Monday, 5 June 2000
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
Review number: 519
The second Harry Potter novel floows on almost directly from the first, beginning halfway through the summer holidays between his first and second years at Hogwarts, the school for wizards. In his second year, he faces a different challenge: someone has opened the Chamber of Secrets left by Slytherin (one of the school's founders, who withdrew after disagreeing with the others), and this leads to attacks on children at the school, leaving them alive but frozen.
As a sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets had a lot to live up to. It nearly does it. The novel is less amusing than Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, making me laugh out loud far less frequently. The other qualities which made the first novel an instant classic - the enjoyable, rounded characters, the fun adventures, the familiar yet originally realised background - are just as strong here.