Four Star review, originally posted here on July 9, 2015.
Yes, yes, I am a decade or two late to the party, but I’m finally slowly getting through the Harry Potter books, basically devouring one each time I need a quick easy beach read. My review here is pretty much exactly the same as for book one: it was a fun ride, and I love the detail in forming this magical new world. There were plenty of new wizard-world revelations to keep things worthwhile (I loved the arrogant celebrity teacher- hilarious!).
The actual plot this time was slightly less stupid than in the 1st book, at least until the end. Are ALL the endings in these books this annoying? I just cannot begin to give a crap about Voldemort and about Harry’s mysterious backstory. I’m presumably alone in this. And maybe it will eventually change, who knows. Also, Dumbledore seems kinda useless for someone who is supposed to be the best wizard in the world. And it constantly drives me nuts how much these kids could help their cause by talking with the adults but for some reason don’t. There’s a scene where Dumbledore is like “Harry do you have any useful information that might help us prevent children from being attacked by a monster?” and Harry thinks about all the information he knows that might help prevent children from being attacked by a monster, and then he answers “Nope, I’ve got nothing. Let’s just wait for more children to be attacked by a monster.” And then there’s another scene where they decide, “Hey, we should go tell McGonagal the stuff we know!” and then they go to meet her in the teacher’s lounge, and then when she arrives they inexplicably hide in a closet, eavesdrop, and leave without actually telling McGonagal anything. What the crap, kids?! Pool your resources before someone freakin’ DIES AGAIN!
But all of this is minutia that doesn’t bug me too much since, as I have to keep reminding myself, this is a kid’s book, and I guess adventures in general are never as good if people actually acted responsibly. But it’s enough to prevent a full 5 star review.