"Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter 'H'."
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
Having now become classics of our time, the Harry Potter ebooks never fail to bring comfort and escapism to readers of all ages. With its message of hope, belonging and the enduring power of truth and love, the story of the Boy Who Lived continues to delight generations of new readers.
With more than seven million copies of Sorcerer's Stone and its two sequels sold in the U.S. in a year's time, it would be hard to find many school-age children who haven't at least heard of Harry Potter. British author Rowling's tales of a young wizard-in-training who attends the unusual Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have enchanted children (and their parents, too) like no books before them. Now, with this sharp audio production, those who haven't yet met Harry will soon be swept up in the fun, and established Potter fans will delight in hearing Harry's adventures anew. British actor and Broadway star Dale is an inspired choice as narrator, reading with a light, assured air that makes Harry's fantastic, sometimes dangerous, world very real, while never losing sight of Rowling's humorous underpinnings. His numerous vocal characterizations are dead-on, especially his fast-talking take on Harry's sweet but overachieving witch friend Hermione Granger. A gruff and sensitive Hagrid (the school's gamekeeper), evil Malfoy, kindly Dumbledore and appropriately Scottish Professor McGonagall are also crisply distinctive. The combination of Rowling's exquisitely evocative writing and Dale's nimble reading make this a magical addition to the bewitching Harry Potter canon. All ages.
I've always been a massive fan of this series; it taught me to love novels, basically. This enhanced version is so very tastefully done. I am so glad the illustrations are "grown up", and will appeal to both young and old. Rowling's personal additions is just icing on the cake. Cheers!
Could Be Better
The illustrations are very nice and some are animated but there is no sound. There are only a few annotations and they are short. This is disappointing given the amount of extra material that was written for Pottermore. I think these enhanced eBooks should be more enhanced than they are. This is Harry Potter after all.
For all the frills, still missing some basics
I was excited to own this version, but when I downloaded the sample, I reconsidered. Left-flushed pages look terrible (give us the option for justified!), and the forced black-text-on-blinding-white-background is ridiculous. The great thing about ebooks is how flexible the text can be, but here, all we’re allowed to do is change the text size. I suppose I’ll hold off for now and wait for at least the color issue to be resolved; all of my other ebooks are in night mode, and I just can’t read this text as it is.