Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany
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Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

RULE FOR SPOILERS: if it's in the first 10%, and therefore (in most cases) available for scrutiny from undecided readers in the FREE downloadable preview, IT'S NOT A SPOILER.

That being said, a LOT of things happen--IMPORTANT things--in the first five percent, let alone ten percent of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, so if you'd rather go into your read without significant prior knowledge, leave this review immediately.

That's the only warning you're going to get.

In my experience there are two types of hardcore fans for any given series:

1. The Blind Zealot.

This type of fan will forgive an author almost anything. Inconsistent behavior in main characters, enormous plot holes, unexplained developments, etc., it doesn't matter, b/c OHMAGAWD, I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! *squeeeeeeee*

2. The Thoughtful, Critical Reader.

This type of fan loves a series based solely on its merit. They aren't blind to the aforementioned plot holes or inconsistent characters, they are in fact disappointed by such occurrences, but they can still maintain LOVE for the overall series.

For example, I LOVE HARRY POTTER, but I did not love HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, b/c I felt Rowling encapsulated all the teenangsty emotions of adolescence a little bit too thoroughly.

It was, in a word, exhausting.

PLOT TWIST: I think both types of fans are equally likely to have issues with this latest addition to their Harry Potter library.

Blind Zealots:

The trouble with ending a series is that if it's done well, you have all the answers to all of your questions, and a vague enough HEA-type scenario that your well-loved cast of characters is assured whatever it is that they deserve.

Heroines and Heroes live happily ever after, Villains and Minions are thwarted and punished, and while you aren't foolish enough to think everyone's adventures are over, Good continuing to triumph over Evil is reasonably guaranteed.

BUT.

Once you've finished something, the only way to reopen it is too create new conflict--without conflict there's no story.

Suddenly the nebulous "HEA" isn't so nebulous, and that new clarity jeopardizes everything you've happily assumed about what comes next.

Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron, previously cardboard cutouts of adult wizards, become real parents with real children, and those children must grow up, making mistakes while they do it, and, worse, they must go through puberty and all the angst that entails.

That's not happily ever after . . . That's REAL LIFE.

Then Real Life takes your daydream of a-son-of-Harry-Potter being sorted into Slytherin and reinventing the house's image with the kind of unaffected rebelliousness you associated with a teenaged Sirius Black, and crushes it under its heel, forcing you to realize that wizards . . . are kind of assholes.

So now, adding insult to injury, the image of the utopian magical society that sprang fully formed from Voldemort's ashes is forever ruined.

A Blind Zealot might find ignorance preferable to that turn of events.

But those aren't my issues. My issues are thus:

1. I HATE TIME TRAVEL.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm an escapist reader. I need to be consumed by a book to fully enjoy it, and that means I NEED to be able to believe what I'm reading is the truth.

BUT.

Time travel destroys the possibility of believing anything, b/c it's ALL subject to change.

Why mourn a character's death if it will more than likely be nullified in the next chapter or two? Why dredge up any outrage on a character's behalf when the object of her torment will be thwarted during the second take?

For me, it's not an issue of, "why would I?" It's an issue of, "I can't." And if I can't feel anything in response to your characters or your story, why would I read your book?

2. Resurrecting Voldemort-as-villain is lazy. And infuriating.

We survived three of Voldemort's failed attempts at rebirth, we survived one success, and we survived a three book revelation that essentially said we had to kill him SEVEN TIMES for his death to actually stick.

After all of that, how could anyone think it would be a Good Idea to bring him back AGAIN?

Admittedly, it wasn't quite that simple, but . . . it was also exactly that simple. Everything and everyone else connected to ye olde grande scheme was superfluous, merely the means of achieving a so-very-tired end.

As for the aforementioned superfluous detail: (view spoiler)

3. Unnecessary drama.

At first I debated whether or not it was fair to fault a staged production for being overly dramatic, but I hate unnecessary drama on the screen as much as I hate it on paper, so, YES, it most definitely is fair.

A. Stop crying, dammit. Especially you, Harry. *rolls eyes*

B. Ginny's instant escalation from concerned-but-understanding wife into finger-pointing harridan. If you've read it, you know to what I'm referring.

