Sunday, May 27, 2007

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

2 out of 7! I'm really enjoying this... What a nerd I am.

He could run, and no one would ever know he had been there. But he couldn't just leave them lying here.... He had to get help.... Would anyone believe he hadn't had anything to do with this?

Harry is one year older and, according to Rowling, must be able to handle slightly darker and slightly more sophisticated plot lines -- a trend through the years. The darkness in this installment comes from Harry's identity crisis. The Heir of Slytherin has opened the Chamber of Secrets, which means that the monster within will begin attacking all students who are not pure-blooded wizards (only about half the school). When student after student gets Petrified, and Harry accidentally reveals he can speak Parseltongue (snake language, a rare gift that Slytherin himself possessed), students begin to suspect Harry to be the Heir himself. Although Harry knows this isn't true, the rumors do get to him, and he questions himself. He possesses strange similiarities to Slytherin and to Voldemort himself, and the Sorting Hat did say he would be great in Slytherin House. Although this aspect was still interesting in the book, I think the movie did a much better job at portraying how an entire school turning against Harry can cause distress -- the emotions came through better on-screen. I hate saying that because I usually champion books over films, but whatever.

And speaking of movies, the second film was also directed by Chris Columbus, so the film and book are virtually identical. That made for another interesting read.

I won't go deeply into Harry Potter predictions because I doubt many of you care, but for those of you who do, consider this: In the Half-Blood Prince, we find that Voldemort has split his soul into various Horcruxes in order to stay alive. Harry's charge for the Deathly Hallows, the last novel, is obviously to find and destroy all the Horcruxes so he can therefore destroy Voldemort. In the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore explains Harry's similarities with Voldemort:
"Unless I'm much mistaken, he transferred some of his own powers to you the night he gave you that scar. Not something he intended to do, I'm sure..."
"Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?" Harry said, thunderstruck.
"It certainly seems so."
Ominous, I should say. Though Dumbledore does say at some point in the Half-Blood Prince that he believes Voldemort made a Horcrux for each important/significant murder he committed, and as he failed to murder Harry, he wouldn't be one. But who knows? Okay, enough of my nerdiness until the next post.


Brent Waggoner said...

I'm going to have to read book six before I can read this review.

Carlton Farmer said...

A couple of weeks ago, some little kid in my neighborhood told me that I looked like Harry Potter. I said, "Really?" To which he responded, "Suck dick." Then he walked away. Ahhh...Cincinnati.

Alyson said...

That's funny, Carlton, because the same thing happened to me yesterday. What a coincidence.