Thursday, 11 August 2016

Unpopular Opinion Alert! - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

"Draco: Flipendo! ... Keep up, old man.
Harry: We're the same age, Draco.
Draco: I wear it better." - The greatest moment in Harry Potter history, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, page 141 (Act II, Scene 13)

It's funny, isn't it, how we long for books that end up disappointing us and couldn't give two hoots about the ones that make us smile. I wasn't excited for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but buying it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made all year. 

And the moral of the story is...

(Never ignore a book with a 'half price' sticker.)


I'm not saying it was perfect. Some parts were a little awkward, and some parts had me sitting there thinking, "What," but it was fun. I think that's all I needed at the moment, something fun that I could read in one sitting. That said, when it got dark it got really dark really quickly. 

Harry's back, of course, but this is very much the story of his son, Albus. Albus is basically everything that Harry wasn't - terrible at magic, terrible on a broom, and terribly unpopular. In fiction, popular or not, protagonists are rarely presented as unhappy at school. Usually they have a solid, if small, group of friends, a friendly teacher, or a club to take their mind off it

(You literally just described Harry Potter.)

That was my intention. Albus hates Hogwarts. He has one friend, Scorpius, who is basically the greatest human being to ever set foot within the hallowed halls of Hogwarts.


What? He's smart, loyal, and he makes bad puns. And he's a good Slytherin. An undeniably good Slytherin. How many of those have we had? 

Plot-wise, time just keeps on turning. It's a play - written for performance rather than reading - and so some parts are rather over the top. Rule of drama, and all that jazz. I don't want to give anything away (it only came out a week or so ago, and I am not Voldemort) but it's very fast-paced. At one point, we go through three years in a single scene. There's a woman with dubious origins and even more dubious hair who forms a trio with Albus and Scorpius. There are riddles that hark all the way back to Harry, Ron, and Hermione's adventures in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. There are themes of belonging, prejudice, family, and friendship. I admit, I'm a sucker for nostalgia and that may be why I enjoyed this so much.  

If you want something fast and fun, I recommend Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 

Who liked it? Who didn't? Who hasn't read it and is quietly trying to ignore the internet exploding around them? Let's talk.