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Harry Potter and the Art of Spying

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The Harry Potter series is more than just a story about a young wizard who saves the world from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The seven-book saga is an excellent primer on spying, intelligence, and politics. Join spy novelist Lynn Boughey and thirty-six-year CIA veteran and executive director of the International Spy Museum Peter Earnest as they review the spy craft employed a The Harry Potter series is more than just a story about a young wizard who saves the world from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The seven-book saga is an excellent primer on spying, intelligence, and politics. Join spy novelist Lynn Boughey and thirty-six-year CIA veteran and executive director of the International Spy Museum Peter Earnest as they review the spy craft employed and celebrated in J.K. Rowling's bestselling books. From the invisibility cloak to house passwords to Fred and George Weasley's Extendable Ears, "Harry Potter & the Art of Spying" is full of spy lessons for the secret-agent-in-training in the Muggle realm. Learn how to break secret codes, gather intelligence, read character's motives, and why Severus Snape is the best double agent ever.


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The Harry Potter series is more than just a story about a young wizard who saves the world from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The seven-book saga is an excellent primer on spying, intelligence, and politics. Join spy novelist Lynn Boughey and thirty-six-year CIA veteran and executive director of the International Spy Museum Peter Earnest as they review the spy craft employed a The Harry Potter series is more than just a story about a young wizard who saves the world from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The seven-book saga is an excellent primer on spying, intelligence, and politics. Join spy novelist Lynn Boughey and thirty-six-year CIA veteran and executive director of the International Spy Museum Peter Earnest as they review the spy craft employed and celebrated in J.K. Rowling's bestselling books. From the invisibility cloak to house passwords to Fred and George Weasley's Extendable Ears, "Harry Potter & the Art of Spying" is full of spy lessons for the secret-agent-in-training in the Muggle realm. Learn how to break secret codes, gather intelligence, read character's motives, and why Severus Snape is the best double agent ever.

