Book Review #17: “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child”

Harry Potter - amazon

Image Credit: amazon.com

“Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”

~J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne


After quite a bit of skepticism, I bit the bullet and purchased a copy of my own on Monday, August 8th. I took the day off from work to celebrate my birthday. My first stop when I arrived at MacArthur Mall in Norfolk was the massive Barnes & Noble.

The first chance I got to really start reading was on Sunday, August 14th. I needed to put my feet up for a while after cleaning the house from top to bottom, in preparation for having family over for the first time for a real meal!

I took a photo of the cover, posted that to Facebook, and promptly dove in.

About 45 minutes later, I had to resurface (with great reluctance!) to the real world to make the final preps for our guests, but in that short period of time, I had already flown through 135 pages. At that point, I was almost at the end of Act II.

Yesterday, Monday, August 15th, I desperately wanted to make more headway after a very long day at work.

After dinner, by the time 8:00 p.m. rolled around last night, I was finished.

I was astonished.

I had plowed through all 308 pages, all four acts, in a little over two hours.

As I called out to Al that I was finished, I was stunned.

He sat down on the living room couch, looked at me, and said, “How was it?”


Okay. You’ve made it this far.

SPOILER ALERT!

If you haven’t yet read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, I would strongly advise / encourage you to scroll down, until you reach the place where I indicate the spoilers have ended.

Look for an image of a wand.

Okay?

Here we go!


I didn’t dislike it.

I certainly didn’t hate it!

I was shocked at how fast I read through it.

But, it is a script.Β It’s not a novel.

I liked how the writers formed the script. I was very happy that the story continued, virtually seamlessly, from the end of Deathly Hallows.

As I started, I found myself overcome with memories – Memories of first reading the books. Memories of seeing the movies.

I was transported to those magical worlds again, and they didn’t let me go. I couldn’t put it down. Despite several challenges and objections to plot points, I wanted to keep reading, to find out everything that was going on.

My only true preconception going into this experience was I thought I had figured out who “The Cursed Child” was.

I originally thought it was one of Harry and Ginny’s children, or possibly Ron and Hermoine’s child, Rose.

Boy, was I mistaken.

I wasn’t fully expecting Voldemort to return, let alone for Delphi to be his DAUGHTER.

But it was a wonderful mistake, in a way. It made the magic even more magical, if that’s such a thing.

In attempting to vocalize my feelings with Al, almost immediately after reading “The End,” I didn’t quite know how I felt about all of this.

Thinking about it in a broad sense, I enjoyed the story. Overall, I liked what they did with it.

I’m very glad it wasn’t just Rowling who was involved.

It had similar amounts of action, dialogue, drama, tragedy, and happiness as the previous stories.

That said, it was not one of Rowling’s novels. That was actually refreshing. It was nice to fly through a script so quickly, rather than sometimes being buried in detail-laden chapters that seem to never end.

I appreciated the attention given to the characters, both old and new. I was very pleased, and surprised, that Scorpius Malfoy was featured as a central character. As much as I hated Draco’s character in the earlier books and movies, I was happy that Scorpius, Draco, and Astoria were so prominent in this story.

The twists and turns were fun, although frustrating at times. Facing dark and light were expected, and the writers certainly delivered.

My main complaint with the script was attempting to keep up with all the flashbacks, and dream sequences, and time-turning. It seemed constant. It was tough to keep up.

There were multiple instances where I had to slow down, re-read several passages, and find my footing again before continuing. It happened more than I would have liked, and it got annoying very quickly.

However, I appreciated that each scene had its appropriate header. IfΒ I ever got truly confused, I had that ability to turn back a few pages and find my footing with the scene heading. I didn’t like that, though.

I wasn’t thrilled with the idea that Albus and Scorpius were hell-bent, determined to save Cedric with the Time-Turner. But, that’s what happens when two kids get ideas in their heads that they think are good and brilliant. However, I liked, toward the end, when the two of them admitted that those ideas were absolutely ridiculous.

I felt sad when I closed the book, but I also felt feelings of warmth and happiness.

As I pictured the last scene in my head, the story just ended. But, remembering that it’s a script, and being performed as a play, I appreciated the image of Harry and Albus, together, remembering Cedric.

Part of me wants more stories in the future, but part of me is also satisfied with this script. It was a sunset ending. It was tough to swallow at first, but stories like this can’t always be carried on for forever.

In terms of waiting so many years for this script to be released, it feels a bit lacking. However, with that said, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, and I was skeptical from the time that the announcement was made – Despite being a huge fan of the original books.


SPOILERS END.

Merchandise

Image Credit: universalorlando.com

Final Thoughts:

Overall, it was a good read.

I’m happy that I decided to ignore the skepticism and read it for myself.

It was a good story, and I’m glad it was written and shared. Part of me wants to see the play, but I’m also satisfied with having the chance to read the script.

