Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J. K. Rowling

Of all the trees we could’ve hit, we had to get one that hits back. Ron Weasley

We return to Harry Potter at Privet Drive where he is hoping to hear from his school friends who have surprisingly not been in touch all summer. We also meet the magical house elf, Dobby, who turns up just in time to inflict chaos onto his unsuspecting Aunt and Uncle which leads to Harry’s bedroom to essentially become a jail cell. Ron, alongside his brothers Fred and George (who personally are my favourite characters throughout the entire series) come to his rescue and whisk him off to begin his journey to the second year of Hogwarts. Due to Dobby’s warning we know something awful is going to happen but I found myself wondering why the dark forces of this world always seem to wait until Harry starts back at school before causing trouble, also the climax of the story is all is finished and done before he has to return home for summer. The dark forces just seem to wait for the opportunity to screw up Harry’s education, and on that point, how does Harry ever become a great wizard when he is constantly fighting evil when he is meant to be studying?

I was excited to start this audiobook but unfortunately adult responsibilities meant I didn’t get this finished anywhere near as soon as I wanted, alongside the fact it felt quite slow halfway through. Despite Fry once again bringing the world of Harry Potter to life with even more beautiful voice work than before I felt listening was becoming a chore because I wanted something more exciting to happen in each chapter, but it never came. I was only truly excited by the story when we eventually learn who has been behind the bad events happening in the school, but this isn’t until the penultimate chapter.

Unlike the first book, the Chamber of Secrets seemed to oversell itself, adding in extra information in here and there that made the book drag on a little and didn’t seem necessary to the story, I couldn’t remember a lot of the book since the last time I read it I must have been about 13 but I’m hoping that this extra information trait Rowling added here isn’t present in Prisoner of Azkaban. Saying this, I did familiarise myself with the films again and I desperately wished they’d included the Molly and Arthur Weasley, Dumbledore and McGonagall scene when Harry returns from the Chamber with Ginny, there was such emotion in that scene that not only made the relationship between the Weasley’s so much clearer, but also how much McGonagall’s character cares for the students, I don’t feel that in the early films this was ever made as clear as this writing portrays it.

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