Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8)

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 31, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown UK
330 Pages

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.

On June 26, 1997 the world was introduced to Harry Potter. Whether you started at the beginning or joined the magic later on, no one can deny that this book series is one of the best things to happen to literature in a very long time. I will admit, I didn't read the first book until right before the first movie was released, but once I did, I was enchanted. Fast forward many years later, and many emotions later, when we all thought this world was over, we got Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

I won't lie. I had extremely mixed emotions about this one. Yes, I love Harry Potter. But I also love the way that is was wrapped up. Book 7 ended perfectly. I didn't want anything to ruin that. On the other hand, I was intrigued by this future world that was being introduced to us. So, like many, I devoured it the moment I opened it.

Book 8 picks up right where 7 ended - our grown up crew all sending their children off to Hogwarts. But this time we focus on Albus Potter. When we first meet Albus, he's nervous and a little scared of going off to Hogwarts, but like his father before him, he gets on the train and instantly makes a new friend - Scorpious Malfoy (who is freaking adorable). The play fast forwards their first few years at Hogwarts and we watch Albus become this extremely sullen teenager who feels the pressures of being Harry Potters son. Mix that with his best friend who has to deal with the rumors of his  birth and you get two outcasts who want to prove they are more than their last names.

I don't really want to give anything away plot wise, but it was a very interesting one. But I will agree with a lot of the reviews I've been reading in which there are holes. But I don't chalk this up to bad storytelling. More like this was a play. In a play you don't get the pages and pages of background and descriptions that you normally get in a regular book. So it was definitely more of a visual imagining. But I love plays and I love this world so it was easy for me to watch it play out.

Then there were the characters.

Oh man, I knew there would be feels involved but I didn't expect the FEELS, ya know? I don't want to say, but there's one scene (fans will know when they read it) that just hit me really hard and, yeah, I'll admit it, I got teary. I had this book rated at 4 stars when I started this review and have since bumped it up to five because of the feelings I'm getting while writing this.

So thank you, JK Rowling for this world and for everything you've given us since. I've heard that she wants this to be the end of Harry for her (writing wise) and I completely understand. Rowling has given us the tools for it to live on forever in our hearts and minds.

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