Author: Gareth Hanrahan
Illustrator by: Peter Mckinstry
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars
I have to admit that I have never read J.R.R. Tolkien’s original books that inspired Peter Jackson’s trilogy, as well as the upcoming “The Hobbit” trilogy. But still I am huge fan of the series and I know quite a bit about the world that Tolkien has created. This book, when it comes down to it, is an illustrated book that is really only aimed for kids. Unless you are a die-hard Tolkien fan, I do not see any adults really diving into this book. The focus is put on the series’ mythical characters and awe-inspiring locations. If you are looking to engage yourself in the incredible journey through Middle-earth, then then watch the movies and skip the book.
When I open a book I really need to fall in love with the illustrations right away otherwise I loose interest fast. Peter Mckinstry did a decent job with designs these character with his approach but I just wasn’t on board. The book over plays like a encyclopedia. It aims to give details on various different aspects of Tolkien’s world exploring Middle-earth, ranging form the Hobbit’s Shire to dark world of Mordor. I would only recommend this book for two reasons, if you have a young kid or if you are desperate for the upcoming prequel “Hobbit movies”, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 2012) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (December 2013).