'You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.' ~ Paul Sweeney

Friday, May 22, 2015

Spies like us: Harry Potter and the Art of Spying

Harry Potter and the Art of Spying
Author: Lynn Boughey and Peter Ernest
Published By: Wise Ink, Inc.
Publication Date: September 15, 2014

Available in: Paperback and Kindle
Art of Spying website and blog

I've had this book on my shelf for more than a year now, having received an ARC well before its publication date. I read it cover to cover a few months before attending LeakyCon in Orlando, Florida last August. At that time, MuggleNet was asked to review the book and give a quote for the publication. I jumped at the chance to get my hands on it and provided a quote to the authors, which you can see below:
Now, I'd meant to write a full review and post on Amazon but with the excitement of LeakyCon as my first real MuggleNet event since joining the team and being promoted to Source Editor, it kind of fell by the wayside. I'm about to rectify that!

My quote absolutely still holds true - what I love most about the Potter fandom is that we can really get our geek on. We re-read the books all the time, we watch the movies over and over, and when we get together as a group to discuss the series, theories and opinions and all the feels start flying around!

I consider myself to be a very intuitive person and think that I see (or in this case, READ) between the lines to what lies deep underneath. However, when it comes to Potter, the pensieve runs deeper. Just when you think you have it all sorted or you've discovered the hidden gems that Jo has laced throughout the series, someone else brings to your attention something you never thought of before.

That's what this book does. It marries the need to understand the Potter series on a deeper level with, as the title indicates, the art of spying.
"Although some Potterphiles consider Order of the Phoenix to be one of the lesser books in the series, we heartily disagree. This book is Harry's true coming-of-age story, alongside his best friends Hermione and Ron. With little to no help from the adults, the famous triad rebels against authority, organizes a subversive organization, and takes matters into its own hands! The fact that the kids must do this in secret allows them to develop important skills not only in magic, but in spy craft as well." - Art of Spying
Before this book, I'd never really thought of what Harry and his friends were doing in the series in quite those terms. What is supremely interesting to those addicted to Harry's journey and the world he inhabits is that there were so many things going on around Harry that affected him but that he just had zero clue about. He was completely new to the wizarding world and didn't understand the rules that governed it. We as readers had access to information he didn't, albeit sprinkled in what appeared to be a random sentence or paragraph that seemingly had no bearing to his journey.  Knowing what we know now, those bits of information were never random and never without purpose.

The authors, Lynn Boughey and Peter Earnest (the director of the International Spy Museum!!!), explore book five in the series - chapter by chapter, moment by moment, breaking down each one by reflecting on the action of the characters. They help us understand the various methods of gaining information, how that information informed the decision-making process, and revealed truths about each character and their motivations that we may not have seen at first glance.

Harry Potter and the Art of Spying is definitely worth the money as an addition to your Potter collection - you'll never look at the series the same way again!

You can check out the blog for the book, which I also happened to write a few guest posts for last December when Pottermore dropped clues and new information as a 12 Days of Christmas gift to fans!

No comments:

Post a Comment