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Book review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

The adorable Dobby is more than slightly frustrating in the second instalment of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

At the beginning of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, he visits the Dursleys to try to warn Harry not to return to Hogwarts.

However, the idea of remaining with his aunty, uncle and cousins is as unbearable to Harry as it was to me – I was already missing Hogwarts, Hermione and Ron.

Needless to say, Harry returns to a mystery where he can hear a voice seemingly through the walls of the school building, and where a cat and eventually, students including Hermione, are found petrified in the school’s hallway.

A girl who lives in the girls’ toilets – Moaning Myrtle – introduces Harry, Ron and Hermione to a secret diary where they can communicate with Tom Riddle, a former student of the school who provides them with information about what happened there in the past.

A sub-plot introduces the idea of prejudice among the wizards and witch’s of the world JK Rowling has created, with Muggle-born students being discriminated against, much to Harry’s disbelief and anger.

It all gets pretty scary as the three attempt to unlock the Chamber of Secrets.

Once again, I loved the plot and JK Rowling’s extraordinary imagination, but I also enjoyed her allusion to morality and racism, but touching on the capacity for one group to consider themselves superior to another through the Muggle-born/pureblood storyline. It was a subtle but convincing argument against tribalism and exclusion.

I also enjoyed the fact that characters were complex and flawed, making mistakes and behaving in a way that is very human, rather than being the flawless and supernatural heroes that they would otherwise have seemed.

Another fabulous instalment of this blockbuster series.

 

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