Saturday, 13 May 2017

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I knew this was not going to be much like the previous seven volumes of the series, starting from its status as a play and only partly written by J.K. Rowling, with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany doing the rest. The fan cartoonists of Harry Potter Comics, which similarly begins with the epilogue of book 7, act like this play is the next Go Set a Watchman. But since they differed significantly from my opinions on the Fantastic Beasts movie, I took their razzing with a grain of salt. Anyway, I got some enjoyment out of The Phantom Menace by knowing from the start that it wouldn't be in the same category as its predecessors, so hard could this be?

Plot gist, with spoilers of previous books )

About the characters )

Further reactions )

It's difficult for me to weigh, but overall, I think I put this volume in seventh place. It didn't feel like a chore -- not for long, anyway -- but neither would it have made me a fan of the franchise if I weren't already. I hadn't been utterly itching for more HP, and this provides only a slight scratch. Nevertheless, I won't dismiss it as quasi-canonical in my heart. It still reads more authentically than any fanfic I've known. If nothing else, it may refresh your memory of past events in the series and give you a new perspective on some.

I have now picked up Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Apparently, this too involves some measure of temporal manipulation. Am I ready for it?


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Stephen Gilberg

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