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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 October 2016
I was so excited to recieve this book.

I preordered it but was really disappointed when it didn't arrive on its realise day as Amazon had advertised.

However the book is excellent. The illustrations are even better than philosophers stone and the variety is amazing. They even include some sketches which is good and adds to the variety.

The paper is really good quality and the illustrations are printed in really good quality as well.

It is a wonderful book and I love having the illustrated versions so much. I cannot wait for future books to be released and aim to collect the full set.

They are brilliant for children and adults alike and it had recreated the magic of those long waits between books when the series was originally released all those years ago. I get so excited when the release date for these draws closer.

I would definately recommend this. It's brilliant!

You are very welcome to ask any questions about my experience with this product.

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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 October 2016
I absolutely adore these illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series, the first one was stunning and the Chamber of Secrets is just as beautiful so I can't wait to have the entire series on sitting on my shelves! I'm not going to talk about the story in this review (I've already done that HERE) so instead I'll focus on the quality of the book and the artwork.

Just like the Philosopher's Stone illustrated edition this is a beautiful book in every way possible, I'm sure everyone who is looking at this already owns the previous one and has a good idea what to expect but just in case you're considering buying both illustrated versions I'll give you the highlights. These books are large hardbacks with good quality glossy pages full of wonderful illustrations to go along with the familiar text of the story. I love the way the illustrations vary from tiny little images through to whole double page spreads because you just never know what you'll find when you turn over the page. These books are an experience and they beg to be read out loud with children or to have someone sit for hours just studying the pictures.

Jim Kay has really done such a fabulous job of bringing the stories to life in a different way, it would have been so easy to base these images on the movies that we're all so familiar with but he's created his own version of the world and the characters that are similar enough to be easily recognised but still completely his own versions.

I honestly could have included hundreds of pictures with this review but I've tried to narrow it down to just a few of my favourites.
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on 8 October 2016
Extremely disappointed to find that this book is printed and bound in China. It has taken away the pleasure of having an illustrated edition of the Chamber of Secrets. Shame on you Bloomsbury Press.
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on 19 October 2016
The second installment of the Harry Potter illustrated series is impressive indeed. Amazing colour and monochrome illustrations by Jim Kay all throughout... But somehow, I feel disappointed after going through the book. Though there are many impressive illustrations, Jim Kay has somehow missed out on quite a few of the pivotal characters and incidents in this story. Ginny, one of the central characters in the book is absolutely nowhere to be seen, while on the other hand, garden gnomes, which play an extremely insignificant part in the story, find their way into almost 5 or 6 pages. Gilderoy Lockhart is nothing more than a mere one-page portrait. Madam Pomfrey is seen partying with the Mandrake, without her earmuffs!!! (I really wonder how she didn't drop dead at their cry! Looks like I must just convince myself saying "the earmuffs are totally hidden by her hair!" ) Just because Kay loves drawing spiders, almost every page in the chapter on The Dueling Club has nothing but spiders and he totally misses out on the main content of the chapter which is the practicing of spells in the great hall led by Snape and Lockhart; and Harry talking to the snake. The most important scene in the entire novel, according to most readers, will be the emergence of Tom Riddle, in person, in the Chamber of Secrets. But where is Tom!?!? And I really would have preferred to see a few more illustrations of the interior of chamber of secrets and the magnificient statue of Salazar Slytherin.

I have been a very big fan of Jim Kay and by no way am I trying to be negative or discouraging. I just feel that in his eagerness to be innovative and creative, Jim Kay has missed out on few vital elements which could never be redone. I very earnestly hope that Prisoner of Azkaban would contain better content! (I really don't want to see 4 more pages of Diagon Alley in POA too...)
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on 6 August 2015
If the first book in the series was an exciting adventure explaining the life of an ordinary boy in a muggle family to discovering he's a wizard "you're a wizard harry" and all his adventures in the first year at Hogwarts then the second book is a further adventure in the life of Harry, Hermione and Ron during their second year at Hogwarts.

The book starts off and picks up where the first one left off, somewhere in time between the summer holidays after their first year at Hogwarts but before their second year. Taking the reader on a well written and incredibly detailed adventure of life during the second year at Hogwarts.

