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Harry’s second year in Hogwarts – a special school built for young wizards - doesn’t kick off as smoothly as he plans. Getting locked up in his room by his obnoxious relatives aside, he even meets a strange house-elf, receiving a warning for using magic outside of school, running into his worst enemy, caught in problem and has to fly to Hogwarts in a crazy flying car, and…
Wow, that many incidents already? And we’ve only reached the first part of the book so far!
Again, Rowling didn’t fail our expectation. The magical world even seems more… magical and mythical than ever. This time, we get to see a bit of what it likes to live with a wizard family. A lot of pleasant surprises take place, and I’m sure that you will not be able to take your eyes off those parts.
Still, as soon as Harry again set foot in Hogwarts, all good things start vanishing, and misfortunes begin filling in their places.
An eerie party of ghosts, following by strange sounds behind the wall, Harry trails them to investigate, only to find the paralyzed of the caretaker’s cat as well as one of the ghosts living in the school.
Things soon take a turn for the worse as more students suffer the same fate, including Hermione, one of Harry’s best friends.
I must say, Rowling had come up with the situations quite well. She built many seemingly uninvolved incidents, and piecing them together almost perfectly in the end. Some moments we thought to be just coincidences, such as the appearance of a female ghost in the girl toilet, the mysterious journal that Harry discovers, the obnoxious house-elf that always get in Harry’s way, turn out to all connect to each other in a way we never expect.
In the end, to save the life of his best friend’s sister, Harry has to enter the Chamber of Secret built within the school, and fights against one of the most terrifying creatures of the series – the basilisk!
I really like the way Rowling wrote about his emotions in this very part. We get to see that he’s not perfect, or flawless, or fearless, and that he’s just a 12-year-old boy no matter how intelligent he is. We get to see his fear, his panic, his despair as he’s clueless about what to do while running away blindly as an attempt not to look at the monster’s eyes – which paralyze him.
He manages to triumph over the wicked basilisk, but just barely. He almost loses his own life in that battle. This chapter of the book is really well crafted. In general, the hero only succeeds, never fails, or gets a scratch, but not this. The book shows that nobody is perfect, but that doesn’t mean they will stop trying.
Still, some parts of the book are a bit rushed. I have just barely understood what the characters go through before the next incident comes at me. Such a shame! Have they been a bit more detailed, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets might have already turned out flawless.