Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Reviews | "Quidditch Through the Ages" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" by J.K. Rowling

This week's review is a two for one over two of the three "Hogwarts Library" books I bought while visiting the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Tour. I figured this would be a good way to make up for the little break I took since June while I was away travelling.
For those of you who may have forgotten, both "Quidditch..." and "Fantastic Beasts..." are mentioned as being texts from the Harry Potter series. In fact, throughout both books, there are notes from the characters or little elements that make the books really seem like part of that world.
Before I start to reveal too much, here is the Goodreads description for "Quidditch Through the Ages":

If you have ever asked yourself where the Golden Snitch came from, how the Bludgers came into existence or why the Wigtown Wanderers have pictures of meat cleavers on their robes, you need Quidditch Through the Ages. This edition is a copy of the volume in Hogwarts School Library, where it is consulted by young Quidditch fans on an almost daily basis. 

Both of these books are very short, easily read during one sitting, and they are written to be non-fiction seeming, so there isn't much to review.
I liked how the history of quidditch was easily paralleled to the development of our 'muggle sports'. If you know some sport history, you notice a lot of similarities to how things evolved. 
I would have liked, however, for there to have been more "technical" drawings and diagrams to help give better visuals for the chapters about strategy and formations etc. 

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" :

A copy of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them resides in almost every wizarding household in the country. Now Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief, which means that the pounds and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope that passing wizards feel more charitable if they see you being attacked by a Manticore.

- Albus Dumbledore

"Fantastic Beasts..." seems to be the least favorite among readers of the Hogwarts Library books, but I think it was my favorite of the three. The added annotations from Ron specifically made this a very cute read. 
I liked the text book feel of the book, it made it more authentic seeming, but it wasn't written in a dry, boring sort of way. 
Like "Quidditch" I wish there had been more pictures/illustrations to go with the beast descriptions. 
Also, Dementors were missing, are they considered beings? Hmmm...

Anyway, I enjoyed both books. The proceeds go towards a good cause, and they're great for any Harry Potter fan. However, if you just like the series, or are new to the books, you can pass or wait to pick these up.

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