This book is a definite page turner and as such three days after finishing the first book in the series and writing a review I have just finished the last pages of this the second in the series and find myself again eagerly recommending this series. Part way through the book already I picked this book of my bookshelf this morning as a morning read and have been reading the odd chapter or two since, not being able to stop myself from wanting to go back and read more about the adventures of Harry, Hermione and Ron.

This book is well written and has a well put together plot all the details and build up are right in-front of you as a reader but again are so brilliantly written that the adventure all three of them are taken on is not to obvious until you reach the few ending chapters and discover the grand finale of this book.

Without spoiling the entire plot of the book (if there are any readers who are new to the series like myself by now) I would say that I have only rated 4/5 stars because I do feel that the entire plot and finale is all a bit to similar to the first, despite being a brilliant read and a great adventure it all feels a bit familiar, it sets a great foundation for the third book and a "what will happen next feeling?" but I think the third book will hopefully have a break from the same thing happening again.

At this stage I would probably want to read the first book again more so than this one as it doesn't leave me a brilliantly excited feeling more that I've read the next chapter of Harry's life, it isn't a disappointing book in the series by any means but the plot just falls a bit to flat.

On the contrary to the above the final chapters are action packed and lengthily in detail allowing the reader to build up an imaginary visual scene of all the events allowing the readers imagination to run wild at all the events going on at once. This book also demonstrates Harry's growth and him actually earning his famous status for his skills are tested far more than ever, but will he step up to the plate?
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Review originally posted on A frolic through fiction (book blog)




Shouting over.

(probably not)

Oh how I got that comforting feeling when I dove back into this book. Every Harry Potter fan knows what I’m talking about. The nostalgia. The heart-warming feeling of returning to such magic. Nothing can beat it.

So in this book, we see Harry return to Hogwarts for his second school year, after a horrid summer with no idea what’s happening. And so the story begins.

Compared to the first book, there were so so so many more inconveniences for Harry to overcome in this book. Whether little or large, there was always something getting in the way. Without needing to set up the entire background and scenery, more of the actual life at Hogwarts could be built up, and I loved it. It just makes the experience so much more real.

And with the second year, we see new characters introduced. Some characters that we come to know and love – yes, I’m looking at you Ginny and Dobby . It’s about time those two got involved. Of course, there are other new characters introduced too. But I don’t have much to say about them. Apart from Lockhart. Because oh my days did I forget how FRUSTRATING that guy is!!! Every time he said something I wanted to tear the book apart (though of course I’d never do that because my books are my pride and joy).


It’s not just the new characters that change in this, but the old ones too. We very obviously see character development, as each student in Hogwarts has to deal with yet more problems because apparently magic can be a dangerous thing. But I can’t help but notice how much Hermione grows as a character. She becomes so much more confident and sassy and doesn’t-take-no-crap, yet remains the lovable bookworm we all adore. And that, to me, is why she’s always been my favourite character. She so relatable, and yet I manage to look up to her, and have done since the age of 7 (the most magical number). I look up to a fictional character.

“When in doubt, go to the library.”

Since this is yet another reread, I loved being able to see the difference between book and movie. I’ve not reread the series in years, so these differences were so much more obvious this time around. Especially since I marathoned the movies not long ago. And I forgot how many entertaining scenes were in the book! Most weren’t included in the movies, so they’d sunk to the back of my mind, and rereading them actually made me laugh and smile a fair few times! Gahhhh I love it.

“If he doesn’t stop trying to save your life he’s going to kill you.”

Another thing I kept noticing this time round was the foreshadowing. Originally reading this, I wouldn’t have even known what foreshadowing meant, but now that I’m older and have read this story so many times…all the little hints seem so obvious! But I suppose it’s like those “light bulb moments”, where it all clicks after you know the answer.

As for plot twists, there’s plenty in this book. Not all of them have the shock-factor, but it might just seem that way to me because I’ve known the story for over 10 years. This is the book where the much more complicated story line of the later books is hinted at ever so slightly. You can see that much more is coming your way.

