Part two in the series of the World's most famous children's book, and we're back with Harry, Ron and Hermione as they begin their second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Something sinister is happening in the corridors of the school, with strange messages appearing on the walls warning the students and teachers that the "Chamber of Secrets" has been opened and that the Heir of Slytherin will kill any student who comes from a Muggle family.
After a series of attacks at the school, where Mr Filch's cat is found dead, the students attend a defensive duelling class, where it is revealed that Harry can speak "Parseltongue", the language of snakes. This rare gift makes Harry the prime suspect in the search for the attacker. Moaning Myrtle, the ghost who haunts a girls' bathroom, gives Harry, Ron and Herlione a diary that was left in her stall. The diary is said to have belonged to a former student, Tom Riddle, who witnessed the death of another student the last time the Chamber was opened.
The diary blames Hagrid for the previous opening of the Chamber and he is banished to Azkaban prison. He leaves instructions for Ron and Harry, who follow them and end up in the forbidden forest, where they meet a group of giant spiders. The spiders tell the boys that they fear the real monster hidden in the chamber, which is a Basilisk - a gigantic snake whose direct gaze kills and it's reflection petrifies its victims. Harry concludes that it must be the voice of the Basilisk that he has been hearing through the walls, and that Moaning Myrtle was the victim who died when the monster was last unleashed.
Ron and Harry discover the entrance to the chamber through Myrtle's bathroom. Ron and Harry are separated and Harry goes deeper into the chamber alone. He is confronted by Tom Riddle, who reveals that he is in fact, Lord Voldemort and the heir of Slytherin. The Basilisk appears and is ordered by Voldemort to kill Harry. With the help of Dumbledore's Phoenix, Fawkes, who has appeared with the Sorting Hat, they manage to blind and defeat the Basilisk, and by plunging the Basilisk's poisonous tooth into the diary, they also destroy Tom Riddle.
They return to Hogwarts and are greeted by Dumbledore, who is very curious about the diary and Harry's meeting with Tom Riddle. Gryffindor wins the House Cup again, Hagrid is released from Azkaban and the students begin their summer holidays in high spirits.
My Verdict: Like all good children's books, Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets is equal parts terrifying and funny. It has the perfect mix of built-up suspense so that the hero triumphs and edge-of-your-seat action. It's actually quite violent for a book whose core demographic is young people, but I guess they can handle it better than an old lady like me!
Review Award | 4/5
Oh hey there!
I'm Louise, but you can call me Fatty. I really like to read, and then I really like to tell people about what I've read. I started this book blog to give fellow readers some great recommendations and maybe introduce them to a writer or a genre that maybe they wouldn't have discovered on their own - because that's what reading is all about!