Thursday, October 17, 2013

Revisiting Potter, Part 2: The Chamber of Secrets

Continuing on my re-read of the Harry Potter series, and I am just so glad I am doing this. My brain that has been oh-so distracted this year (as I mentioned before) is extra excited by fun reads. The only books I've been able to devour recently are ones that are enjoyable and don't require too much deep thought. I like broadening my reading horizons more than most, but I haven't enjoyed light reads this much since my high school Chick-Lit binge.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is where we meet some series regulars, like Dobby the House Elf (who drives me nuts) and Moaning Myrtle, and the annoying and pretentious guest star, Gilderoy Lockhart, who is really just worthless. It's also where we get to know the youngest Weasley, Ginny. Other than these folks, we've already been pretty well introduced to the characters we'll follow through the rest of the series. Loyalties and intentions have been proven—we known Ron, Harry, and Hermione are a team, and the Malfoys are of a dubious character. Harry has made a home at Hogwarts, settled in, more comfortable and confident than in the series' previous title.

The main plot here (so I don't forget, because I know by book 6 all these stories will inevitably run together in my brain) is that someone, or something, is attacking students at Hogwarts, leaving them in frozen, petrified state. Harry and his gang have heard rumors about something called the Chamber of Secrets, a room hidden in Hogwarts by Salazar Slytherin that only his true heir can open. Rumor also has it that the Chamber has been opened before, and Harry embarks on a mission to find out the truth and stop the attacks.

Remember how I said in my first post about Potter that the series sets up what's to come from the very beginning? I still think that's true, but it's subtle in these early stories. Chamber of Secrets is another action-adventure story with good characters and good humor but without monumental revelations...unless you know the whole series and can see the hints Rowling leaves. [ie: Having read the whole series, we can see the pattern in the things of Voldemort's that Harry destroys...but it's not completely clear yet.] All of this doesn't make Chamber of Secrets any less enjoyable. I love these characters. And I love that what happens to them is so quintessentially them. [Ron is really the best.]

Because this is only my second time reading this series, I have nowhere near enough knowledge or familiarity to judge them against one another. Maybe that will change as I get deeper into the series, but for now, they're all just so fun and so imaginative. It constantly blows my mind how much attention Rowling paid to the smallest details, and how completely immersed the reader gets in the Potter World via the tiniest plot points, like de-gnoming the garden and the Howlers. Overall, I look forward to seeing how the pieces of the Potter Puzzle unfold.

And in following up from my last HP musing with the profound words shared by Dumbledore, this is without a doubt probably the gem from Book 2:
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

No comments: