Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J. K. Rowling
|Book Name:||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them|
|Author:||Newt Scamander (a.k.a. J. K. Rowling)|
|Formatt:||Hardcover / Paperback|
|Genre(s):||Fantasy / YA|
|Release Date:||March 1, 2001|
So, after my previous Harry Potter review, I had another look at my copies of Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Yeah, turns out I got the ACTUAL copies from Hogwart’s library. Who knew, eh? Though I imagine the fact one book has been trying to gnaw on my fingers and making unnatural growling sounds would be a sign, but I just figured that was because it’s been a while since I last opened these. Well, nothing to do now except call up Hogwarts, expect the fines that would undoubtedly come from having property from a school I never attended, and await someone to pop out of my fireplace to pick it up. Until then, while it’s still in my possession, let’s take a look at the second supplementary book written for Comic Relief: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a bestiary that contains a brief summary of the physical, psychological, and natural aspects of the various magical beasts and creatures that witches and wizards make a habit of keeping from the prying eyes of Muggles. Those witches and wizards, who work with magical animals, are dedicated to preserving the lives of Muggles, wizards, and beasts alike, and on maintaining secrecy. The book also provides a definition of beasts and the distinction between beasts and “beings,” as well as how some of these keep in hiding on their own. Methods of taming, breeding, selling, and control are also touched upon, as well as how some creatures should never be handled due to their violent or mischievous nature.
The second half is an alphabetical breakdown of the beasts that are considered worth the protection of witches and wizards. Most of the creatures listed are classical monsters from fantasy lore and mythology, while others are creations of the author…or so I thought until making my little discovery. For a book that features only forty-two pages, there is quite a bit of detail in all of the creature biographies. Seasoned D&D players would find it to be a thin version of a Monster Manual. This lends me to think that if anyone could use this book to make their own Harry Potter roleplay, complete with their own monster encounters, that would be true to the spirit of the series.
In the spirit of this being a book that is the property of a student, Fantastic Beasts is covered with doodles, team logos, and commentary by the original owner. In this case…oh, looks like I have property of one Harry Potter. The little additions like this help pull the reader deeper into the idea that they’re reading a textbook that used to belong to someone, and that there is actual knowledge behind the work.
In all, if you’re a hardcore Harry Potter fan who sees either Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them or Quidditch Through the Ages in a bookstore or online, you could do worse than adding these to your collection. Each book is well written and entertaining, and the fact that both are inexpensive and for charity helps their argument. As with Quidditch, Fantastic Beasts is probably not something for casual fans, but it is still a good read and an excellent addition for a long-time fan.
Pros: Entertaining and informative, Fantastic Beasts reads like a light Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.
Cons: Thinner than Quidditch Through the Ages, so people may not find it worth the price.
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In a bizarre twist of timing, a representative from Hogwarts just came through my fireplace, so if you don’t mind I need to discuss the matters of this book with hi…
Wait, what was I writing? Sorry, I’ve got this really dizzying headache and can’t remember the last half hour. And it looks like someone tried to touch my computer, as I see a fully written review for a book I never read all ready to go. Ah well, I’ve never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially since I never had a horse.