Completely unexpectedly, the first Harry Potter book became an overnight success. Even though, as I have expressed in my rant, it has one big problem: it’s very fragmented. It could do well with the prefix “The adventures of” stamped in front of the title. Because that’s what it feels like: a whole lot of good ideas stuffed into one good book.
The second book takes the concept of the first, but ups the ante by actually creating a causal line. Everything flows from one thing into the next in a logical manner. Nothing ever comes out of the blue, and it all makes sense.
The plot itself involved to go with that: whereas the first book had us believing we were reading children’s literature, which meant Snape had to be the vilain, the second book goes a step further: this time around, an innocent person is being controlled by the bad guy. Obviously, this storyline is brought back to Lord Voldemort, the big bad wolf of the series. A nice decision which makes perfect sense and I never saw it coming the first time around.
You can tell Rowling’s shaping up the wizarding world in the second book. A lot of important characters get faces (the Weasly family and the Minister of Magic, for instance) and we get our first real look at the young Tom Riddle. There’s a lot more excitement this time around, even if there is less adventure. And you get to see what happens if you kill a ghost. Everybody’s a winner!