Harry Potter Film Vault: Forest, Lake and Sky Creatures – Book Review

If there’s one book series that completely sums up my childhood and adolescence, it would be Harry Potter. I was, and remain to this very day, a huge Potter fan. So when I got the chance to review a set of four film vault books from Titan Books, it’s safe to say that this was the best bit of book mail I’ve had in a while.

As part of Titan’s Wizarding World series (another title that’s part of this collection is the the very popular Page to Screen mega-book), these volumes mix both illustration to behind the scene photography to give Potter fans a real insight into the world behind the eight movies.

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Kicking off the first in my 4 part review is the Forest, Lake and Sky Creatures edition. 

At just 65 pages, this is a very beautiful but slimline book. The information is easy to digest in small chunks, and it took me just over 15 minutes to read the entire thing start to finish. So if you want a really in-depth review of all the creatures of the Potter-verse, I’d recommend you pick up Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

This book covers all mythical beasts that are heavily featured in the film series. So hippogriffs, dragons, Thestrals etc. With a beautiful mix between photography, illustration and film snapshots, it was interesting to discover how they really translated the characters from page to film. I also I found the directors & filmmakers comments fascinating, as it really showed how much work went into every character for every scene, and fleshed out the narrative.

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There were a few little things about this volume that did irk me. For example, sometimes the explanation of how things work on set was very drawn-out and unclear. As someone who doesn’t really understand electronics, the way the author described how Aragog moved (for example) didn’t capture my interest, and I got lost a few times when they quickly moved from topic to topic.

I do wish these were longer volumes, and there was more new information divulged. As a big Potter fan, I found the mini explanation of how each mythical beast features in the novels to be filler and just not needed. You wouldn’t pick up this book if you didn’t know Potter well, so it just felt a bit wooden to add it in.

I’m also assuming the author is American, as she refers to the the first book as The Sorcerer’s Stone. Which is fine, but for a reader of the original publication, it threw me off a little bit.

But with the images and illustrations the author has picked are stunning to look at. For Potter fans, this would be a fantastic addition to any bookshelf.

Harry Potter Film Vault: Forest, Lake, And Sky Creatures is out on the 5th September, and available to pre-order here.

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