30 review for Harry Potter and the Art of Spying

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Disclaimer: Okay, this is a wordy disclaimer. Technically, I read an ARC. It says ARC on the cover. I did buy however, even though the book isn’t released yet. See, I was at the International Spy Museum, and this book was on sale early because one of the authors, Peter Earnest, is the Executive Director of the Museum. The Museum is only place selling the book until mid-September. Let’s get the bad out of the way first. This book has way too many exclamation points. Way too many. It needs to los Disclaimer: Okay, this is a wordy disclaimer. Technically, I read an ARC. It says ARC on the cover. I did buy however, even though the book isn’t released yet. See, I was at the International Spy Museum, and this book was on sale early because one of the authors, Peter Earnest, is the Executive Director of the Museum. The Museum is only place selling the book until mid-September. Let’s get the bad out of the way first. This book has way too many exclamation points. Way too many. It needs to lose a few. There also is a bit too much of a running gag (though the politics part of the gag was funny). There also is a bit too much blow by blow. Okay, that’s done. Harry Potter and the Art of Spying is pretty much what the title says. It is about Harry and the gang and how they use spy craft in the series, though the book focuses largely on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The first half of the book is the blow by blow section where Phoenix is described chapter by chapter. The analysis is good, but at times the summery, though infused with humor at times, is a bit much. Like the Harry Potter series, however, there is something charming about this book. Perhaps it is because the reader gets the impression that it should be Hermione Granger and the Art of Spying because she is singled out more than Harry as the good spy. Ron, not so much. Perhaps it is because the book can easily be read by almost anyone. If a child has tackled the longer Potter books, she should be able to tackle this 600 page critical view. The best thing about the book, however, is how much knowledge about real world spy craft and history is packed into the book. Earnest and Boughey not only dissect Harry and the Order’s use of spy techniques in terms of gadgets but also in terms of gathering interesting questions and the process that goes in verifying information. Furthermore, throughout the book the authors make connections to real world events, in some cases from their personal experiences and in some cases from current events. The reader might read the book simply because of a Harry Potter interest, but the authors make sure that the reader will leave with more knowledge that a list of spells. Additionally, there is an appendix that offers an overview of intelligence and other real world issues, such as diplomacy. There is also a glossary. The book is actually an excellent and well thought way to get people, but especially children, interested in wider forms of history and current events. For an adult reader of Potter, the book is interesting for some of the observations, but also for the connections to modern issues. (Sadly, it might also make you wonder about Ron) Dumbledore, in other words, would approve of this book. So would McGonagall. Umbridge wouldn’t approve, however. Which is all you need to know really.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    First off, if one made a drinking game of all the times an ! was over used in this book, one would be legally drunk by page 6. That said,that is the worst thing about this book. I LOVE the series of "Harry Potter" books and I am a fan of "Burn Notice" so this was the best of both worlds. I knew a lot of the terms from other reading and the aforementioned show, but there is a complete glossary in the back which I appreciated. All terms are in bold the first time they are used and in italics later First off, if one made a drinking game of all the times an ! was over used in this book, one would be legally drunk by page 6. That said,that is the worst thing about this book. I LOVE the series of "Harry Potter" books and I am a fan of "Burn Notice" so this was the best of both worlds. I knew a lot of the terms from other reading and the aforementioned show, but there is a complete glossary in the back which I appreciated. All terms are in bold the first time they are used and in italics later on. The books are referenced with a guide as to which book,and page # in the American hardcover. (All of this is explained in the book.) While the main focus is on "The Order of the Phoenix" as this is the main "spy work" of the 7, the other books are tied together and quoted. There are a great many tidbits along the way, both about H.P. that I did not realize and about real-life spy practices. The age range this targeted was not clear, but the conversational tone is comfortable for all ages 13 and up, so adult fans will not feel talked down to, but may find it a little simple at times in explanations. Over all, a great read for any H.P fan or spy fan.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    Could not read beyond page 74. I recently reread the series and came across this book and thought it would be fun to read after having the books so fresh in mind, not the case. The first half of the book deals almost exclusively with the 5th Potter book. Supposedly, the second half is more general, but I never got there due to issues with the first hundred pages. While I liked the concept, in the pages I read I was just getting a blow by blow of exactly what had happened in the book with referenc Could not read beyond page 74. I recently reread the series and came across this book and thought it would be fun to read after having the books so fresh in mind, not the case. The first half of the book deals almost exclusively with the 5th Potter book. Supposedly, the second half is more general, but I never got there due to issues with the first hundred pages. While I liked the concept, in the pages I read I was just getting a blow by blow of exactly what had happened in the book with reference to know we know why this character did this because of something we learned in a later book. Way too time consuming to read a detailed summary of something I had practically just read (and not for the first time either). I learned maybe two new tidbits about the spy world that had been misrepresented in American media and everything else was common sense. This book was turning into a very boring read, I wasn't learning anything about spying, let alone how it related to Potter beyond something I already would know by having read the books in the first place. I was bored out of my mind and as my to-read list is large enough and always growing decided this book was not even close to being worth my time to try to get to the second part.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Roebuck

    When I got an advanced copy of this book I was excited to see what the authors said about the Harry Potter series I have read and loved since I was 8. When I started reading, I realized that I was just as interested in the spy terms and techniques that the authors explain as in the Harry Potter analysis. For example, I thought the coin Hermione used to communicate with the rest of the D.A. was a cute bit of magic for Rowling to imagine. As it turns out, coins like that have been used by spies al When I got an advanced copy of this book I was excited to see what the authors said about the Harry Potter series I have read and loved since I was 8. When I started reading, I realized that I was just as interested in the spy terms and techniques that the authors explain as in the Harry Potter analysis. For example, I thought the coin Hermione used to communicate with the rest of the D.A. was a cute bit of magic for Rowling to imagine. As it turns out, coins like that have been used by spies all over the world for years! Little details like that really made me admire the Harry Potter series that much more and kept me reading almost as much as the original series did. I think this book also helps to illustrate why the Harry Potter series was never just for children. HP and the Art of Spying discusses the newspaper bias in the Daily Prophet, the motivations of heroes and villains alike, and the ethics of keeping secrets in both wizarding and muggle worlds. I would recommend this to any Harry Potter fan and probably to those "muggles" who have not quite embraced the magical world of witches and wizards!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Silver_Neurotic

