Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J. K. Rowling
Harry, Ron and Hermione have returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry for their second year. (But Harry and Ron only just made it-they missed the Hogwarts Express and had to get there in a flying car...!) Soon the threesome are immersed in the daily round of Potions, Herbology, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Quidditch.
But then horrible things start happening. Harry hears evil voices. Sinister messages appear on the wall. But nothing can prepare the three friends for what happens next...
I love how this book shows the growth of the characters from their second year, and how their confidence has also improved. At the beginning we are confronted with Fred, George and Ron Weasley breaking Harry out of his bedroom at Privet Drive via a flying Ford Anglia. Not only this, but we are introduced to the horrendous lives led by house elves, the insufferable Professor Lockhart and a very different, giggly Hermione. With a few new characters to get to know, Rowling develops her well-loved series even further, giving it depth and substance.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets follows Harry, Ron and Hermione as they battle to discover what it is that is 'haunting' the castle. With students, ghosts and animals being Petrified (frozen) and mysteriously sinister messages appearing on the walls, tensions are running high at Hogwarts. We see our heroes battle with suspicions, accusations and Harry adjusting to his new skills - the fact that he can speak the language of snakes, that he is a Parselmouth. I found it infuriating that students suspected Harry to be Slytherin's heir and that it was he that was seeking to hurt Muggle born witches and wizards. It made no sense!
This book made me laugh out loud on several occasions, primarily when Lockhart was on the scene. With his wiggling wand, his incredibly large ego and lack of magical skills, I found him incredibly frustrating but so funny. The introduction of Dobby was wonderful. One of the most loved and most important creatures within the series, Dobby shows what it really means to love and to be loyal. Dobby risks his own safety in order to attempt to save Harry's life, although not in the most successful of ways.
“But Dobby shouted, "You shall not harm Harry Potter! ... He got up, face livid, and pulled out his wand, but Dobby raised a long, threatening finger. "You shall go now," he said fiercely, pointing down at Mr. Malfoy. "You shall not touch Harry Potter. You shall go now.”
A brilliant second book to the Harry Potter series and I am really loving re-reading this entirely magical world. Onto Prisoner of Azkaban, one of my favourite books within the series!