Friday, 5 August 2016

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, 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 30th July 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.



Okay. Let me start by saying that I absolutely adored the Harry Potter series, so I was curious about this latest installment.

Harry Potter is all grown up and working for the Ministry of Magic. He's married to Ginny Weasley and they have three great kids. Well, one of them isn't so great. Albus is a bit of a troubled kid. He resents his father, is a total brat and becomes obsessed with changing the past. His best friend is Scorpius, who happens to be Draco Malfoy's son. Actually, this friendship is probably the most positive thing about Albus.

Messing around with the past is dangerous, and things are certainly going to get bad before they get better. So Harry, his son and a bunch of familiar faces have to come to terms with a darkness they have already defeated...

Um. Okay. I'm really torn about this. I started this story with so much enthusiasm. I was excited, ready to see where this would lead and hoped it would feel like a Harry story with a new twist. But the more I read, the more I realised that wasn't going to happen. My interest started to fade, until I realised what the problem was. This story wasn't necessary. Seriously, it wasn't.

My biggest gripes are Albus and the revisiting of past events. I couldn't stand Albus. He was snotty and arrogant, so full of himself. He went beyond being a difficult teenager and became annoying. And the past should have been left in the past, because that particular facet of the story turned a fresh idea into a very formulaic, predictable fan-fictionesque experience. (BTW, I'm pretty sure there's probably way better HP fanfic out there.)

I did enjoy catching up with familiar characters, liked the different format, and adored Scorpius. He was so cute and kind, such a shining star in a story that continued to dull.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an interesting concept, but it didn't feel like a Harry Potter story. It just didn't work for me. I think this will probably work better in the way it was supposed to be experienced: as a play. There is definitely something vital lost in translation.

In the end, this book looks lovely but it didn't captivate me in the same way as the original series. Instead, it felt like a poor quality carbon copy of the original books.

I just don't understand why the whole story deals with looking back instead of forward. We already know what happened in the past, and tampering with it isn't a good thing. :/


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One & Two (Special Rehearsal Edition), July 2016, ISBN 9780751565355, Little, Brown

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