    I generously received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I love the Harry Potter series; I began reading the series when I was 19 years old and since then have read each book a minimum of two times...most of the time, more than that. I get excited whenever I'm reading a book or watching a show or movie and there is a reference to HP. So obviously I was extremely excited to get my hands on this book. I immediately began reading it and within a few pages, my excitement t I generously received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I love the Harry Potter series; I began reading the series when I was 19 years old and since then have read each book a minimum of two times...most of the time, more than that. I get excited whenever I'm reading a book or watching a show or movie and there is a reference to HP. So obviously I was extremely excited to get my hands on this book. I immediately began reading it and within a few pages, my excitement turned to annoyance and then to boredom. The annoyance was caused mostly by the excessive use of the exclamation point. This is a serious pet peeve of mine. There is no reason to use it more than one time per page...and even then it's still too much. Nearly every other sentence ended with an exclamation point. It was exhausting to read. I felt like I was being shouted at. Then the boredom set it when I realized that the first half (plus) was dedicated to a single novel in the series. The authors proceeded to tear apart the novel page by page and analyze it in spy speak. By the time they got around to even mentioning any of the other books in the series, I was finished. I had no desire to read more of the book. I had gotten way too bogged down by the page by page commentary of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I tried taking a break and coming back to finish this up but after the second attempt at this, I realized that it was not worth it. Somehow the authors managed to take one of my favorite series of books and completely ruin the magic of them for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brady

    A fun look at Harry Potter from the perspective of professional spies. Unfortunately, the very thing that made it interesting also makes it boring after a few chapters. This book does a chapter by chapter analysis of Order of the Phoenix, and becomes so predictable that my attention would wander constantly. Nice concept, but the book is too long for its utter predictability. Seven longer chapters analyzing spycraft in the Harry Potter books, book by book, would be much more interesting and engag A fun look at Harry Potter from the perspective of professional spies. Unfortunately, the very thing that made it interesting also makes it boring after a few chapters. This book does a chapter by chapter analysis of Order of the Phoenix, and becomes so predictable that my attention would wander constantly. Nice concept, but the book is too long for its utter predictability. Seven longer chapters analyzing spycraft in the Harry Potter books, book by book, would be much more interesting and engaging, since the story would change faster and the analysis would cover a wider range of scenarios.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Interesting. Fairly repetitive and I felt like the authors were talking to children, not adults (this must be for adults, as a children's version is advertised as upcoming on the back cover). It was, however, quite an interesting way to learn a bit more about spycraft in the real world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheridan

    I'm very excited to read this! It's a new story for myself and I hope I will have a chance to read it :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I found this book in the gift shop of the International Spy Museum in Washington D. C. What especially intrigued me was the way the book was organized; the first part half of the book offers a chapter-by-chapter commentary to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, viewed through the lens of spycraft. Though there are elements of spying in all of the books in the series, this one was a particularly good choice as it sets up the ministry against Harry, touches on the press using propaganda, fe I found this book in the gift shop of the International Spy Museum in Washington D. C. What especially intrigued me was the way the book was organized; the first part half of the book offers a chapter-by-chapter commentary to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, viewed through the lens of spycraft. Though there are elements of spying in all of the books in the series, this one was a particularly good choice as it sets up the ministry against Harry, touches on the press using propaganda, features both surreptitious and openly opposing forces like the Inquisatorial Squad and Dumbledore's Army, involves an open spy at Hogwarts (Umbridge), and much more. Read on its own, I'm not sure "Harry Potter and the Art of Spying" would be quite as interesting. I read the Harry Potter novel alongside it, though, and that made it quite rich. Many other Goodreads comments have pointed out the excessive us of exclamation marks, so I won't belabor that point. I believe the authors had a difficult time determining their target audience. Some writing was aimed at an older, or at least teenage, audience, but some of the word choice and editing (like the exclamation points) was perhaps meant to appeal to younger readers. Despite the uneven writing, I enjoyed the book and got something out of it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sanne