C. Harry's impersonation of a father-as-dictator (view spoiler)

4. Contradictions, including, but not limited to:

In Act 2, when Harry uses his conversation with Dumbledore-as-portrait as reasoning for his ludicrous request, Headmistress McGonagoll admonishes him for treating a "memoir" like the actual person:

HARRY: And Dumbledore—Dumbledore said—
PROFESSOR McGONAGALL: What?
HARRY: His portrait. We spoke. He said some things which made sense—
PROFESSOR McGONAGALL: Dumbledore is dead, Harry. And I’ve told you before, portraits don’t represent even half of their subjects.

BUT, in Act 4, this:

DUMBLEDORE (openly weeping now): I was blind. That is what love does. I couldn’t see that you needed to hear that this closed-up, tricky, dangerous old man . . . loved you.

A pause. The two men are overcome with emotion.

Either they're two men or they're one man and a flawed copy. Pick one and stick with it, please.

5. Plot holes.

A. If Dolores Umbrage warded her Hogwarts office against unauthorized entry, do you really expect me to believe that (view spoiler)

B. How many times have we heard some variation of, "Am I the only person who's read Hogwarts, a History?"

And how many of those times were specifically in reference to wards that prevented witches and wizards from magicking themselves onto Hogwarts' property?

Yet suddenly and inexplicably, anyone can use the floo network to travel to any number of chimneys on the grounds.

C. There was also some nonsense about Albus and Scorpius not needing to worry about a certain de-wanded Hogwarts student being harmed b/c "the professors would never allow serious injury to occur," which is, simply put . . . laughable.

That's not to say HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD was horrible and I hated it. It wasn't and I didn't. I even loved parts of it, Scorpius in particular. BUT. Even taking into consideration that it was a script, not a novel, it wasn't the same level of quality we've come to expect from Rowling (who, no, may not have written the thing in its entirety, but who, YES, did collaborate on and ultimately give her seal of approval for), and that is disappointing.

I'm not going to bother recommending or not recommending this one--you'll either read it or you won't, and at this stage of series worship or indifference, your decision will have little to do with what I have to say about it. SO. Go forth and do what you were always going to do.

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Reading Progress

January 28, 2016 – Shelved
July 31, 2016 – Started Reading
July 31, 2016 –
page 0
0.0% "description" (Hardcover Edition)
July 31, 2016 –
15.0% "THIS is Scorpius: description Just sayin' . . ." (Hardcover Edition)
July 31, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 104 (104 new)


message 1: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra How did they manage to keep that that in secret? What a gift! And it's not even my birthday! Thanks for the heads-up, Jessica!


message 2: by Linda (new)

Linda Looks like it's a script for a play.


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Sandra wrote: "How did they manage to keep that that in secret? What a gift! And it's not even my birthday! Thanks for the heads-up, Jessica!"

EXACTLY. What a gift. So freaking excited, it's riddikulus.


message 4: by Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more (last edited Feb 10, 2016 11:24AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Linda wrote: "Looks like it's a script for a play."

And that matters why? I don't know where you live, but I live in the US, and maybe some people can jet over there to see it live, but I'm not one of them. I will take it however I can get it ;)


message 5: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim OMG!!!! ***screams in delight***


message 6: by Christopher (new)

Christopher "And that matters why?"

It matters because a lot of people are going to see this and think it is a new Potter novel, which it isn't. Most people aren't used to reading scripts.


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Kim wrote: "OMG!!!! ***screams in delight***"

:D


message 8: by Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more (last edited Feb 10, 2016 11:20AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Christopher wrote: ""And that matters why?"

It matters because a lot of people are going to see this and think it is a new Potter novel, which it isn't. Most people aren't used to reading scripts."


Can you name a single person you know who loves Harry Potter who is going to object to reading a screenplay vs. reading a novel? B/c I can't. Not if it means a new story.


message 9: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra Not a story actually written by her, but I'm not objecting. Take my money too!


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Sandra wrote: "Not a story actually written by her, but I'm not objecting. Take my money too!"

I thought she was working with the playwrights.


message 11: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven The play is written by a man named Jack Thorne, and it's based on an original story written by Rowling, playwright Thorne, and director John Tiffany. So yes, it's Harry Potter, even in a different form.


