Hey guys, and welcome to another post in this Harry Potter week and Part Two of what I am referring to as Pulling a Pottermore (for reasons that I hope may be becoming clear). The second of the three Pottermore Presents e-books, in the order I read them at least, is Hogwarts; An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (henceforth, the Hogwarts Guide).
Compared to the previously reviewed book, Hogwarts Heroes, the Hogwarts Guide has a far more fractured layout due to the wide variety of its contents. While Heroes had four distinct topic sections, the Guide has many more subjects, ranging from the Hogwarts Ghosts and the Hufflepuff Common Room to an explanation of Sir Cadogan and time turners (why they’re included probably makes a lot more sense to the writer than it does to me). Once again, the question of the day is how much of the Hogwarts Guide is actually new content?
Aaand we’re going to swoop to look at the cover first again. What can I say? I like to start on a high note. I like the colour. Red. It’s nice and bold. And there’s gold too – Gryffindor colours! It’s simple to look at and therefore quite pleasant. The added ‘N’, ‘In’, and ‘Un’ really get to me too. Humour is good. Makes me think of Gred and Feorge. They make me happy. I needed to remember the joy that humour gave me as I read the rest of it.
I’m not going to bother going through each section this time – it would take too long and would be really repetitive. Seriously, you’d get bored, I’d get bored, and then we’d all be bored. So, a summary of how I felt about the content. The Hogwarts Guide is well written and pretty interesting. I enjoyed it. Particularly when I first read it. Several years ago. Mostly on Pottermore. I lamented the lack of originality in Hogwarts Heroes but the Hogwarts Guide doesn’t even earn a lament. It just annoys me.
Now I mentioned that much of the content of the Hogwarts Guide can be found on Pottermore, which it can, but other bits felt familiar to me while reading but could not be found there. A quick google search, however, showed me that this content is still not new. Nearly Headless Nick’s Ballad, though not something I found after a quick rummage through Pottermore, was apparently released several years previously and can be found, word for word, on the Pottermore Wikia – it cites Mugglenet as a source. Worse still is the section on time turners. I knew I recognised it but couldn’t find it on Pottermore but, upon googling it, I found a picture. A picture that showed the time turner info HAD been on Pottermore. Did they remove it just to make it seem like there was SOMETHING new in this book?
Since the notes I took while I was reading literally finishes halfway through saying “Got bored of listing all the not new information”, it’s pretty clear that I was not impressed with the Hogwarts Guide. The writing is, as ever, still good and the content would be interesting IF I HADN’T READ IT BEFORE. FOR FREE! Mostly, it felt like a waste of time and money. £1.99 was too much for me to have paid for no noticeable new content and the thirty minutes it took me to read the book could have been spent doing pretty much anything else.
IN the short time since I wrote this, I have found an article on Pottermore that does indeed confirm that this e-book contains no new info. It also admits that much of the info in the other two will be “the best of Pottermore”, also known as not new info, repeated content, and goodbye money, I misused you. The article then goes on to imply that the original content that CAN be found in the books is likely to be released on the site at some point. I love you, Potter world, but this might take some persuasion before I see it as not being just a money grabbing exercise. At least put it towards charity or something?
The other posts –