Scurra's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
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's review
Jul 22, 2008

liked it
Read in July, 1998

I find this the hardest to assess of the series, because it had an almost impossible job.
Whereas the first book could be self-contained: if it had flopped commercially, no-one would have noticed the careful layering that Rowling had put in place.

But now the first book had started to take off, and Rowling has to prove she isn't a one-hit wonder, but she also has to solidify the foundations of a full-scale series.

I think that by-and-large she succeeds. Chamber of Secrets ties off a number of the loose ends from Philosopher's Stone whilst simultaneously setting up a whole bunch of new ones that aren't intended to be resolved for years to come. And it all works (just.) The only deeply implausible part is the Chamber itself, but that's no worse than the ridiculous labyrinth in book one (two huge cave systems under Hogwarts and yet people only know about one?!)

There's even some proper character development here (no matter how hard others protest, it is blindingly obvious that Harry/Ginny and Hermione/Ron are the ultimate partnerships) and Gilderoy Lockhart is a work of genius )perhaps he is so convincing because Rowling admits that he is directly based on a real person?)

Not the best of the series, but by no means the worst.

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