REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Originally posted on Around the World in 80 Books


By Tqwana B.

4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆

hp script book

Little Brown UK
July 31, 2016
YA/Fantasy/Play

 

Synopsis:

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.


4 stars for nostalgia and 3 stars for story

First, some conditions of this review:

  1. It is spoiler free. I will #keepthesecrets.
  2. This is based solely on the words on the page. Plays are meant to be read aloud and performed. I’m sure it’s magical – pun intended – on stage. The stage directions have my mind spinning wondering how they pulled them off.
  3. If you read spoilers after the first previews, they are true. I wanted to not believe them b/c they seemed too on the nose as far as Albus’ Hogwarts House and such. But, then again, I though RAB being Regulus was too obvious to be true, and we see how that turned out.
  4. This is the rehearsal script, not the final one. I hear that comes out next year in a Definitive Edition. I hope that means Act III is shorter. Geez…

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is finally here! And I’m a little bit disappointed. This is probably the first Potter book I didn’t read in one sitting, and considering it’s a script and a very short read in relation, that’s saying something.

I loved being back in Harry’s world, but this read like fan fiction. Really good fan fiction, but fan fiction nonetheless. The story is in part created by Rowling, but you can tell right away, it’s not her writing. And while some of the characterizations were spot on, Harry and Hermione for example, there were others that seemed off. Ron leaned too much on the comic relief movie version than the more well-rounded but still funny version I loved in the book series. Two others from the past just didn’t feel quite right either.

The main plot involving a time-turner is pretty far-fetched and slightly ridiculous, even for a book series about witches, wizards, and magical creatures. The villain is also pretty obvious from the beginning. Again, very fan fiction-ish motivation. I’m sure I’ve read one with a similar villain.

Don’t expect a continuation of the Golden Trio’s adventures. This is firmly a story about the Potters (most of them anyway… I missed Lily and James Jrs.), which is the strength of the play and the part I loved the most. This is Harry’s story as a father and a husband, and Albus as the son who reluctantly lives in his shadow and does some very stupid things because of it. Of course, Ron and Hermione are there and even have some very adorable Ron and Hermione moments. But, Harry turns to his wife (Ginny’s great. I adore Ginny), as he should, and probably has more screen time with Draco Malfoy than Ron and Hermione combined, which is expected considering the nature of the story.

And then there’s Scorpius. I love Scorpius Malfoy! All the adoration that Draco undeservedly received, Scorpius more than earns. He’s probably worth the price of the ticket alone.

Still, this is a Potter story, a glimpse into adult Harry’s life, so I can’t dislike it. It’s what most of the fans have wanted since “all was well.” In fact, I want more. There’s still 19 years in between that we can explore. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne still confront many of the themes we’re used to from the books, with loneliness and acceptance at the forefront. I just wish it surrounded a plot that wasn’t so outlandish.

REVIEW: Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older

Around the World in 80 Books


By Tqwana B.

5 out of 5 stars       ★★★★★

ScholasticJune 30, 2015YA/Urban Fantasy Scholastic
June 30, 2015
YA/Urban Fantasy

Synopsis:

Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and…

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#fbf To That Series I Said I’d Finish, but Didn’t

Around the World in 80 Books


By Tqwana B.

Hmmm… Reading this review gives me pause. Not because of my feelings about the book, but because the Me of right now would never want to censor books for teens because of adult content. The Me of now also has no plans to finish this series. Hell, I barely remember reading this book at all.

Synopsis:

Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty – especially if they learn of her Sight – and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.
But…

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