Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Marso 17, 2012

Let me lay down the facts first as a sort of disclaimer.

Two things.

Number 1: Before reading the series (so far I have read two of its books), I had very minimal, in fact almost zero, knowledge of it. I knew nothing more than Harry being the boy wizard with his friends Ron and Hermione who study in a wizarding school called Hogwarts; and the fact that they all speak with an English accent.

Number 2: I once promised myself that I would never watch a Harry Potter film again in my entire lifetime (I have seen the first) nor would I put my hands on any of its books. This, of course, is to emphasize the point that I am an antisocial, hence the need to despise anything that is “in” as of that moment. (No, that was secondary. I believe the primary reason would be the fact that when I saw the film, when I was 12 or 13,I did not understand its story. For one, it was in a language other than my beloved native tongue; and it did not help that their accent seemed incomprehensible to the young me.)

And so for years, I was convinced that an “affair” with anything Harry Potter is an idea so far-fetched from reality. Until recently, I found myself rekindling my once forgotten interest in reading (which by the way was on hiatus to give way to studying and later on, work) that I found myself downloading the eBook for the series along with several others. And look at what I found for myself – a new addiction. I guess I am now what one can call a “convert”.

Why is this so? Allow me to compare the first two books of this series. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sure was a good read. It had the feel of a regular children’s book – eventful and packed with twists, but told in a light and oftentimes humorous manner. Although I had problems with the initial pages of the story which I attribute to lengthy characterization (though I’m having second thoughts about it now,probably my bias or the fact that the eBook contained a lot of typos which required decoding)the unraveling of the story towards the end and how just enough questions were dealt with before its plot closed is what convinced me to continue reading. Needless to say Sorcerer’s Stone did not deliver the sense of urgency to finish the rest of the books that I expected from it. So I was a bit hesitant to proceed to the second book, thinking that it would only verify my earlier views. Nevertheless, I gave it a shot and started with a few pages. And I am definitely glad that I did.

What the initial offering by J. K. Rowling failed to do, the second installment, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets just did for me. It was more fast-paced, and packed with more action. And pretty much to sum everything up, it was MAGICAL!

This is definitely what I was expecting of a book about wizards, mythical creatures, and flying brooms – for it to be magical! I had wanted it to be able to envelop the reader with a desire to believe that there is indeed a Hogwarts, and a platform 9 3/4.  For him to be convinced that he might one day get a letter to be delivered by an owl on his 11th birthday that he shall be attending a wizarding school. For the reader, no matter what age or gender, to realize that magic is a part of everyday living and ever so often we fail to acknowledge it. And this was exactly the effect that it had on me. Considering that I am 21 years old now that I finally decided to start reading it. Now I understand how it was able to draw a million fans worldwide  which led to the birth of hundreds of fandoms.

If there would be any reason why I would continue to read the next book, it is most definitely because I enjoyed the second book a lot. I am looking forward to more adventures, more twists, more revelations and above everything else – more MAGIC!

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