Monday, 1 August 2016

HP and the Cursed Child (JK Rowling)

I'm back so soon with another review because yesterday was a big day in the book community: we have an eighth Harry Potter story to read and love as much as the others! I originally had not planned to go out and buy the book on release day, but I happened to be in the right place at the right time so I couldn't pass by without grabbing a copy. Shout out to Cole's for giving away special Harry Potter book bags with the purchase of the book because I am in love with the bag. As a final note before the review, I will say this: I am a huge Harry Potter fan so you may think I'm bias (which is possible) but I am trying to write this review as objectively as I can for you readers. Now on with the review!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a novel composed of the script from the West End stage play written by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. Since this is Harry Potter, and I know I wouldn't have wanted any spoilers if I didn't have the book, I'm not going to provide much of a synopsis. What I will say is that the script begins where the epilogue of the original series leaves off. You are immediately thrown into Kings Cross station and then into Platform 9 3/4 where you get to follow Albus as he journeys to Hogwarts for the first time. Since this is a story of the next generation, the focus is on Albus and his friend Scorpius, who both manage to find themselves in some trouble.

The writing style is different so I will preface my review by reminding you guys that the book doesn't read as a regular novel. Since the entirety of the story is explained through dialogue, with minimal descriptors presented as stage directions, you don't necessarily get the full "Hogwarts experience" as with the main series. This concept was difficult in the first couple scenes as I had to adjust my way of reading to recognize the dynamic of the conversation so that I didn't have to read the name of who was talking; however, it soon started to read as a normal book once you get past that small detail.

The plot is definitely something I would never have come up with on my own and it's definitely better than anything I had thought or predicted for the epilogue. I will say that the first quarter of the book feels slightly rushed since we see snippets of Albus' first few years at Hogwarts. With that said, I do recognize that this is a play and those productions have time constraints; there would be no way to include stories of each year without writing another 7 book series. Another exciting thing about the plot is that JK Rowling addressed some of the questions that I've had for years. I know a lot of people had questions about the Time Turners and why they were not used more extensively to "fix" certain events. For those of you that had wondered that, definitely read Cursed Child for some more insight.

The characters made me so happy because you have the old ones you know and love mixed in with the new ones you grow to love quite quickly. Since the plot is quite fast paced, you don't gain as much character development as we did with the original series; however, as mentioned before, certain things are incomparable because you have a West End play versus a 7 book series. One thing I will say is that the dynamic between Albus and Scorpius, as well as their relationships to their respective fathers, is familiar and new all at the same time. I loved the chemistry that exists there and how easy it is to cheer them on in their adventures.

Rating: 4.5/5
Reason: It's Harry Potter and I loved revisiting the Wizarding World, but the script means the story lacks descriptors and a more flushed out story.

Until next time,
Happy Reading Fellow Bookworms :)
 As always comment your thoughts and follow all of the associated pages (listed in the sidebar). I am not currently accepting requests as my list is quite long!