Thursday, August 4, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
By: JK Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
(Harry Potter #8)
July 31, 2016
330 pages (Play)
Genre: Fantasy, Multi-Generational

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.

So what's the verdict? Did I like it? Yes. Yes, I did.

Now, this did not have the same magical feel as it would have had had it been written as a complete story and not just a play script. It's primarily dialogue. But I love dialogue, so that worked well for me. But descriptions, scene-building, etc, are mostly lost. I wouldn't recommend this to someone who has never read Harry Potter before, as there are a lot of assumptions made about what the reader should already know. I've read other plays where there is much more description, so comparatively I cannot give this 5 stars because I think they could have done more.

But what they did include - the plot, the character interactions - was quite profound. I don't want to give away spoilers about the main conflict of the story, but the questions that arise were really thoughtful. I imagine fans of the series may have had these same questions after reading the series. So I love how the big plot point was adddressed. It makes the characters think, but makes the reader think as well. I thought it was a really fascinating twist on the HP world at large.

Of course, what really touched me were the characters. This was really a multi-generational story. We get our middle aged favorites, as well as their children. I loved wrapping myself up in all my love for these characters, old and new. The thought that went into Harry's relationship with his son, Albus, was very touching. I really liked how the father/son relationship was explored in all its complexities and I was really moved by it. I also loved the friendship between Albus and Scorpius. I loved seeing them as individuals, who they were in regards to their famous/notorious fathers raising of them, how they came into their own at Hogwarts, and who they became as they sought out such an unlikely but absolutely necessary friendship with the other. They were the sweetest besties. Even the healing of other older relationships was quite touching. And, of course, there was a cameo or two that tested my tear ducts and gave my heart lots of feels.

Overall, I really enjoyed this extra glimpse into the Harry Potter world. I simply love these characters. I would have loved an actual novel instead of a play, but regardless, I loved the overall story (and would love to see the play live).

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