What is it about?
Following on from Philosopher’s Stone, we see Harry going through his second year at Hogwarts. Unfortunately for Harry, things go wrong pretty much from the word go – a house elf who might just kill Harry trying to keep him safe, strange whisperings that no one else can hear, sinister red writing appearing on walls, a haunted toilet and, to top it all off, his best friend’s little sister has the world’s biggest crush on him. Once again revisiting Rowling’s enchantingly fantastical world of wizards, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a tale of fate, friendship, loyalty and, of course, magic.
Is it any good?
J. K. Rowling packs one hell of a punch in just 250 pages – we have giant spiders, giant snakes, ghosts, Quidditch matches, classes, pixies, house elves, a flying car – and yet it doesn’t feel rushed or overcrowded at all; it flows perfectly. As with the first novel in the series, the dialogue and characterisation is masterful throughout, although I did feel that Hermione’s mindless infatuation with Lockhart was somewhat out of character. Rowling uses enough descriptive language for the novel to be artful, yet also manages to leave room for each reader to see their own individual Hogwarts – reading this book is a unique experience for each individual reader, which is just as it should be. There is fantastic suspense throughout the novel, especially in the last few chapters, which really made the book impossible to put down in places. A highlight of the book for me was Ron and Harry’s flying car journey to Hogwarts in Arthur Weasley’s magically modified Ford Anglia; the breathtaking magic of it, the dreaminess of that particular passage perfectly sums up what Harry Potter means to me.
How long did it take to read: three days
This book tastes like: chunky vegetable soup with thick crusty bread