The best DADA teacher of them all!. So much snakeage! The foundation is laid.
+ GILderoy LOCKhart. The name alone!
+ Good comedy at the Dursley house involving Dobby, a business deal and a pudding.
+ The Burrow chapter! Blessed is anybody who had the good fortune of such a childhood home. We feel with Harry as he experiences the warmth of a true family for the first time.
+ Mr. Weasley and his hobbies.
+ Ginny properly enters the cast.
+ Snake in the walls!
+ Kids are taught about bigotry, racism and political intrigues. Didactic value.
+ Valentine’s Day!
– Yuck, so much Malfoy!
– Stupid Fudge firing Dumbledore.
– Ron’s broken wand! How could teachers allow this? Hogwarts should have a resident wand repairer.
– Expelliarmus. Who doesn’t hate this overused lame-o spell? But the Dueling Club was lockarious.
One could argue that Chamber of Secrets is the most important of the seven books. It introduces the political divide of the wizarding world between “pure-blood” and muggle-born wizards as well as the four founders of Hogwarts and their dispute, which will be reflected in the battle between the good guys and the Death Eaters in the following volumes. We also get a first glimpse of Voldemort’s roots as well as the first Horcrux, although we won’t find out about it until book 6. How cool is that?
The reason I rank Chamber of Secrets as the third-best Potter is that it pulls of everything mentioned above while still remaining a pleasant, fun, humorous children’s book. There is the usual mystery and darkness, but we also get many colorful Hogwarts scenes and, most importantly, we get Gilderoy Lockhart, a Trumpesque character who theoretically should have taught all HP readers who voted for The Don the dangers and shallows of unlimited vanity and craving for fame.
Also, we meet lovable Dobby the House-elf, get to know the Burrow, learn about Floo Powder and Harry gets to swing a sword!
I really have hardly anything to criticize about this book, it unites all the elements we love about the series while being also a suspenseful, creative mystery thriller. Deserved third place!