Published by Little Brown UK on July 31, 2016
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Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
This is going to be less a review and more just my random thoughts. This WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, though, so you have been warned.
I’ll just start (non-spoilery) by saying this book was awful. Seriously, awful. I didn’t have high expectations going in because I’d heard mixed things from friends who read it and because I, unfortunately, did see some spoilers. But I didn’t expect it to be so awful, either, and it was disappointing. There was very little I enjoyed about this book. The things I DID enjoy, I REALLY enjoyed. But overall…? Nope.
PLEASE NOTE: FROM HERE DOWN, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
You’ve been warned….
Seriously.. Stop RIGHT HERE if you don’t want to be spoiled!
Since my thoughts are so scattered, I’m going to break this into what I DID like and what I DIDN’T like and then do bullet points within each section. I just think it’ll be easier to organize my thoughts that way.
I’ll start with what I didn’t like, since there is very little I DO like. So, here we go:
What I DIDN’T Like
The writing was terrible. I know it’s supposed to be a play, not a book, so it’s more about how the actors take the script and make it their own. For that reason, I can see how those who see the play will enjoy it far more than those who read it as a book. But because I DID read the book, that’s all I can go on. I also think it would have been better if J.K. Rowling had actually written it. Honestly, if it had been a BOOK book, it would have been so much better. And again, I don’t deny that it’s SUPPOSED to be a play and, therefore, is better seen as a play than read as a book. I GET THAT. But I read the book, so I can only go off that. And reading it as a book was awful.
The plot was ludicrous and far-fetched. Voldemort hates the idea of being vulnerable and being close with people, so why would he have sex with anyone, let alone Bellatrix?!? It just makes no sense! And he was SO CLOSE to the Battle of Hogwarts and, in his mind, defeating Harry Potter. Why would he waste time having sex with Bellatrix when victory was within his grasp?!?! Also.. With his soul as damaged as it was and with his body barely being a body… could he even have children? Like.. were those parts working..? O.o I mean.. how did that even work…?
Harry, Ron and Hermione were shadows of their glorious former selves. Nothing they did made any sense. It was all just so out of character and really frustrating.
I also couldn’t stand whiny bratty baby Albus and that seems so wrong.. Shouldn’t we LOVE Harry’s kid? I totally understand him needing to come to terms with having Harry Potter as a father, but like.. Isn’t Albus 11 when the story starts? Haven’t his parents told him the story? Hasn’t he experienced the staring and whispers, to some degree, when out with his father? I can’t imagine they never visited The Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade as a family, so… ?
I didn’t trust Delphi from very early on. She just kept appearing out of nowhere and at very suspicious, convenient times… How did no one see through her sooner?!?!
What I DID Like
The first half of Act 3 was the only part of this book/play that was utter perfection…. But like, I finished reading this and started writing my notes 10 minutes after and I had already forgotten what happened in that section that was epic. See how memorable it was…?
I loved when McGonagall realized Scorpius and Albus were under the cloak and said “well, if I didn’t see you…” and just walked away. Like, honestly, she was hilarious and spot on. She was one of the few original characters who was IN CHARACTER.
Also, I must say I really liked Scorpius. I heard a LOT of people say they really loved him and he was the best part of the story and now I see what they mean.
I LOOOVED the Snape parts and the way he was working with Hermione and Ron. It was just THE BEST. They were so kind with one another, so familiar, and Snape was willing to sacrifice himself to save Harry and ZOMG PERFECTION. Just absolute perfection. I know a lot of people argue that, despite learning Snape’s side of the story in Deathly Hallows, he isn’t a redeemable person for the things he did. But I feel like Cursed Child gave us a chance to see a better side of him and it was just perfection.
So many people hated the “going back in time” plot device. I wasn’t a huge fan of it either, but… We saw it happen in Prisoner of Azkaban. We know Time-Turners exist. So why was time travel such a shocking concept for people? And honestly, I think it’s pretty fascinating to see how changing one small, seemingly inconsequential thing in the past can make such a huge difference in the future. There’s not much about this book I can defend, but that was actually truly fascinating and I WILL defend that as being intriguing. I just wish it had been done in a more interesting way.. It all happened in a very vanilla, neat way.
Overall, this was just a pretty terrible book. I totally get the bad fan fiction jokes now and honestly I’m just gonna pretend I never read it. It was very disappointing when it could have been so great – when it SHOULD have been so great. Harry Potter fans deserved better than this. We deserved a REAL story – an actual book – written by Queen Rowling. I’m still holding out hope that she’ll write books about the Marauders, even though the likelihood is slim to none..
So… Yeah. I can’t think of anything else to say. I’ve ranted and babbled and I’m disappointed and drained.
Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? What are your thoughts?