Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

When I began re-reading the Harry Potter series in May (clearly I didn’t make it very far), I remember wondering what I had committed myself to after finishing “Sorcerer’s Stone.”  Because my experience wasn’t as exciting as it had been previously, I think I didn’t put much stock into finishing “The Chamber of Secrets”.  Compared to my re-reading of “The Sorcerer’s Stone”, I liked “The Chamber of Secrets” a lot more than I thought I would.

chamberMaybe because the characters have all be established or they are a year older, I’m not sure. In book one I found Harry to be petulant, Ron to be naively thoughtless and Hermione was arrogant. In book they all seemed toned down. While Ron still is Harry’s hype man, he seems much less fly by the seat of his pants.  Harry isn’t quite so brash.  He seems to realize that not everything he says needs to be spoken.  Hermione has found a way to be ahead of the game, without telling everyone she is.  Her actions are speaking louder than her words.

The movie adaptation of “Chamber of Secrets” is my least favorite out of the bunch. I find that the battle in the chamber is too dramatic and takes away from the idea the book is developing. As I arrived at this point in the book I realized that the fight between Harry and the basilisk only takes two paragraphs. I think downplaying the action keeps the reader focused on the main struggle between Harry and Voldemort and Harry making peace with what he considers as his “dark side”. The entire book is about abilities versus choices, which Dumbledore makes clear in the end. This is an important lesson for all of us.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter series so I was looking forward to jumping into the world again. Sadly, this journey was disappointing. I’m going to try and not spoil a lot of things, but I can’t guarantee that it won’t reveal something you may want to read for yourself, so please continue reading at your own risk.

CursedThe story basically begins with the epilogue from Deathly Hallows.  I didn’t mind the epilogue, but, like most readers, I wanted more.  Especially because I was interested to see if Harry’s son Albus would be a Slytherin.  Being a Slytherin myself, I didn’t like how Slytherins were depicted in the original series.  I felt that having Albus be a Slytherin would be a way for Rowlings to redeem herself.  To a certain extend she does redeem herself making two of the central characters Slytherin and both of them are very complex.  Much the opposite of the Crabbe/Goyle types we were mostly introduced to earlier.

The story itself is easy to fall into. I tore through the book much quicker than I thought I would.  However, having to overlook “convenient” plot twists, over-the-top villains, and ultimately revealing nothing new of the world of HP and associates I feel let down. Rowling and her co-writers include Harry, Ron, and Hermione more than they had time to develop.  All three of them felt very flat.  Draco shows up and he’s much more developed than he was in the original septet.  I personally think it would’ve been better to leave out the major characters and allow the next generation to further explore the world and how it’s changed post-Battle of Hogwarts.

This feels like it catered to what the authors thought the fans wanted and not what would make them think or expand the world they knew.