I look forward to sharing this experience with my husband, and then my future child/children.

Once a Potter fan, always a Potter fan.

Always.

4 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Book Review #17: “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child”

  1. Well first off Happiee belated birthday to you!! and second that was a fantastic review! you have an excellent flow to the way you write! πŸ™‚

  2. I don’t read reviews, so I was very surprised to hear that so many reviews were negative. However, I think I know why: After being raised reading the original books, watching the movies, &, in some cases, doing fanfiction, role-playing scenes w/friends, & dressing up as the characters, a lot of the fans feel ownership of the story & the characters.

    To see the changes the characters undergo after 19ish years & to see the different format throws a lot of these delightfully passionate people for a loop. I spoke to a very dear friend of mine who said that mine (on Goodreads) was the first positive review she’d seen.

    Some people claimed that they couldn’t “hear JK Rowling’s voice” in this book; they felt that it wasn’t her “driving the story.” I think, personally, that they saw two other authors listed & made a big assumption, taking that perception into the book & allowing it to color their reading.

    I, on the other hand, read the author’s blurbs & I thought that the story was complete JK Rowling. John Tiffany helped Rowling venture into playwriting – as she’s been, up to this point, solely a novelist & he has written countless scripts for different media formats – & helped to take her story from prose to play. Jack Thorne, similarly, was instrumental in telling Rowling what could/couldn’t/might be possible on stage w/his years of directing experience. All of the participants had unique talents required for the story to become a successful production.

    I think other biases were at work as well. Some reviewers claimed that the characters – specifically, according to my friend, Harry, Hermione, & Ron – weren’t “the same” as they were in the novel. To that I say: Who the heck is the same as they were when they were a teenager when they’re adults w/kids of their own? I would HOPE they’d be different! Even then, Hermione is still an organized, know-it-all, independent woman. Ron is still a silly joker. Harry is still a bit aloof, somewhat average fellow until he’s forced to act heroically, which is when he rises to the challenge at hand. The underlying characters’ qualities are obviously there to me.

    Then, you have to remember the uproar that occurred when JK Rowling, et. al., cast a black woman to play Hermione in the play. That reaction, besides being rooted in racism, imo, also said that many fans were unwilling to allow characters whom they felt some ownership of to be anything other than what they had imagined/previously seen depicted. Even though JK Rowling pointed out that, in the original books, the only description of Hermione is that she has “frizzy, brown hair,” a lot of fans refused to accept that the character could be anything but Caucasian – arguing w/the PERSON WHO CREATED THE DARNED CHARACTER.

    However, I totally agree – I was a little thrown by the back & forth, but I felt the scene headings made clear when & where they were taking place & I actually enjoyed all the “what ifs” that it explored. I also thought the twists & turns kept me interested, not knowing what would be coming next, & so I kept reading. Also, I found the format made the reading go much faster & allowed me to imagine more than I might have done if it were in the (wonderfully!) dense, descriptive prose of Rowling’s novels.

    • I totally agree with you. A lot of my friends said The Cursed Child was a “letdown,” and what you said absolutely makes sense.

      The reading was significantly faster, which I greatly appreciated! I’m a visual learner, anyway, so I was able to picture everything in my head, and almost “see” it on an imaginary stage in front of me.

      Thank you for your insight! I always love your comments!

      • People were also hoping & waiting such a long time for this book, which Rowling said wouldn’t happen (she said HP & The Deathly Hallows would be the last HP book; now she said this will be the last), so I think that had something to do w/the negative reactions too.

        I was able to picture it a bit better in my mind too, if only b/c I wasn’t hampered by a lot of details & I could imagine more freely. Still, I want to see the play after having read it & see how they manage to pull of the “magic” elements.

        D’awww! That’s so sweet of you to say! I like chatting via comments w/you too! I’m glad you don’t mind that I comment on so many of your posts. I’m not sure why a person might mind that, but I’m glad you don’t mind. πŸ˜€

      • I don’t mind at all. It makes me incredibly happy that you take the time to not only read my posts, but to comment on them as well!

      • Well, your posts are really interesting & so are our conversations so I like commenting. πŸ˜€

      • Well, thank you! I love that we’ve connected this way, in a such a short time period!

      • I do too!! You’re very sweet & easy to talk to (not to mention smart as a whip!). It’s really wonderful, for me, to have found so many lovely people on WP w/whom I feel so comfortable talking. πŸ™‚

      • Aw, shucks. You’ve totally made me blush. Thank you so much! I feel the exact same way, and most of it has only happened recently!

      • You’re welcome!! I was simply being honest. πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Getting Personal #32: August Goals Recap | Hot Shot Headlines

  4. Pingback: Tag #14: “Peculiar Children Book Tag” | Hot Shot Headlines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s