Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two
Author: John Tiffany, Jack Thorne & J.K. Rowling
Publication Date: July 31st 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown UK
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
“It’s tough to live with people stuck in the past, isn’t it?”
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 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. 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. – Excerpt from Goodreads.
This review has some spoilers. I do recommend that you stay away from reviews if you haven’t read it yet. This screenplay is getting such mixed reviews that the only way to truly stay unaffected by all this is to stay away from all the opinions, read it yourself and then you can form your own personal opinion.
This book, actually screenplay, is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to review because I have so many mixed emotions on it. I gave it four stars, however, I don’t think it deserved it really. I know that my rating is based in nostalgia. If I was basing my rating on plot, how solid the writing is and so forth – man Harry Potter and The Cursed Childwould easily go down to a two, yes two.
I might be in the minority but I was one of the people who was not that excited about this release and did not think it was a good idea. Why didn’t I think it was likely going to be a good idea? Mostly because I think sometimes we don’t know when we’ve had enough of a good thing. When something is amazing and changes our lives, of course, we want MORE but that isn’t always a great choice. The Harry Potter series is one of the most beloved book series of our generation and it ended on a high note, where we were left wondering and wanting to know more about these characters. I think that is where it should have ended, wanting more is a lot better than feeling “meh” or strange about a new book once you read it. This is not an original thought, many people have said it already, but this screenplay was VERY much a work of fanfiction.
Ok, so what gives? How come I gave it a four stars if I have all this negative shit to say about it? Well, I still happened to get caught up in the story because I was loving seeing the characters again. It was like watching a bad sequel but you didn’t care that it was kind of terrible, you were just so happy all the cast returned. The positives for me about Harry Potter and The Cursed Child were Scorpious, loved him. His and Albus’s friendship was probably my favorite part of the book. I liked Voldermont’s daughter plot line, even it was cheesy. I loved the ending where all the characters are really all together interacting once again, I completely fangirled out.
The biggest negatives for me about the story had to be that I didn’t feel that the story was true to the characters we loved and watched grow up – it verged on disrespectful. Harry was kind of a douche father, Hermione didn’t have any of that sass, or heart, that we all loved. I don’t even know where to begin with what they did to the character of Ron, where does one even start? They turned him into a total loser, he was a complete joke. He was just this bumbling moron that showed up to tell lame and embarrassing jokes from time to time and make a situation uncomfortable. I never thought Hermione and Ron made sense in the long run so I wouldn’t have been surprised if she wasn’t married to him anymore. However, it was worse than them being divorced – they were together still. No chemistry, the relationship was strained and it made Hermione look like a jerk most of the time. Actually, there really wasn’t any chemistry between Harry, Ron and Hermione period. They were just 100% different people and not in a positive way either. I think those characters deserved a lot more. I also thought the Cedric story was a very flimsy one to go on. Too flimsy for me to even talk about in detail.
Overall, this is a story was fun if you aren’t trying to over-analysis it. It is cheesy, it isn’t going to change your world, but you just might be able to ignore all those glaring flaws just to go back to Hogwarts!
Note: After having time to really think about this book and lower my rating. I would no longer recommend this book. I don’t think it adds to the series and I don’t think the nostalgia is worth ruining one of the best fantasy series out there. Do yourself a favor – skip this one and go reread one of the originals.