Book Review #2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Book Synopsis

Young wizard, Harry Potter, is in his second year at Hogwarts.

Ciel's Rating

Ciel's Review

The second installment for the Harry Potter saga was better than the first one. After carefully and comprehensively laying out the setting and characters in the first book, Rowling starts developing some action that shapes her protagonists’ personalities and allows them to grow as persons and wizards/witches. She furthers our understanding of Harry’s present instead of delving in excruciatingly explaining every little detail of his past to understand who he is right now. I am glad she based the second book in the present, rather than having flashbacks of his past or what would be in the future. It is the now and then that matters most and keeps the attention of the reader.

New and colorful characters are introduced, among them, Gilderoy Lockhart, who is so annoying and full of himself that you’d find yourself hating him for all that he does wrong, but lauds himself anyway. However, thanks to the new addition, there are some instances of humor. This time the story is fast paced and adventure oriented, with a mystery at hand that Harry wants to solve after hearing hisses from the walls. Harry has better understanding of magic and makes use of it in a very inventive way.

Rowling’s imagination and style of writing remain as constant and as fantastic as ever, but her characters are still flat and extremely stereotypical. Their actions and thoughts are very predictable, which makes the story less enjoyable and, instead of reading through, you feel like skipping. I hope the rest of the books get better in this aspect. I also wish the book could evoke in me some feelings of sympathy for the appointed “villains” in the story, but so far falls short in doing so.

The book is pretty straightforward, and answers the questions planted when I started reading, leaving me without unanswered questions I could carry on to the third installment, other than curiosity for the next adventure. Anyhow, the magic is present and gets better each “Hogwarts” school year.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for very young children due to violence.