It happened faster than I expected, but I ended up reading the second Harry Potter almost right behind the first.
The short review is that I really liked it, even better than the first, actually.
Through the second book, I still don’t much like Harry Potter. Like Ted in How I Met Your Mother, the main character seems to be the most boring and pointless. To me it feels like all we know about him is that he’s important (because everyone keeps saying so), he’s powerful and a natural at some things (although he doesn’t ever seem to study or practice much unless its required of him), and that he has a remarkable ability to charge into trouble without really thinking about what he’s doing.
I wasn’t a huge fan of how the final battle here was resolved, as only part of it seemed due to choices or attitudes of the characters.
But overall, these are minor quibbles. They didn’t detract much from the overall enjoyment of the book.
What I loved:
I liked that this book felt a little tighter than the first. Between having to do an enormous amount of world-building in the first book and stuff action and adventure into every page, I really felt as though the first book was just too much, too fast. That feeling, by the way, was reinforced as I re-watched the first movie. Wow! There was a lot stuffed into that book! In this book the world-building felt much more intertwined with the story.
I can still see why these books have become the phenomenon that they have. Rowling hits all the right notes, over and over, and its a quick and easy read. I’m pretty sure I plowed through it in only two or three nights, and I enjoyed it a lot.
So yes, I might be late to the party, but it’s still a fun one to join.