I’m a little disappointed in these Pottermore Presents books. They say they’re “short stories” and I don’t feel that they are. Are Wikipedia articles short stories? No. No they aren’t. I wasn’t looking for some grand literary master piece, I was looking for short stories, a bed time story, facts with personality, something more than a text book.
I had been planning on reviewing each of the books over the next few days. Upon reading them there isn’t much to review. They aren’t stories so there is no storyline, characters, or writing style/techniques to comment on. So you get one for all three and I’ll do a real review with an actual story for Friday.
The books mostly rehash information you can find on Pottermore, but there are supposedly a couple of extra bits that are brand new.
Heroes, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies – This one focuses on McGonagall, Lupin, Trelawney, and Kettleburn. Along with a couple of extra blurbs about Animagis, Werewolves, and Naming Seers.
The background information about McGonagall and Lupin were interesting, but not enough to carry the whole book. Even with the inclusion of Animagis and Werewolves this book still felt the weakest of the three and the one that left me wondering if throwing my money in the trash would have been a better use.
Hogwarts: An Incomplete & Unreliable Guide – Too many things to list them all. King’s Cross to the Hufflepuff Common room and from Time Turners to the Chamber of Secrets. This may be the most interesting of the three books and it never claimed to have an actual story, short or otherwise.
For the most part the blurbs were too short. Basically just a long paragraph for most of them. I really liked the concept of this but it felt like one feather when you could see the bird flying outside. It needs more.
Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists – Learn about Umbridge, Slughorn, Quirrell and Peeves with additional information about Ministers of Magic, Azkaban, Potions, Polyjuice Potion, and Cauldrons.
This was better than Heroes, but still fundamentally did not contain any stories. The people featured could easily have their own short stories that could have had all the information in it and been entertaining. Peeves has a history that is both colorful and unique, but we get facts.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t recommend these. Go look around Pottermore. You’ll get more information, and it won’t cost you anything. If you want a story go read the actual books, because there aren’t any in these books.