    I liked the analysis of the Harry Potter books, which should be the majority of the book. But it's not. Which is why it's only getting two stars. I felt like I was being treated as a five-year-old while reading this - and the authors definitely think that they are very funny and that they know what the average Harry Potter-reader will find funny. Didn't work. There's also an abundance of EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!. Page 18 features an entire paragraph of sentences ending on exclamations marks. Furthe I liked the analysis of the Harry Potter books, which should be the majority of the book. But it's not. Which is why it's only getting two stars. I felt like I was being treated as a five-year-old while reading this - and the authors definitely think that they are very funny and that they know what the average Harry Potter-reader will find funny. Didn't work. There's also an abundance of EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!. Page 18 features an entire paragraph of sentences ending on exclamations marks. Furthermore, the treatment of Shakespeare was strange, there were many bold and italicized and capitalized words that threw me out of actually enjoying the books, and there were so so so so many additional bits of information that (to be honest) felt like the authors flaunting their amazing spy skills. I don't doubt they've got those skills, I just would have preferred them not being there. Also, there was slightly too much repetition for it to remain interesting, especially in the final few chapters (yes I know what Snape has done, you said that on the previous page). So yeah. Okay book, still disappointed in the end, even though I didn't have high hopes after page 18.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    This is an unauthorized review, of sorts. The book is split into three parts. Part 1: A chapter by chapter analysis of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and how the events described therein translate into real-life spycraft. Part 2: An overview of the Harry Potter series and how parts of the series show spycraft, which is used in real-life. Part 3: Appendix, which explains real-life spycraft (including the intelligence community, governments, and international interplay), and only occasiona This is an unauthorized review, of sorts. The book is split into three parts. Part 1: A chapter by chapter analysis of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and how the events described therein translate into real-life spycraft. Part 2: An overview of the Harry Potter series and how parts of the series show spycraft, which is used in real-life. Part 3: Appendix, which explains real-life spycraft (including the intelligence community, governments, and international interplay), and only occasionally mentioning Harry Potter. I am unsure the age range of the target audience. It may be middle-schoolers, high schoolers, but because of the various headers and the methods employed, probably not really adults. But the topic of the target audience is "anyone wanting to know how the Harry Potter series relates to spying". So if you (an adult) can get over tons of exclamation points and "now a word about pretexts: Pretext!" as well as liberally sprinkled "notes to self", it's a very informative book. I would give 4.5 stars if I could.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lana

    Gosh I wish I liked this more than I did. It combines a couple of my favorite things. And if it started with part 2 -- which begins after page 350 -- then it would probably have doubled its rating. The first part just summarizes the HP books, chapter by chapter, pointing out spycraft. This would have been so much better done IMHO if it talked about spycraft and then illustrates with examples from the book (essentially what part 2 does). Also this suffered from over use of ! -- and that's me sayi Gosh I wish I liked this more than I did. It combines a couple of my favorite things. And if it started with part 2 -- which begins after page 350 -- then it would probably have doubled its rating. The first part just summarizes the HP books, chapter by chapter, pointing out spycraft. This would have been so much better done IMHO if it talked about spycraft and then illustrates with examples from the book (essentially what part 2 does). Also this suffered from over use of ! -- and that's me saying that, I overuse an exclamation point with the best of them. But it's also a symptom of some really informal style information sharing and irreverence in a manner that would be fine if it was a talk to middle-schoolers, but not so great in writing in an actual book. I so wanted to like this more than I did!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie Nelson