I just know that one of the main reasons I love this series so much is because of how JK Rowling wrote it. She has the sort of style where everything is mentioned so casually, as if it’s not out of the ordinary at all, and there’s no reason for you to question it. It makes you really feel like magic is real (which of course, it is).

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’ve not got a single bad word to say about this series (unless you count my opinions on some of the characters).

But if you’re one of those people who hasn’t yet read these books…

please please PLEASE just read it and love it!
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on 14 March 2016
The school year is just about to start and once again Harry finds himself back at 4 Privet Drive with the Dursley's. Harry Potter is to attend his second year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry but for some reason a strange house elf named Dobby appears in his bedroom one evening warning him that he cannot go back to school as it is unsafe. This Dobby creature doesn't let Harry know how he has got such information but when Harry doesn't agree to stay away he starts making life even more unbearable with the Dursley's.

Harry's second year at Hogwarts is not all plain and simple as he was hoping, he appears to attract attention from unwanted people...mostly Draco Malfoy. When Students start being petrified into a coma like state and a message informing the 'Chamber of Secrets' has been opened.... Harry, Ron and Hermione take it upon themselves to find the culprit.

There were some new characters introduced in this second edition of Harry Potter, we meet Dobby the house elf, who is trying to persuade Harry not to go to Hogwarts this year. I loved that we got another magical creature into the book and that he was a house elf/servant and explores classes, his relevance in the story is explained as the story progresses. Gilderoy Lockhart is the new professor for the defence against the dark arts, Lockhart is a self obsessed, pompous, egotistical character that is very annoying. Then we have Moaning Myrtle the ghost that haunts the girls toilets, it's in the name really she moans a lot and feels sorry for herself and always crying but again with every character in the book, she has relevance to the story. Ginny Weasley the last of the Weasley clan has started school and is very shy around Harry, it appears she has somewhat of a crush. We have all the same characters as the first book and you get to see Harry, Ron and Hermione grow and develop.

There is a lot of repetition in this book, I think you could read this second book without reading the first as she explains things over again, It is the shortest book among the series but it is fast paced, packed full of adventure and written in true J K Rowling style. It has you gripped all the way through. This isn't my favourite book of the series and I think that is because there are a lot of annoying characters in my opinion.

Favourite character of the book for me so far is Hagrid, I like the way he is written as big softy and the dialect of the dialogue makes him more endearing.

This book is an excellent continuation of the Harry Potter series and definitely recommend the book to anyone.
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on 24 October 2015
It is very hard to review a book when you come to it with so much familiarity that it is hard to look just at the written word. Therefore I feel as though my three star review might not be as fair as it might be, while at the same time I cannot help but think that taken in context it is fair enough.

It has taken a long time for friends and family to badger me into reading the Harry Potter books, but it is not something that can be avoided – I’ve seen the films, and the earlier ones on more than a few occasions – kids like watching and rewatching so I am more than familiar with the story before I even picked up the Chamber of Secrets.

And herby lies the problem. I know what is going to happen before it does, when I read the setpieces I’ve already seen them countless times and it is the images from the movies that fill my head. And I believe that in this instance, the film is superior to the book.

I feel that the book is one of the smaller ones of the series and the director and writers felt the need to fill it out a little bit more than originally shown in the text. The result was not too different added more excitement to some of the action scenes. Of course they are scenes that probably work better on the screen, yet show something lacking in the novel.

It also starts with a walloping great recap of Harry Potter and his past, the Dursley’s hatred of magic and wizards, and his first year at Hogwarts. These are all things that are not needed, anyone reading the book has almost certainly read its predecessor and does not need a chapter of clumsy exposition before the true adventure begins.

There is though, something pure and magical at the heart of the story, the very thing that has made the Potter series such a success. It is easy to say that I feel the film is better than the book, but it also has to remembered without the novel there never would have been a movie.

I’m pretty sure as the series progresses and the books get bigger the trend will reverse itself, and there will be more on the printed page than made it to the screen.

