Book Reviews

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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By the generosity of my grandparents, I was able to buy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. My copy  arrived today, and I finished it in three and a half hours.

My first thought when I finished reading this play was that I got closure, which is weird because I didn’t even know I needed closure when it came to Harry Potter. As I thought about it more, I realized that just knowing that “All was well,” didn’t really tie things up for me. I love the epilogue in Deathly Hallows, but it’s a superficial ending. Seeing the trio as a happy family was wonderful, but kind of empty. I won’t ever move on from Harry Potter, but Cursed Child was the ending I needed.

I was a bit scared when I saw that people weren’t giving Cursed Child the best reviews. I would have hated if, after all of that anticipation, the play lacked the same magic as the series. But after reading it, I feel people are being overly critical. I loved this play. I thought it was engaging and magical. I like the story JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne created. I wish I could experience it as it’s meant to be experienced with a stage and actors and the full production, but that’s not possible for me. At least, not anytime soon. The minute they announce ticket sales for a US run, I will be the first in line. But, I loved reading it. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

BookAndMug.JPGA lot of people felt that the original characters were not quite themselves. They were acting out of character. I feel that’s unfair. They’re not the same characters. They’ve grown up. I think it’s a shock because we were used to growing up with these characters, so changes in personality and maturity were less severe. This is the first time where we have a significant time lapse in their ages, so, of course, they’re going to seem different. People change as they get older. The only difference now is that we weren’t there for the growing up.

I think it’s also important to keep in mind that this isn’t the eighth Harry Potter book; you can’t go into it thinking it’s a continuation of the old story. I think that’ll lead to disappointment. I think it’s best to see it as a spin-off sequel. It’s a new story. It has familiar characters and the same world, but it’s new story. I personally enjoyed going into it not knowing much about the plot. I was truly able to go into it with an open and empty mind. No preconceived ideas. No significant spoilers. I was a clean slate going into this, and I’m glad I was.

So that’s it for the spoiler-free portion of the review. Click the Read More if you want to read the spoiler-y bit.

So getting into specific aspects of the story that I really liked.

I enjoyed that we went back to the idea of Time Turners. It’s one of my favorite magical artifacts, and I’m glad we got to see more of them. I didn’t know what to expect of this story, but time travel was definitely not on my list of expectations.

BookInShelf.JPGI’m a fangirl. I always loved the idea that Albus Severus and Scorpius would be friends. I wanted one of the Potter kids to be Slytherin. So I’m just really happy that this play gave me that. It also gave a fair bit of angst through Albus Severus but whatever. I could deal with angsty Harry, I could deal with angsty Albus. I’m sad we didn’t see more of the other kids, but I get why that didn’t happen. It’s a play. If a character is not absolutely essential, then not having them around is a good idea.

Again, being a fangirl, I kinda shipped Bellatrix and Voldemort. I’m not alone in that. I always felt kinda bad for Bellatrix because she really did love him. She would have done anything for him. Yes, she had a husband, but he was inconsequential to her. I’m weirdly glad that Bellatrix and Voldemort had a child. I know that love didn’t go into that from Voldemort’s side of things, but he must have felt something. Delphi (their daughter) is a wonderful character (at least in the way that Bellatrix is wonderful). She’s a spectacular witch, and I wonder what would have happened if she had been given love and attention from someone other than Death Eaters. I guess the answer is that we wouldn’t have a story, but it’s always worth wondering.

I did like that this story hung on someone of my own house: Cedric Diggory. This whole story is driven by the need for Cedric to lose the Triwizard Tournament via humiliation and still be alive. This would change the course of history so that Voldemort won the war. It’s a scary alternate-reality situation. (Umbridge is still headmistress; things couldn’t get worse.)

I don’t know what else to say. I love this story. I love the complicated and messy relationships. I love that no one was portrayed as being perfect. It had the feeling and magic of a Harry Potter story without it being truly a part of the series. There was a lot behind the words, “All was well.” I’m really glad we got to see another glimpse at the lives of these characters we’ve grown up with.

 

 

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