Monday, 1 August 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

*****
5 Stars/5


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the fantastic 8th story in the Harry Potter universe, and I have not felt this nostalgic and sentimental about a book since I finished reading The Deathly Hallows. This story has the same atmosphere as the books and I loved being back in this magical world again. It is a very quick and easy, with an engrossing plot, twists and turn and lots of familiar faces. Like the books, it focuses on friendship and love but also looks at the impact and outcomes from the decisions from the original 7 books.

I had to get used to reading a script layout instead of a normal book format which I did but because it is not a standard book I missed the emotional depth we see in characters in novels. One criticism is that it has a fanfic vibe to it, with all the old favourites back, and one thing in particular I felt was there to power the story and to make fans happy rather than it making sense in the original books (will talk more about this later).

I struggled to get on with Albus in the beginning as he came across selfish and with too much angst but he did grow on me. He feels he is disappointment as he cannot live up to his father and is an outsider. While the story points out often the Harry and Albus are different I felt their personality and beliefs are very similar, which is probable why they clash and quarrel often. My favourite character in this story is Scorpius as he is an outsider and geeky (and proud). He is the sensible best friend who is a follower not a leader, and is also kind and lonely.

Harry is stressed as an adult as he has to deal with being thought of as legendary and his traumatic childhood which has still left some big emotional scars. I also think fans will like and understand his struggles with being a good parent and feeling like he is doing everything wrong. Hermione has become more confident and determined as an adult and has a lot of responsibilities resting on her shoulders but is still the same character we know and love. However, I was very disappointed with how Ron was portrayed in this story. This is because instead of having the complex and overlooked Ron from the books we have the Ron from the films whose only role is to be the joker of the group.

Spoilers!!!!

The main thing which made no sense to me in this story was Delphi’s parents for two reasons. Firstly I got the impression from the book that as Voldemort became less human he lost interest in having sex and generally he saw people were pawns just used to get him more power, so him fathering a daughter near the end of his life did not ring true to me. Secondly, whilst Bellatrix adored Voldemort and would have very happily slept with him, how come no one knew she was pregnant or had had a child including her nephew Draco?

Spoilers End


That being said I love this book as it adds to the story of Harry Potter without copying it, and I am desperate to watch the play soon, to see this story in the format it is meant to be seen. I will always want more books set in this world and while J K Rowling says this is the end for Harry, I would love more books set either in the past or future. I would recommend Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to everyone who loves Harry Potter and wants to find out what happens next. 

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