    reposting this because I accidentally deleted earlier review. First thing I need to say is that you will want to have finished the Harry Potter series before reading this book or you will get spoilers. My son recommended this book to me and suggested that it would be perfect to read at the same time that we are listening to Book 5 since so much of this book refers to Order of the Phoenix. That was the perfect suggestion and it made it even more fun to revisit Book 5 and gave us a lot of great ide reposting this because I accidentally deleted earlier review. First thing I need to say is that you will want to have finished the Harry Potter series before reading this book or you will get spoilers. My son recommended this book to me and suggested that it would be perfect to read at the same time that we are listening to Book 5 since so much of this book refers to Order of the Phoenix. That was the perfect suggestion and it made it even more fun to revisit Book 5 and gave us a lot of great ideas to discuss. My only complaint about the book is that it gets a little repetitive at the end. They seem to keep quoting the same sections near the end of the book, but otherwise it is a fun and interesting companion to the Harry Potter book series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chad Rexin

    I will preface this by saying that I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books, but did find this an enjoyable read. It does have major parts of the Harry Potter books plots outlined in this book when the comparisons to the spies and spy techniques are called out, so if that is important to you, save this book for reading after you read the full Harr Potter series. While it isn't a large section of the book, I enjoyed reading the Appendix which covers how our US government works and how it ties I will preface this by saying that I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books, but did find this an enjoyable read. It does have major parts of the Harry Potter books plots outlined in this book when the comparisons to the spies and spy techniques are called out, so if that is important to you, save this book for reading after you read the full Harr Potter series. While it isn't a large section of the book, I enjoyed reading the Appendix which covers how our US government works and how it ties in to spying. The glossary is also quite extensive and can give a person a good background on spy terminology.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    From the beginning, I was a little offset by the fact that there was not a clear tone to this book. Was it meant to be more serious, or more fun? It was very hard to tell at times. Also, I felt the book repeated itself a lot, especially when spending half of the book analyzing Order of the Phoneix scene by scene. A lot of analysis was not necessary for the book and would have cut it down a significant amount.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Dunlap

    A fun way to look at the Harry Potter series especially Snape's character. Also learned a few things about the US spy system This wasn't a page turner, I put it down several times to read other books but was fun

  17. 5 out of 5

    Janel

    I agree with others that they could have cut out the OotP play-by-play and put that information in other places. What bugged me most were the glaring Potter lore errors. Every time I ran across one, it was like being poked in the eye. Still, it was a fun enough read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I passionately snatched this off a shelf, certain that I would love it... Nope! Terrible.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    This book is fascinating. A bit cheesy and at times repetitive, but it was so fun to read and I learned so much that I didn’t care.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shaunesay

    I'm officially DNF'ing this one. It just is not for me, way too detailed of a dissection of every single action in Harry Potter and I'm just not interested in analyzing it in that way.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I got the special Advance LeakyCon edition of this book at...well obviously at LeakyCon. So a disclaimer that it was an advance edition, so I don't know how much has changed. There were a few typos/silly errors that took me out of the reading experience but I'll assume that goes to the advance edition. I was very excited to read this book because I had heard the authors guest cohost on one of my favorite podcasts, Alohomora!, and also attended their LeakyCon panel. They are both really dynamic sp I got the special Advance LeakyCon edition of this book at...well obviously at LeakyCon. So a disclaimer that it was an advance edition, so I don't know how much has changed. There were a few typos/silly errors that took me out of the reading experience but I'll assume that goes to the advance edition. I was very excited to read this book because I had heard the authors guest cohost on one of my favorite podcasts, Alohomora!, and also attended their LeakyCon panel. They are both really dynamic speakers, and it was immediately obvious that they had a ridiculous amount of insider knowledge about spycraft. I was a little bit let down in the fact that the writing style of the book is not anywhere near as dynamic as hearing them speak in person was. It seemed very childish, with (as other reviewers have mentioned) an excess of exclamation points and silly jokes. The first half of the book is dedicated to a chapter by chapter analysis of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, since this is the book that is jam-packed with spycraft. Unfortunately, most of this is actually summary of the book, and much less actual spycraft analysis than I was expecting. I feel like the target audience of this book is people who are big Potter fans, and they likely don't need all of this summary. The book would have been better pared down to just the analysis, or with the analysis better blended with the summary (they kind of stand as two separate things as is). The second half of the book brings together all the other Harry Potter books under broader categories of spycraft. I enjoyed the second half much more, probably because there is a lot less summary and more cohesive spycraft analysis. Overall though, the book has a ton of interesting information in it, and brings relations between actual CIA missions and the HP series that we all love. I only wish the writing style had been better, more mature, and had less summary of the HP plot points. This book could have been a home run, but was merely an interesting read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jupiter's Fury

