The fourth book in Weta's series, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers, is also the heftiest. It comes in at about 250 pages, and what with the same longer size as the rest of the series, it's one heavy book. No, not the heaviest movie book in my collection, but still enough to be intimidating. I mean, much as I love to hear about moviemaking, there can come a point when you're overwhelmed. Yet I still enjoyed this book so much--I said before that Book 3 may have been my favorite, and now I want to give that title to this one.
Like Book 3, Book 4 gives some focus to some of my favorite places, Lake-town and Beorn's home. But it also has an interesting approach to content. The subtitle is "Cloaks & Daggers," so there is quite a bit of attention to fabrics, materials, and building (which can mean building chairs, armor, clothing, and everything else). This book is all about the costumes, armor, props, and sets. Everything is in so much detail and all the crew express their ideas so well that I found myself getting lost in it all (in a good way). While everything they say and everything they did with their work was formed to help tell the story, their work has become a story in and of itself. The fascinating endeavors of this talented group of people had me very enthralled. That is, I was enthralled at my own pace since I did take some weeks to get through this book; it's just that there is so much in it to absorb.
My pre-ordered copy was signed by Daniel Falconer, Kevin Smith, Daniel Reeve, and Ben Price.
Format-wise, there were helpful captions to the imagery this time. And the images were just as thorough as usual, with costumes and props and close-ups. All enough to keep you staring at one page for a long time. I didn't know I loved the weapons of Dale so much: I'm not usually as into the weapons (sorry), but those, those were gorgeous. Four books in, plus the Smaug book, and I'm feeling like I've had a window to peer in at a filmmaking family. Even if I didn't like how the movies turned out (which, as a whole, is certainly not true), I could still enjoy these books. They're everything.
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