I’m not going to lie, I haven’t had a good week. So it probably wasn’t a good time to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I didn’t like the play.I’m not going to lie, I haven’t had a good week. So it probably wasn’t a good time to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I didn’t like the play. Maybe seeing it in person with all the special effects would’ve upped the entertainment value of it, but reading the play grated on me. First the dialogue was terrible. There were moments where it sounded like that fake “Golly gee willikers!” type of dialogue that makes you want to beat your head against a wall. No one talks like that! These characters wouldn’t say stuff like that! It doesn’t fit into the world that J.K. Rowling built in the original seven Harry Potter books. Which brings me to my next complaint, the characters didn’t feel true to canon.
The play felt like I was reading mediocre fanfiction where the author didn’t have a good grasp on the original characters. Ron felt like an empty caricature of his flawed portrayal in the movies where they removed a lot of characteristic that made him so important and wonderful in the books. He had zero personality and honestly zero reason for being in the play. His character seemed to be carted into scenes to sit in the background and be like, “See I’m still here even though I don’t contribute to the greater story!” And ironically enough I feel like Ginny suffered from the same issue of where she had to be there but they literally didn’t know what to do with her so she does absolutely zero except say throwaway lines and be a sounding board for Harry’s thoughts. It’s lazy story-writing. Ginny is a great character in the books and deserves more than that! Ron deserves more than that! We as fans deserve more than that!
And the plot felt farfetched, unrealistic, and suffered from deus ex machina. I won’t get into the specifics since a lot of people are spoiler-averse when it comes to Harry Potter and a discussion on it would spoil the entire play. But again it felt like lazy writing. And when I sat down and tried to piece together the logical progression of the scene towards the end where the lightbulb goes off and a solution is discovered to the problem, there were too many gaps in the logic which the play completely overlooked. It was like the authors were begging you to “just go with it.”
I give it 2 out of 5 stars. And a part of me wishes I’d just skipped it. Hopefully Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will feel like less of a money grab and have more substance. ...more
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where my opinion of it diverges so abruptly. My opinion of the first third of the book is completely different thaI don’t think I’ve ever read a book where my opinion of it diverges so abruptly. My opinion of the first third of the book is completely different than the remaining two-thirds of the book. This comes from a purposeful (I think/hope) decision from Carey the shift the style of the story.
I didn’t love the first one-third of the book. I didn’t even think I’d be able to make it to end. The beginning of Kushiel’s Dart felt like BDSM erotica. It was the best erotica I’d read but I generally don’t find much substance in erotica and I don’t enjoy reading it. The world of Kushiel’s Dart felt like a BDSM fantasy based off Renaissance France. And there were moments where the BDSM scenes were very graphic and felt gratuitous. This book is long, and I didn’t really want to go through 1000 pages of erotica.
However at the 33% mark the novel completely shifted. There was a twist and suddenly Kushiel’s Dart didn’t seem as sex-obsessed. Sex still happened and was discussed, but not a single rendezvous was described in great detail after that point. The story felt less prurient and a legit intrigue-dense adventure plot arose in its stead. I’m a much bigger fan of the last two-thirds of the book. It was engaging and fun. The characters didn’t feel like tropes that you typically find in fantasy-adventure worlds. The story felt new even though it was tackling a genre that is well-occupied. You got to travel across many different cultures and worlds along with the characters, and they were all fascinating to learn and be immersed in. And the intrigue aspects of the story were well-written and reminded me of A Song of Ice and Fire series at times.
I’m also very impressed with Carey’s pacing. I always find myself worrying about how well the book is paced when I pick up a 1000+ page book. But I’d argue Carey has done one of the best jobs at pacing a book of that size. It never felt like you were rushed through a certain part and most importantly I never got aggravated or bored due to lingering too long. Overall I give it 4 stars. Honestly, I would’ve given the last two-thirds a higher score if I hadn’t disliked the first one-third of it as much as I did. ...more
I didn't finish this book by Halloween! Oh the shame. Actually I didn't finish this booThis review was originally posted on my blog The Literary Snob.
I didn't finish this book by Halloween! Oh the shame. Actually I didn't finish this book point blank; and I find that very interesting considering that half the book is taken verbatim from one of my favorite books which I religiously re-read every couple of years.
I came into Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with an open-mind (I swear scouts honor!). I knew what I was getting myself into, and I wanted a light-hearted Halloween read for October. But I found myself so BORED. Through his tinkering Seth Grahame-Smith seriously killed everything that makes Pride and Prejudice so good. The text loses it finesse, and even my favorite lines from the original come off as sounding hollow and dare I say it, lame? And the parts he inserted in about zombies is also boring. Maybe Grahame-Smith was so attached to keeping so much of Austen's writing in his story that it dampens any true ability he has to explore his own concept.
I think that zombies in the Regency era with Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters as zombie hunters is a really fun concept. But it feels stale tied to Austen's original text. And one the flip-side of the coin, the zombie story destroys Austen's multidimensional characters and nuanced story.
In the end I just felt no energy or desire to keep going with the book about 50% of the way through. I lost any excitement for the book over a week ago and now Halloween is over. I rated Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 2 stars with a resounded MEH. But I still think the movie has a shot of being a lot of fun, so I'll probably check it out once it's out of theaters. I'm a sucker for Austen inspired movies. (Btw have you guys seen Austenland? It's my new guilty pleasure.)...more