    I'm a huge Potterhead so anything related to the series, especially if it compares HP to "the real world", is one I immediately go for. I had the privilege to attend the Leakycon panel of these two authors and even got them to sign my book! They're both funny and nice guys, and you can tell they're fans of the series. The book itself is divided into two parts, and though quite lengthy, is a relatively easy read. The first part deals exclusively with Order of the Phoenix. The authors do a chapter I'm a huge Potterhead so anything related to the series, especially if it compares HP to "the real world", is one I immediately go for. I had the privilege to attend the Leakycon panel of these two authors and even got them to sign my book! They're both funny and nice guys, and you can tell they're fans of the series. The book itself is divided into two parts, and though quite lengthy, is a relatively easy read. The first part deals exclusively with Order of the Phoenix. The authors do a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the book and all the spy techniques used. The second half deals with HP in general; tying all the books and characters into more detailed explanations of spycraft. The techniques used by the C.I.A. are relied on heavily, which is to be expected since one of the authors is a former agent, and much of the real-world spycraft examples hail from the Cold War. Some of my favourite parts were Peter Earnest describing some of his own escapades: this guy's life was beyond cool. As many reviewers have said, the excessive use of the "!" is irritating, and wears out its welcome quickly. I even discovered spelling errors and mistaken canon facts! I found the tone to be quite juvenile and "text-booky". My eyes would glaze over at the tedium of some of the definitions, and reading a book that sounded like it was aimed at 8 year olds made it hard to slog through. I found the blow-by-blow analysis of OoTP to be a chore to read. The second half of the book was much better, and the reason this book isn't two stars or lower. That's where they really began explaining real life spycraft in comparison with HP. Had Boughey and Earnest skipped the dullness of the first half, this book would be a neat edition to any Potterheads collection. If you're a die hard fan like myself, definitely give this book a try, but otherwise, do yourself a favour and skip the first half.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lynette ~ Escaping Reality – One Book at a Time ~

