Haunters – Thomas Taylor

Thomas Taylor
The Chicken House, 2012 – Scholastic, 2013
Buy on Amazon UKBuy on Amazon US

Thomas Taylor’s first novel brings back one of my favorite subjects: time travel. But how? Or I should say where?

Since his father died, David Utherwise has been dreaming about Eddie, another 14-year-old boy who he already considered his friend, who he cares for even if it is not real. But the same day he dreamt about a burning house and the possible death of Eddie, the truth will be revealed – he is a dreamwalker, but he is not the only one.

He is now part of ‘The Dreamwalkers Project’, people just like him, who can time travel through their dreams, and aim to protect the world from ‘The Haunting’, a sinister organisation that manipulates history for money. The inexperienced Eddie will have to stop Adam – the most powerful dreamwalker who works for ‘The Haunting’ – and his plan to destroy the world and The Project. But Eddie won’t be alone, as he has his ally (not all of them trustworthy) and the dreamwalker power in his blood.

In Haunters, the war is inverted – the living are the ghosts, and the haunted are the dead. Will Eddie save the past, the present and the future, from the hands of ‘The Haunting’?

With an agile development of the story, Taylor managed to write a gripping novel that will perfectly appeal teenagers. For the Harry Potter fans, a few nods can be found in some instances of the book.

The book has been published in United Kingdom by The Chicken House in May 2012, and now is reaching The United States by Scholastic.

Thomas Taylor is the cover artist of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

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One Day in the Life of Daniel Radcliffe – Tim Hailand

One Day in the Life of Daniel Radcliffe - Tim Hailand

One Day in the Life of Daniel Radcliffe
Tim Hailand
Hailand Books, 2009
Buy on Official Website

One day in the life of Daniel Radcliffe” is the first book by Tim Hailand, a photographic artist based in New York City. It captures a normal day in the life of the actor, during his experience in Broadway while working on the play Equus.

In over 50 photos, we can see Dan in private moments like waking up, going out of the shower and others – like his own bookshelf. Also, more public moments, like hanging backstage with his coworkers, signign autographs to fans at the end of a performance, etc. It gives us a glimpse of what Dan’s life was like when he was playing Alan Strang in Equus. Another great thing about the book is that at its end there are personal notes by Dan Radcliffe himself, with comments about all the photos – including the well-known tale of the plane which landed in the river in New York City.

The appearance of the book is quite amazing, too. A nice hardcover, with photographic paper in every page, so we can appreciate the moments in good quality.

If you are a Daniel Radcliffe fan, this book is definitely a must. You are going to love it, being that it gives a rare (and possibly one-of-a-kind) opportunity to see Daniel Radcliffe in his private life as never before.

One Day in the Life of Daniel Radcliffe - Tim Hailand


What do you think? Did you read it? Would you get it? Leave your comments!

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Comments on the New Pottermore Shop

Next, a few comments and reviews about the new Pottermore Shop that has been launched today:

Forbes – Harry Potter and the Mysterious eBookstore:

First of all, you can only purchase the books from the Pottermore site. This is really unusual. On Amazon’s page they actually push you there. There is no other Kindle book sold in this way. It is a big deal. Second, how often can you download a book? Apparently, 8 times. But that is 8 times on any device. So if you have a Kindle and your kid has an iPad you only have to buy the book once. This is a cross-platform purchase.

TechDirt – Harry Potter And The Missing Middlemen: Where The Pottermore Store Goes Wrong:

Dedicated users of existing ebook stores face pointless barriers, so rather than opening her market up to people (like me) who have still never read the books but might decide to do so if they crossed the path of their normal ebook-shopping activities, Rowling has limited herself primarily to existing fans who are willing to jump through hoops for an electronic version.

Digital Spy – ‘Harry Potter’ books launch on Amazon Kindle:

Just like The Beatles, JK Rowling is considered to have the popularity with consumers to persuade Amazon to bend over backwards to secure her co-operation. “JK Rowling is the Beatles,” Shatzkin said. “Amazon decided that having the Potter books to sell was more important than the control they usually insist on.” Jim Friedland, an analyst at Cowen & Co, told Reuters that Amazon most likely accepted a lower cut of sales of Harry Potter eBooks, potentially down from the usual 30% to just 10%. However, Friendland noted that the move would enable the firm to persuade more people to invest in Kindle devices due to the enduring popularity of Harry Potter.

GigaOm – What book publishers should learn from Harry Potter:

Rowling has chosen to do a number of interesting things with her e-books, including releasing them without digital-rights management restrictions. Obviously, the success of the Potter series has given Rowling the ability to effectively dictate terms to just about anyone, even a powerhouse like Amazon, but there are still lessons that other book publishers should take from what she is doing.

Leave your comments!

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Live web chat with the Harry Potter cast!

The video web-chat begins at 3pm (BST)!

