Tuesday, February 28, 2017
So the last time I dipped my toe into the HP pool it was when I read The Cursed Child last year; The Chamber of Secrets dragged me into the fanfic hole in a much bigger way, though. I just felt like I needed it after being back in the universe - I wanted to stay but didn't want to reread the original series from start to finish so instead I found that my favorite fic site has died and ended up diving into AO3 for the first tiime.
But there be monsters so let's talk about Chamber of Secrets. This isn't my favorite book in the series - that's Prisoner of Azkaban, but I do love it because I think it may be the last book of the series where the characters are still really innocent. They're children for the majority of the series, of course, but this is the last book before the problems the trio face start to seem a little more grown-up. It's the last face-off with Voldemort before they're well into moody teen territory and before we see Harry facing challenges other than Voldemort and there's something sweet about that. He's afraid of the monster in the walls, and for a while the school thinks he's the heir of Slytherin, but there's less complexity in his challenges. Chamber of Secrets is a simple story full of lots of surprisingly clever elements.
Gilderoy Lockheart is one of the great, underappreciated characters in the Potterverse, and he's hilarious on every page. I particularly liked seeing him illustrated, and I think Jim Kay did a great job of capturing just how smarmy he reads.
The illustrations are totally worth it, by the way. I'd buy these books for the illustrations alone, they are stunning (the phoenix pages in this edition are also particularly wonderful).
Because I don't know what can be said that hasn't already been said about Harry Potter I'll stop here, but I do strongly recommend that you read the illustrated editions if you haven't yet.
Illustrated Chamber of Secrets on Amazon!