Like I mentioned previously, I recently read all of my Harry Potter books again. I started Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets right after I finished the first book.
This book picks up about a month after the end of the first book. Harry is still stuck with the Dursleys and hating the time he has to spend there. Things get more complicated when Doby, a house elf, shows up claiming it will be too dangerous for Harry to return to Hogwarts. The story is just as entertaining as the first book, and a little more complicated since time doesn’t have to be taken to introduce all the characters and situations. There are a few new characters, the main one being the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart. He isn’t evil or anything like that, but he is still one of the worst teachers for that class ever. The man is a pompous jerk who loves fame and assumes Harry is the same. The man is clueless, but all the girls, even Hermione, think he is handsome.
The story does get a bit darker, something that continues to happen with the rest of the books. Each one is darker than the previous one. This book is also a little longer than first one. The story is entertaining and more about You Know Who is shared by the end of the book. This is the first time it is established how powerful he was while still in school and how twisted he already was. That comes up again in later books and something is more important than it seems at first.
The movie adaptation of this book is one of the better ones I think. It stays very close to the book, which is why I think it works so well. The important things and explanations are left in the movie, though there are a few things that are condensed for the movie. There are some more details to a few things in the books. It would have been nice if more of Harry’s time at the Burrow had been included. I also liked that Hermione’s parents are in the book and meet Molly and Arthur, something that never happened in the movies. Christopher Columbus, the man who directed the first two movies, didn’t direct any more of the movies. From interviews, it seems like he wanted to stay true to the books, and keep the magic in the movies. I think some of that left the movies when he did. I do wonder how some of the other movies would have been different if he had directed them.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a strong second book to the Harry Potter series. It definitely deserves to be read, but start with the first book. These books need to be watched in order. People who have only seen the movies really should read the books.
I did post a longer review on Epinions several years ago.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets