Sunday, 25 September 2016

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review [No Spoilers]

I hadn't actually planned on buying or reading Harry Potter and The Cursed Child for the simple reason that although I am a huge HP fan, I've never been very drawn to the 'extra' stories that have been released since the seven books came to an end. I think I was initially put off by the fact I could never find the extra stories published by J.K.Rowling to read online and I didn't even get to the Sorting Ceremony on Pottermore as I found it quite boring. I do love finding out extra or background information about the series itself through facebook fan pages, and I am really excited to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Anyway, my whole attitude changed when my mum came in from Sainsburys one day a few weeks ago with a copy of The Cursed Child for me as a treat. Having the actual book in my hand made me so, so excited and I wanted to read it straight away. My uni reading list took a decisive backseat. It was like I was back when the original books were coming out and I had the chance to relive the excitement and anticipation of a new story. The story is in two parts and is just over 300 pages but it only took me a night to read the full thing. 

One thing I will address straight away is that The Cursed Child isn't a narrated novel like the original Harry Potter books- its the script of a play. In many of the reviews I read, this majorly put people off. To be honest though for me it wasn't a big deal. I'm quite used to reading scripts as literature on my course and I didn't miss the depiction of scenery or description of character as much as I thought I might. I think the main thing you have to do when reading this is take it for what it is- the script of a play which is intended to be acted out rather than read. For this reason I would really love to see the actual show. The writing isn't anything like the original books, which is to be expected considering it was actually written by Jack Thorne. It might be considered a little misleading that J. K. Rowling's name is so prominent on the front cover.

I had pretty mixed feelings overall towards the book. I thought the plot line was quite predictable, like something a fan would come up with. Perhaps if it had taken a more decisive step away from the original story, it wouldn't be judged so harshly against it. I think it struggled in forging a link with original story while staying true to it. For example, the Harry in The Cursed Child and the Harry of the original series seem to me like two completely different people. Its a really fine line between wanting to know what happened when Deathly Hallows ended and having your expectations ruined. For me, I've decided to try and appreciate the details about the future, like what the golden trio are working as, without letting it ruin the impression I held at the end of book seven. In other words, I'm trying to be thankful that we got a little bonus, extra story after all these years, keeping in mind it could never truly live up to the original books.

I did like the introduction of the younger generation, and the exploration of the Malfoy family. In fact, Scorpious Malfoy was my favourite character. For me he was the most likeable and the least one dimensional. Again, I don't want to sound too harsh because I know that characters who may seem one dimensional in a script are supposed to be brought to life on the stage. I also liked the twist (which I won't say explicitly for fear of ruining it for anyone) as it was pretty unexpected, though perhaps a little hard to believe. 

As you have probably gathered, I didn't love the cursed child, but I didn't hate it either. I appreciate the story and the excitement of going back into the magical world but I sort of preferred the story ending where it was. It allowed HP lovers to form their own opinions of what happened next, what is really what you're supposed to do at the end of the story. The bittersweet nature of an ending is not being told anything more, but being able to guess at it. 

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