. I pretty much spoiled the entire book above, but you should have read these long ago…just sayin’.
Overall, of course this book is a 5/5. It really starts to capture the danger and darkness of the series, but not as much as Azkaban does, it’s just slowly easing you into it. I am onto read book 3 and I am so excited. Sirius Black and Lupin are waiting! Remember if you start hearing strange voices, you aren’t crazy, you’re a Parselmouth.