The Latest News

[Book Review] Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (2016)

Official Website

Plot Summary: 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 - Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production 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.

Authors: J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc

Genre: Fantasy

Review: by Lee

As a veteran Harry Potter fan, there was no doubt that I would absolutely read the newest installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  The play, which I was ever so depressed about not seeing, was just published and released for all of us who can't afford to cough up the dough to travel to see it live.

What I Liked:

Because of J.K. Rowling’s tendency to get revisionary, I can’t say I was excited to start reading, but, once I entered the uncharted territory of Harry’s children’s school life, I couldn’t stop smiling.  There’s something about fresh material in a fandom that fills me with glee. No matter what it’s flaws may be, it was definitely exciting!

I was especially pleased by the character Scorpius Malfoy.  He was everything I could have hoped for in a Harry Potter character, smart, quirky, silly, and so very optimistic in the face of his tragic life.  I simply could not get enough.  If the series is going to continue in any capacity, it should follow Scorpius Malfoy.

Not only was he fantastic but his relationship with Draco made me feel all squishy inside.  I was one of those weirdos who loved Draco Malfoy and looked for all of the possibilities of good in him.  The seventh book made me ecstatic in his redemption, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picked up the torch to carry it onward.  The best part about it was that there was not a single mention of a receding hairline this time!  Huzzah!

There was so much material to make the fangirl inside of me swoon that there simply isn’t enough time or space for me to detail it all.  Suffice it to say, the return characters and surprise cameos were to die for.  I think I literally squealed at one point.

What I Didn’t Like:

Fan service aside, there was plenty wrong with the play.  If you are a reader of fanfiction, a guilty pleasure of mine, you would spot them right away.  Yes, the flaws are that glaring.

First of all, the plot relies heavily on several fanfiction tropes that would make the average fanfiction reader cringe.  There was a secret “love child”, a term used very lightly here, time travel, deep conversation with portraits, alternate universes, a poorly written prophesy, and even the dreaded “other character” (OC) who may or may not have been a Mary Sue.  It was almost laughable how much it read like a fanfiction.  In fact, I’ve read better.

The fanfictions that I’ve truly loved did something that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child seemingly failed to do, keep the dialogue in character.  It is a very difficult thing for someone to get inside the head of a character that does not belong to them, and, apparently, Jack Thorne struggled with this.  At times, the characters seem very unlike themselves; other times, they just seem slightly odd.  Of course, I’m not J.K. Rowling, so I have no authority on what the characters would have grown into; however, it seems a bit of a stretch at times that they would have turned out quite as the play portrayed them.

I could go on in very petty detail about why Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a glorified fanfiction and not a very well written one at that, but it wouldn’t change the fact that I loved it.

Author Bio:

J K (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in the summer of 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, and where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London to work at Amnesty International, doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King’s Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to her daughter Jessica in 1993. When her marriage ended, she returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where “Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone” was eventually completed and in 1996 she received an offer of publication. The following summer the world was introduced to Harry Potter.”Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books in June 1997 and was published as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in America by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in September 1998.The second title in the series, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, was published in July 1998 (June 2, 1999 in America) and was No. 1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts for a month after publication. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” was published on 8th July 1999 (September 8, 1999 in America) to worldwide acclaim and massive press attention. The book spent four weeks at No.1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts, while “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” simultaneously topped the paperback charts. In the US the first three Harry Potter books occupied the top three spots on numerous adult bestseller lists.The fourth book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia 8th July 2000 with a record first print run of 1 million copies for the UK and 3.8 million for the US. It quickly broke all records for the greatest number of books sold on the first weekend of publication. The fifth book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia on 21st June 2003. Published in paperback on 10th July 2004, it is the longest in the series – 766 pages – and broke the records set by “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire” as the fastest selling book in history. The sixth book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, was published in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries on 16th July 2005 and also achieved record sales.The seventh and final book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” was published in the UK, US and other English speaking countries on 21st July 2007. The book is the fastest selling book in the UK and USA and sales have contributed to breaking the 375 million copies mark worldwide.J K Rowling has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry’s school books within the novels. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Quidditch Through The Ages” were published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books and Scholastic in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. The Harry Potter books have sold 400 million copies worldwide. They are distributed in over 200 territories and are translated into 67 languages.

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | GoodreadsWebsite

%d bloggers like this: