Monday, 30 March 2015

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Author: J.K Rowling
Genre: Supernatural, Children's
Type: e-audiobook
Series: #2 in the Harry Potter series
Source: Local Public Library's e-library
First Published (in paper form): August 2000
Narrator: Jim Dale
First Line: "Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four Privet Drive."

Book Description from GoodReads:  The Dursleys were so mean that hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself?

My Review:  If I was stranded on a deserted island and could only choose one book series it would be Harry Potter - hands down.  For people who know me, that's not all that shocking.  I fly my Potter geek flag high.  I adore it and love the fact that Rowling jump started me back into reading back when my kids were small and I thought I had no energy to read.  Her writing is addictive to read and she has the art of bringing her readers into her magical world seamlessly.  I've read the entire series several times and enjoyed all of the movies too.  

For those of you who have only watched the movies?  You're missing out.  Sure they were amazing but some of the smaller plots were left on the cutting room floor - namely Peeves and the Headless Hunt to name just two in The Chamber of Secrets.  This unabridged e-audiobook version was the perfect way for me to get reacquainted with Potter while walking on the treadmill or driving to work.  The narrator also did a fantastic job with accents and inflections of these highly popular characters.

As usual this second book in the HP series is filled a wonderfully magical feel with vibrant and infamous characters.  We have the usual cast of characters as well as the addition on Gilderoy Lockhart who brings some humour with his fascination with ... himself.  I also enjoyed that we get a glimpse into the past of one of Harry's friends and how s/he influenced the Chamber of Secrets.  Overall, the characters themselves are well-rounded and as you progress through the series (and even within each book) you see their development as they struggle with normal tween/teen angst and a whole lot of extra Dark Lord worries t'boot.

While this book was my least favourite book in the series I still think it's a great read that pulls readers into Rowling's magical world where she vividly tells her story with humour, suspense and heart.  Readers get a better look at the link between Harry and Voldemort and we see the relationship between Harry and his friends strengthen after the horrible treatment he received from his Aunt and Uncle as well as new new issues at Hogwarts this year.

Whether you're 9 or 99 years old, if you're into fantastic world building, characters that come to life, stories about the strength of friendship, the courage to stand up for what is right, the enduring love of a mother and the fact that family is made up of not just blood but also by bonds of friendship then you've got to pick up this series.  No matter what age you are, I'm certain you'll enjoy Harry's world.  Just make sure you read them in order!

Highly recommended.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

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