The second book in the Harry Potter series and it deserves all of the praise that it gets. Although it is my least favourite book in the entire series...moreThe second book in the Harry Potter series and it deserves all of the praise that it gets. Although it is my least favourite book in the entire series, it is still wonderful. Chamber of Secrets follows our heroes as they once again battle their way through their second year at Hogwarts. Something which amuses me so much about this series is the absolute certainty of the adults that Harry, Ron and Hermione will be perfectly safe at Hogwarts - the place where they find themselves in so much danger! Arguable, they could ignore all of these weird goings on but let's be honest, our characters are far too nosey and chivalrous to let that happen.
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! (less)
This (as well as Deathly Hallows) is one of my very favourite Harry Potter books. It is through reading Prisoner of Azkaban that I became addi...moreRe-read.
This (as well as Deathly Hallows) is one of my very favourite Harry Potter books. It is through reading Prisoner of Azkaban that I became addicted to this well-loved series and it is still one that I really cannot get enough of. Our heroes develop even further into completely lovable characters and it also introduces two of characters which I absolutely adore into the mix; Sirius Black and Remus Lupin.
“You don't understand!" whined Pettigrew. "He would have killed me, Sirius!" "THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!" roared Black. "DIED, RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!" Black and Lupin stood shoulder to shoulder, wands raised. "You should have realized," said Lupin quietly. "If Voldemort didn't kill you, we would. Goodbye, Peter.”
It is this novel that we finally begin to learn more of what happened on the night of Harry's parents deaths. Things begin to develop further and the series begins to darken. The introduction of the Dementors (probably one of the worst creatures created by Rowling) sends shivers up my spine and - despite knowing the ending - still find myself holding my breath during the final Dementor scene within the book:
“Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. Even Muggles feel their presence, though they can’t see them. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself — soul-less and evil. You’ll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.”
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban allows us to join our heroes within their third year at Hogwarts. This is the year in which they begin new subjects (with one of them being the interesting Divination) and we begin to see the maturation of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Not only has Hagrid been made a teacher, but trouble is surrounding Hogwarts and the wizarding world. Sirius Black, a mass murderer, has escaped the wizarding prison of Azkaban and is now on the run. Naturally, Harry is dragged once again into this mess as he learns some unsettling theories about the murders and actions of Sirius Black.
I really love this book. I love that Hagrid is a teacher. I love the reunion of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs within the grounds of Hogwarts. Ideally, Ms. Rowling would give these characters their own stories. I also love the Quidditch battles this book entails and the tensions which arise amongst our heroes. Hermione is not only taking more subjects than any other student - and is mysteriously present in each lesson despite timetable clashes - but she also ends up creating friction between herself and Ron. This is created either through Firebolt (Harry's new broom) issues or Crookshanks. vs. Scabbers issues (Hermione and Ron's pets). I really felt for Hermione in this book. She was only trying to take care of her friends and I found myself feeling increasingly frustrated at the selfishness of Ron.
A book which deals with various issues; human rights, imprisonment, corruption, animal rights, broken families, deceit, there is plenty to keep the reader turning the pages. As one of my favourite books ever, I highly recommend this book to anyone (if there is anyone) that has not read this! (less)