Don’t forget to submit your own questions to the Studio Tour from 2pm if you follow @WB_StudioTour and include the hashtag #WBSTUDIOTOUR

Here is a record of the webchat. Enjoy it!

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Dear Me… A letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self – Joseph Galliano (Foreword by J.K. Rowling)

Dear Me... A letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self - Joseph Galliano (Foreword by J.K. Rowling)

Dear Me… A letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self
Joseph Galliano (Foreword by J.K. Rowling)
Atria Books (Simon & Schuster), 2011
Buy on Simon and Schuster

The people from Simon & Schuster were kind enough to send me a copy of Dear Me… A letter to my sixteen-year-old self two months prior to its release date. Dear Me… is a book about advice. Some of the best-known celebrities write a letter to their sixteen-year-old selves. Some offer pieces of advice, some tell about their future (or not), and some are provocative… However, they all address the vulnerabilities of being teenagers, neither children nor adults.

I was surprised to find that in addition to a great letter, Jo had also written a foreword. In it, Jo confesses to have watched her daughter (who is seventeen years old), and compares her to herself when she was a teenager. In her words, she wouldn’t go back to being sixteen for anything in the world.

In the letter itself, Jo offers to her young self pieces of advice, about how to avoid mistakes that are commonly made by teenagers. It’s a treasured letter you should read, and has a really sweet ending (and, of course, a reference to the Potter books). A fun fact: the letter is presented as the original, featuring Jo’s handwriting and a photo of a young Rowling.

As if the special preface and the letter were not enough, J.K. Rowling had also decided to donate 1$ for every copy of “Dear Me” that would be sold, to the select organization “Doctors Without Borders”.

I can’t help but mention a couple more letters from others celebrities, like Hugh Jackman (who says “Buy shares on Google when they are invented” to his young self), or Stephen King (the King of Horror writes “Just five words: stay away from recreational drugs”). They are inspiring and I’m sure they’ll manage to make every reader smile (at least).

The book will be available to buy from October 25th – I highly recommend getting it! And hey, it may not be a new Harry Potter book, but the new content by Rowling is definately worth it 🙂


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My new thoughts about PotterMore

When Pottermore was announced two months ago, I wrote an article about it with my thoughts. Now, having already tried it, I just have to do a “mea culpa”. Do I still think Pottermore is publicity stunt? Yeah, I do, but it’s amazing publicity stunt so I can’t complain.

I had the chance to try it in this beta version, being one of the first visitors. In fact, there were no comments or likes in Objects and Texts when I used it, so I am pretty sure there were not too many people experiencing it at the same time as me. Pottermore really is a great experience, re-reading the books in this new way make me feel as if I’m young again, when I read the books for the first time.

The promise about “You are the new factor in this story” is true. From making spells to resolve enigmas or catch a snitch; those are experiences we enjoyed along with Harry. But, surely, the best experiences are being sorted into a house or having your first wand.

Pottermore is Transmedia: a technique of telling stories across multiple formats. Pottermore is that, the same Harry Potter story, but in this new and incredible platform, which I really loved and I think is going to get better through time. However, what I most enjoyed were the new texts by J.K. Rowling, telling us new information about McGonagall, the Dursleys and even Professor Quirrell.

Even if Pottermore is publicity stunt to sell more books and keep the Harry Potter franchise alive (and I’m convinced it is), we really can’t complain. It’s an unique experience to re-enjoy and re-visit. I dare say that Pottermore is even a better company for the books than movies are. We see the books from this new point of view, shared by Rowling, with illustrations from her own imagination and new canon information which we must discover through our actions.

When I criticized Pottermore I didn’t know it was going to be like this. I apologize because this is a great experience for the Harry Potter fans, especially for the ones who love the books. Thanks to the Pottermore Team for letting us experience this through their amazing job.

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The Geek Can Paint: The Potter Project

Keith James (or Keith Johnson) is the artist behind a some artworks in the Hp-Lexicon. I contacted him because a project I’m working on, but he told me was working in his own Harry Potter project: The Potter Project. I saw it and I loved it. I can’t pass up the opportunity to write about this.

The idea is very simple: illustrate all the Harry Potter books, almost scene by scene. He has done the first book and he’s currenlty working on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The illustrations are amazing, incredible. I highly recommend to visit the website and spend a good time looking them because they are awesome!

When he completed the first book, he printed the whole book (although he couldn’t use the original text) with the illustrations, creating the first Harry Potter Illustrated Edition. Of course, this is not for sale and it’s not a trade book. He did it to send to Bloomsbury and Scholastic (publishing houses) and J.K. Rowling. Sadly, the publishing houses refused the idea of create an illustrated edition of Harry Potter Books, and Rowling’s office rejected the gift.

I really encourage to check the website and enjoy the illustrations. And also read the story about how he printed this rare Harry Potter book which looks amazing!

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