    CHeck out my full review here: http://escapingrealitybookreviews.wor... This review is of an ARC. Purchase the book September 15th! The first half of this book is a play-by-play analysis of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. At first I was nervous. Was there REALLY enough information in OotP to create a full-on chapter-by-chapter, line-by-line, espionage analysis? Believe me, there is. Lynn and Peter will bring up points and theories I had never even considered. The second half of this book CHeck out my full review here: http://escapingrealitybookreviews.wor... This review is of an ARC. Purchase the book September 15th! The first half of this book is a play-by-play analysis of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. At first I was nervous. Was there REALLY enough information in OotP to create a full-on chapter-by-chapter, line-by-line, espionage analysis? Believe me, there is. Lynn and Peter will bring up points and theories I had never even considered. The second half of this book is a series’ analysis from an espionage perspective. It focuses on the specifics of character motivation, different types of spies throughout the series, Wizard security, Magical (and muggle) means of tracking and spying, personal espionage experiences from the authors, and so much more. This was probably in some ways my favorite part of the book. Not only did you get HARRY POTTER, but you also will be absolutely astonished by how much you learn about how Muggle world spying works. It’s fascinating! For the rest of my thoughts on this book, make sure to follow / friend me, and check out my blog via the link above! Thanks! :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    DNF. Sorry, but the writing style is atrocious. I felt like I was being talked down to the entire time, and the over use of the exclamation mark was driving me mad. >_< Oops? But still, I AM glad to have this for my collection. It's not like I've ever seen another copy, or that I was likely to stumble over it on my own. My mum brought it back from the States after a recent trip (Thank you Zim! :) ) and although I don't like the inside of the book, I like the IDEA of it, and will keep it for disp DNF. Sorry, but the writing style is atrocious. I felt like I was being talked down to the entire time, and the over use of the exclamation mark was driving me mad. >_< Oops? But still, I AM glad to have this for my collection. It's not like I've ever seen another copy, or that I was likely to stumble over it on my own. My mum brought it back from the States after a recent trip (Thank you Zim! :) ) and although I don't like the inside of the book, I like the IDEA of it, and will keep it for display purposes only haha. So yeah, don't expect a fantastic read, but it will look awesome with my other Harry Potter books :)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Novalynda Black

    It's a very interesting book, even though it did not contain that much new information for me. It might be knew information for Harry Potter fans who don't know anything about intelligence services and their methods, but I've already read several books about that subject, and this book stays very much at the surface of the available information. Also, the writing style is sometimes very annoying. And now a word about annoying: annoying! Once is funny, once every chapter is annoying. Still, the b It's a very interesting book, even though it did not contain that much new information for me. It might be knew information for Harry Potter fans who don't know anything about intelligence services and their methods, but I've already read several books about that subject, and this book stays very much at the surface of the available information. Also, the writing style is sometimes very annoying. And now a word about annoying: annoying! Once is funny, once every chapter is annoying. Still, the book dealt with two of my favorite subjects, Harry Potter and spycraft, so this book gets 4 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    J.F. Cicci

    I have to admit that I was concerned that I wouldn't understand the content of Mr. Boughey's book as I am most likely the only person on Earth to not have read the Harry Potter series, but I found that I could keep up with the book as it defines and explains the art of spying using examples from Harry Potter. The entire book not only tells of genuine spycraft, but also includes bits of history and life lessons that would be beneficial to any young adult. As a former analyst, I thoroughly enjoyed I have to admit that I was concerned that I wouldn't understand the content of Mr. Boughey's book as I am most likely the only person on Earth to not have read the Harry Potter series, but I found that I could keep up with the book as it defines and explains the art of spying using examples from Harry Potter. The entire book not only tells of genuine spycraft, but also includes bits of history and life lessons that would be beneficial to any young adult. As a former analyst, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy Quale

    Enjoyed this book very much! A brilliant retelling of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Using Harry Potter's world as a way to learn about our own intelligence agency is a genius notion--especially when you look at the fascinating parallels between the wizarding community and our own intelligence community.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    4/5 stars I received this book from a giveaway on goodreads, so I could review it. I loved Harry Potter so I had very high expectations and wow my expectations were definitely met. I never thought I would have a huge interest in the spy tactics or analysis but it was written beautifully. I would recommend this book to any Harry Potter fans!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Craig Ranallo

    Fun, interesting way to approach the series--Harry Potter as an instruction in spy craft. The chapter-by-chapter look at Order of the Phoenix and the section on Snape are highlights. Not the most academic thing in the world (what's with all the damn exclamation points?) but I'm a huge Potterhead so I'm a sucker for books like these that examine the series from a new lens.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Humphrey

    Brilliantly conceived, thoughtful and carefully developed, and an entertaining yet informative way to revisit our favorites from another point of view!!! Even though this is "unauthorized" I am quite sure that JKR will approve heartily!!!

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