||As with the first book in this series,
the movie touched on most of it. But the storyline in this book seemed
weaker; maybe it's because Hermione was missing for a good chunk of it,
or because there just didn't seem to be that much going on. It was more
serious than the first book, which made for a good ending, at least.
I'm not sure if the storyline in this
book really was weaker than the previous one, or if I didn't have the
time to devote to nights of reading it like I did for the first book.
A lot more time is spent in the
timeframe before the school year, but even so, the summer seemed rather
short. It was neat, however, to see the Weasley's house, especially the
gnomes that tried to sneak back into their garden!
Dobby the elf seems to have great
magical powers, but given that he's a slave, it's almost painful to read
about the way he punishes himself for betraying his master. But it looks
like there was a plot to have Harry write in the journal, so that Tom
Riddle could take his life energy away; instead, it is Ginny Weasley who
gets it first.
Tom Riddle is of course Valdemort as a
teen, when he attended Hogwart's school. Somehow he seems even more evil
here than in the movie, but just as clichéd. Instead of killing Harry
outright, he sits there watching as Harry doesn't die, but regaining
strength so that he could defeat Riddle.
The school year seemed rather
uneventful. There was the mystery of the petrified students and the
writing on the wall about the Chamber of Secrets, and at least we got to
see a little more magic this time, including a one-on-one battle between
Snape and the new teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts, Lockhart.
That new teacher, a famous author, and most certainly vain because of
his celebrity, was funny in his vanity, and obviously inept as a wizard.
Combined with Ron's broken wand, he manages to lose his memory
completely by the end.
Strangely enough, I don't have all that
much to say about this book, except that the movie covered all the major
points well, and I understand why they skipped the Death Day party and
some other minor bits, but we get a better understanding of what
Parseltongue is, which allows Harry to speak to snakes. I also must have
misjudged something in the first book, because I really thought Harry's
mother was a witch. Here Harry says she is muggle-born, and Tom says
Harry is a half-blood like himself. It's rather confusing.
The book also introduces some new
concepts, like Azkaban, Riddle's horcruxes (not called by that name),
the phoenix, the sword of Griffindor, Lucius Malfoy, and of course Dobby
the elf. But now I am looking forward to the third instalment,
especially given what I now know about the title character.