Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by Ian Nathan

Inside the Magic is such a fun book. I bought it as a Christmas present, but had to have a cheeky read before wrapping it. It’s really everything a good companion book should be – informative and beautifully designed, with plenty of immersion in both the fictional world and production.

It’s not perfect, of course. At a scant 144 pages, it was never going to be a hugely in-depth exploration of the film. But let’s be honest, I could have read entire essays – if not novels – about the characterisation, development and extensive backstories of Newt, Tina, Queenie, Jacob and co. The strangest aspect is the fact it seems to be geared towards fans that haven’t seen the film yet. There’s a lot of coyness – especially around Graves – when a more direct approach would have raised lots of interesting avenues for discussion.

My favourite section is a lovely double-page-spread on the characters’ wands. It’s so interesting to see all the thought that went into the choices from design, to wood type, to required usage. It’s that attention to miniscule detail that has always added to the rich, magical world of the Potter film franchise, and Inside the Magic proves that the team are invested as ever. I’d love to read something more in-depth on the writing and development process, but I’m sure Fantastic Beasts will be inspiring spin-off material for years to come.

[Read from 30 November-3 December 2016]

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