Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
By: J.K. Rowling
Narrated by: Jim Dale
352 pages (9 hours)
My copy: Borrowed from library (own the book, of course)
Of all the Harry Potter books, I'd have to say Chamber of Secrets is possibly my least favorite. The bit about the flying car is just not that exciting and it just drags in some places (even though those sections do add to the story). I was also rather annoyed by the fact that everyone seems to think they are about to get expelled at every turn. Harry and Ron are constantly ready to pack their bags and Ginny is terrified to tell what she knows about the Chamber of Secrets because she could be kicked out of school. Has anyone, except Hagrid, ever been kicked out of Hogwarts? And that was only because they thought Hagrid had killed someone. So it seems like the standard for expulsion is a little higher than the kids are making it out to be.
That said, the end is rather good and makes a lot more sense in light of the information we find out in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. J.K. Rowling said in an interview somewhere that she had originally intended to explain more about horcruxes in the second book, but, in the end, decided to save it all for the sixth book. I think I wish she had a put a little more into Chamber of Secrets, so everything revealed in Half-Blood Prince didn't seem like a big, too-late-to-introduce-this surprise.
But, I like that those two books parallel each other (just as, in my mind, the first and seventh book do). In Chamber, we meet the young Voldemort and in Half-Blood Prince, we learn more about his family background and his life among muggles. Harry also begins to wonder about the similarities between himself and Voldemort in CoS and then again in HBP. The second book also sets up the relationship between Harry and Ginny, which culminates in their kiss in the sixth book. Even the two new teachers from these books, Gilderoy Lockhart (who is a brilliant creation, by the way) and Horace Slughorn resemble each other in that both use the accomplishments of others to bolster their own importance.
All in all, a great book, though still my least favorite in an excellent series.