Publication Date: November 18, 2016
Theme: Animal Care, Trust, Friendship, Neglect, Abuse, Discrimination
Magical creature caretaker, Newt Scamander, enters New York for the first time. What he thought would be a quick trip turns out to be one full of surprises and mayhem. His magical case, where his creatures live, gets misplaced and several animals escape. Now, he has to not only locate them, but avoid being caught by the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) for risking the secrecy of witches and wizards.
In the meantime, there is something unusual happening in New York. Seemingly random destruction occurs, and no one knows why. Could it be one of Newt’s escaped creatures or is there something more sinister loose in the city?
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this read. I don’t think I’ve ever read a screenplay before (aside from high school Shakespearean ones), so this was a new experience for me. At first, I found the rhythm a bit choppy and hard to get into. However, as the story progressed, the newness wore off a bit and the writing felt smoother. Because of the setup, the characters’ feelings and thoughts were only brushed upon, and therefore it was hard to connect with many of them.
Regardless of this, I really enjoyed Newt. He was sensitive and caring, especially towards his magical creatures. I found this really endearing and fell in love with his animals, too.
The pacing was fast and I was able to read this in two short sittings. It seemed like something was always happening. One of my favorite scenes was when Newt and newfound friend, Jacob, go into Newt’s case and see his animals. Though I already had an image of how this would look like, it was still magical to read about the varying creatures and how much Newt really loves them.
One thing I had tough time with was trying to not picture the movie while I was reading. I purposely waited to read the screenplay because I didn’t want to spoil the movie, but now I’m thinking I should’ve read the screenplay first so I can have my own idea how everyone looked and acted. In any case, I really enjoyed the movie, and this was basically the movie in print form. However, I could see this being problematic for those who don’t like to repeat. If you are one of those people, I would caution that the book and movie are basically the same.
Overall, I enjoyed this read, even though the format was something I wasn’t used to reading.
As a warning, there is mention of child abuse, which may be uncomfortable for some and inappropriate for the younger crowd.
I would recommend this fantasy screenplay to fantasy lovers, those who have enjoyed Harry Potter, and to those who don’t mind reading a screenplay.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
1 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!