I promised those that did the badgering that I would read the first book, and made no such promise about future books, but on the strength of this I am just about prepared to give the third one a try.
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on 9 September 2015
Read this review along with others on my blog by following this link: https://bibliomad.wordpress.com/

It's 1992, and Harry's second year at Hogwarts has just begun. Last year included some unforeseen events, yet Harry conquered them triumphantly. Surely this year will be calmer? Not at Hogwarts it won't! With a new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, and an unknown descendent of Salazar Slytherin wreaking havoc around the school, it is certain that Hogwarts will conjure up a selection of issues Harry couldn't sleep without solving.

That's right, everyone, it's another month, meaning another addition to the Harry Potter series has been demolished by yours truly. I am really enjoying reading this series, because - after immersing myself in more challenging reads for the rest of the month - it's nice to kick back, relax, and read a more simplistically worded novel, that still grips me, entices me, and makes me want more.

If I were to write a full review based on this book, I feel as though I would be repeating myself enormously from my review of the prior book in this series, especially when talking about plot, POV, themes, and characters, for many of them were very similar. However, there is one thing I specifically want to talk about in this review, that I didn't really pick up on when reading the first book - the importance of Ron and Harry's friendship.

Friendship, obviously, is a very important part of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. In essence, friendship lays the foundations for our modern society. It supplies someone to talk to, trust, and simply joke with, and Rowling's representation of friendship - through her characters, Ron and Harry - is truly sublime. The 2 boys rely on one another greatly, of course, for they are constantly trying to right wrongs together along with Hermione. And, as important as Hermione is to them, she is not an essential part to their camaraderie; their camaraderie is derivative of their shared sense of humour, despise for certain people (like Draco Malfoy, for example), and their definite, unwavering trust in one another.

This became apparent to me in Chapter 7, when Harry tells Ron a ludicrous - yet truthful - story, and Ron believes him instantly, like the blink of an eye. Whilst this could be blamed on childish naivety, I like to believe that Ron simply trusts Harry so thoroughly, even the most absurd story he tells him in seriousness will be taken just like that - seriously.

On another note, you can definitely see the changes in the characters if you were to compare them on the first day of their first year, and the first day of their second. It is definite that Harry, Ron, and Hermione have all matured, and it's great to see the story of Harry progress with his age, and I live in the hopes that this will continue. (Reliable sources have told me as much.)

Thus, I awarded this book a full 5/5 stars, as I assume I will be awarding all of the books in this series.
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on 15 September 2016
When I first read the Harry Potter series in high school, I remember this book being my favourite. However, on rereading it through I can understand why some consider it to be the weakest book in the series. While it's by no means my least favourite, it just doesn't feel as strong as the first.

The story is very slow to get going. After Dobby's ominous warnings in Chapter 2, the titular Chamber doesn't get mentioned until over a hundred pages into the novel. The time up until then is largely spent retreading old ground. Harry attends the same old lessons that he did in the first book and we learn very little more about the wizarding world. While some of the little asides are entertaining - I especially enjoyed the gnome throwing and Deathday party - they're not in any way important in the greater scheme of things.

There were also some weak elements to the plot that frustrated me more and more as I thought about them. Like, why doesn't Harry try to use his Parseltongue to stop the Basillisk? Why does Harry never offer to buy Ron a new wand? Why does Hermione, who has been systematically reading her way through the school library, not know what a mudblood is? While I appreciate that this is a middle grade novel, it doesn't excuse some of weak plotting (including those bits that don't really make sense in hindsight when you've read the rest of the series).

Yet Rowling's writing is still just a joy to read. The overall message of the Harry Potter series is still hard to fault, filled with wit and wimsy and focuses up on the importance of teamwork, bravery and friendship to overcome things that threaten that. While the characters haven't developed from how they were in the Philosophers Stone, they're still vibrant and memorable. I'm particularly fond of new addition Gilderoy Lockheart. While he's horrifyingly arrogant, his selfishness desire to hog the limelight in every scene is surprisingly endearing and I loved reading the various ways that he managed to cause chaos in everything he did.

All in all, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is not as strong as the first book but is still a lot of fun to read. It's the last really light hearted book in the series before the plot starts to take a dark turn and it's a fun read for a pre-teen fantasy fan.
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