Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" is an okay book. I didn't like it as much as the original, and that's because of the Polyjuice Potion subplot. I really didn't like that. I wasn't comfortable with the idea of using someone else's body to begin with, and our heroes more or less wasted the potion in an incredibly stupid way. Plus, that subplot seemed to take up way more time than necessary.

The book's saving grace, for me, was Gilderoy Lockhart, the hilarious new Defense teacher who is self-centered and incompetent. I liked how his class was basically him acting out scenes from his books.

I'm not sure how much detail to go into, for these book reviews. Most people have read the books, right? Or at least seen the movies.

The story is that a monster is turning everyone in the school into stone. The ending reveals that the monster kills everyone who looks at it directly; you only get turned into stone, if you look at it indirectly. I thought that was a weird cop-out, to avoid killing anyone. Why didn't they just say the monster turns people to stone normally? That would have worked better. It doesn't really make sense to me how seeing the monster's eyes through a reflection doesn't count as seeing the monster's eyes.

I also didn't like the other subplot in the book, where everyone hates Harry and thinks he's suspicious. This subplot is reused in book 4 and 5, but I thought it was better done in the later books. Here, it's more like the students are being jerks for no particular reason.

The ending of the book was neat, when Fawkes the phoenix shows up to save the day, and Harry defeats the villain by destroying a diary. It was a neat idea, to have the villain be a magic book which is _so real_, it's coming to life in the real world. I also liked the idea of the book character, switching places with a real-life person. I kind of wish that the series had stuck with this idea, instead of changing this into a Horcrux later on.

I've seen other other books and TV shows use the same general idea of "fictional person comes to lie", but I think it worked better in this book, because the explanation is "real magic" and not "fake technobabble". It fit in perfectly with the series. And I'm sure some parents liked it, because it teaches kids a good lesson about avoiding phishers and creepy people on the Internet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The monster DOES kill someone though. It killed Moaning Myrtle. That's why there's the distinction. It's just like when Perseus used his shield to kill Medusa. A reflection is not looking "directly" into someone's eyes.