Monday, March 27, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - J.K. Rowling

Summary:  The year is 1926 in the city of New York...
A time and place where the actions of a handful of people...and creatures...will determine the fate of the many.  Magizoologist Newt Scamander, newly arrived in town, intends his stay to be just a brief stopover.  However, when Newt's magical case is misplaced and some of his fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone... (Summary from book flap)

My Review:  So.  Uh...Hi!  My name is Mindy and I am a Potterhead.  As this review posts, I am on my way to Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my husband.  We are not taking our children and at least two of them are pitching a fit. Oh, they will get to go eventually, but this trip is for the grownup Potterphiles.   As such a big fan, it's highly unlikely that I'll be able to give a story set in the Potterverse a fully unbiased review. I'll try...but I thought you should know.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them isn't really a book, but rather the published screenplay for a movie of the same name that released last year.   It is based in the same world as the best-selling Harry Potter series, but set a bit earlier (the 1920s) and in another country (the US).  While readers do not have to be acquainted with Rowling's other works to enjoy this one, I do feel that familiarity with the series would make for a richer experience.  It didn't take me long to wrap my brain around the screenplay format and just enjoy the ride.

Fantastic Beasts sped out of the gate in the first few pages and didn't stop for much of anything.  I finished it in a matter of hours (an experience I sorely needed) and am more excited than ever to see the movie.  Overall, I felt it was a delightful afternoon jaunt into familiar world -- humorous and well-paced with some seriously likable characters, interesting animals (that should translate well on the big screen), and some fantastic foreshadowing.  And, okay, if I sort of saw the twist coming I wasn't too terribly upset about it.  Fantastic Beasts is meant to be the first in (at least) a trilogy. Thankfully, it ended with enough of a resolution that I wasn't tempted to throw it across the room, but left enough unanswered questions to ensure I'll be picking up the next book.

Pssssst.  The movie comes out on Blu-ray tomorrow, so I'll be watching it as soon as we get back!

My Rating: 4 Stars

Sum it up:  A delightful jaunt into a familiar world.

For the Sensitive Reader:  As is the usual for these kind of books, there were a few darker scenes that I felt might translate somewhat darker and scarier on the big screen or when read to younger children.  Although the book isn't descriptive, there might be a trigger for victims of child abuse.  No profanity that I can recall.

comes out to on DVD blu-ray tomorrow.

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