Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré “This diary holds memories of terrible things. Things that were covered up. Things that happened at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”Despite warnings from a house-elf, Harry returns to Hogwarts for his second year and together with his friends Hermione and Ron attempt to discover who has been trying to kill students by opening the mysterious Chamber of Secrets.The recent announcement of the completion of the Pottermore content for The Chamber of Secrets came at an excellent time, as I was between books and looking to re-read one of my favorites. And there’s good reason that this second book in the Harry Potter series holds the distinction of one of my favorites. In this book, JK Rowling expands the wizarding universe that drew our fascination in the first Harry Potter book, and throughout this book plants hints and clues about the rest of the series. I love reading this through and catching statements or paragraphs that seem trivial and mundane at the time, but take on a deeper meaning as the books progress.Even as a single book, however, The Chamber of Secrets is a fabulous story — it involves mystery, suspense, danger, magical creatures, and plot that is clever yet easy for young readers to understand. The heroes are likable but experience realistic emotions, fears, and shortcomings; the villains are sinister but have a depth to their motivation which prevents them from being cartoonish.There is more violence and more sinister magic in this book than the previous. In a way, the series is a coming-of-age story as Harry grows more and more aware of the evils in the world, so it makes sense that the books get progressively darker.Overall: A thoroughly enjoyable sequel, with a strong enough plot to be an excellent story on its own.