I read the whole Potter series again over the holidays, and it's the author J.K.Rowling's birthday this Friday, so I thought I'd do a Harry Potter marathon this week, reviewing all seven books. Instead of going in the order they were written, I'll review the books in the order I read them, in the order the series developed before my eyes.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets sees Harry back at Hogwarts, on the way being reprimanded for underage magic use, breaking out of the Dursley home and flying an unauthorised magic car. Life at the school with Ron and Hermione is magically unpredictable and fun. But darkness soon sets in, with something attacking the students, as a centuries-old secret is revealed.
My grand-uncle bought me this book when Harry Potter was still a relatively unknown phenomenon, and I certainly hadn't heard of him. The cover of a bespectacled boy flying in a magic car attracted me, and the first chapter had me completely hooked. I read the book in a single sitting, in four hours flat, a big achievement for me since I was then in Class 7, without the reading speed I have today. Today when I read the book, I still love it, though it is not my favorite in the Potter series. Its greatest advantage, like others in the series, is that it blends humour and thrills very well, creating a piece that I enjoyed thoroughly.
I can say that Harry Potter was my introduction into the world of fantasy, and an explosive one at that. Quidditch, Potions, Parseltongue and much more, it was a fantastic journey into a parallel universe. I also liked the names in the book, they sounded so exotic: Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Voldemort. But most of all, I loved Quidditch, the action, the swooping around on broomsticks, the idea as such, of a flying basketball game. You really feel part of the story, joining Harry as he snoops around the castle, laughing at his encounters with Lockhart and sympathising with him when he is accused of attacking students. An enchanting book, a book that you will enjoy if you pick it up again and again.
Which was your first Potter book? What did you think of it?