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Steven wrote: "The play is written by a man named Jack Thorne, and it's based on an original story written by Rowling, playwright Thorne, and director John Tiffany. So yes, it's Harry Potter, even in a different ..."

All I hear is #harrypotter *throws confetti in the air*


message 13: by Lucy (new) - added it

Lucy at Rain and Cupcakes Book Blog So excited!!!


Vanessa J. If Rowling comes after April 1 and says this was only an early April Fools joke I'm gonna murder someone.

Lol, anyway, I'M DYING FOR THIS.


message 16: by Linda (new)

Linda Oh, I'm not disparaging it. I'm looking forward to it, too. Just wanted to note that the format will be a bit different and, at some point, there will be a live production. :)


message 17: by Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more (last edited Feb 10, 2016 01:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Vane wrote: "If Rowling comes after April 1 and says this was only an early April Fools joke I'm gonna murder someone.

Lol, anyway, I'M DYING FOR THIS."


Too soon to be an April Fools joke, but it does feel too good to be true. BUT IT IS TRUE! *throws MORE confetti in the air*


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Linda wrote: "Oh, I'm not disparaging it. I'm looking forward to it, too. Just wanted to note that the format will be a bit different and, at some point, there will be a live production. :)"

Yeah, according to the CNN article, the version available on the 31st (the day after the play opens) isn't the final version, b/c Rowling wants the playwrights to be able to adapt the script throughout its run. There's going to be a limited edition final version later.

That it's going to be in screenplay form doesn't matter to me. *shrugs awkwardly* I was in a bunch a plays and musicals growing up, so I'm used to reading them, and who cares anyway? B/C HARRY POTTER ;)


Andrea YEESSS!!


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* I don't enjoy reading scripts unfortunately, so even though I love Harry Potter, I don't think I'd enjoy this one much, especially if it's not by the author. Are they releasing this before or after the play? It would make more sense for after the play so whoever sees it is surprised.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Oh I see from the article, it will be released a day after the play, which makes sense


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Andrea wrote: "YEESSS!!"

*high fives*


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder* wrote: "I don't enjoy reading scripts unfortunately, so even though I love Harry Potter, I don't think I'd enjoy this one much, especially if it's not by the author. Are they releasing this before or after..."

Steven wrote: "The play is written by a man named Jack Thorne, and it's based on an original story written by Rowling, playwright Thorne, and director John Tiffany. So yes, it's Harry Potter, even in a different ..."

That doesn't do anything about the format, but the information we'll be getting about grown-up Harry & co. is from Rowling. Partially, anyway, and it has her approval in its entirety.


message 24: by Nafeeza (new) - added it

Nafeeza The book gods have answered my prayers. So excited!


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Nafeeza wrote: "The book gods have answered my prayers. So excited!"

Sometimes the book gods are benevolent ;)


Kirah D I'm so scared and so excited for this book!!!! I love love love Harry Potter !!!! What if it's not as magical and suspenseful as the others ??


message 27: by Andrew (last edited Feb 11, 2016 02:33PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Andrew Doubtless a good news for Harry Potter fans. If I understand, this is a screenplay of a play. Usually I prefer that what finish remains finished, but I think all people around the world have always hoped in another couple of books. I hope it deserves.


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Kirah wrote: "I'm so scared and so excited for this book!!!! I love love love Harry Potter !!!! What if it's not as magical and suspenseful as the others ??"

Impossible. GROWN-UP HARRY!


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Andrew wrote: "Doubtless a good news for Harry Potter fans. If I understand, this is a screenplay of a play. Usually I prefer that what finish remains finished, but I think all people around the world have always..."

Me, TOO.


message 30: by Renata (new) - added it

Renata Scared and excited defines!


message 31: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Im freaking out. This is fantastic. Surly they will beg her to make the movie too later on. I just want the book....then I want the movie lol. We cant see the play, so we must have a movie. lol


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Renata wrote: "Scared and excited defines!"

But mostly excited!


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Kimberly wrote: "Im freaking out. This is fantastic. Surly they will beg her to make the movie too later on. I just want the book....then I want the movie lol. We cant see the play, so we must have a movie. lol"

Oh, sure we can. It'll just take five or so years to get here ;)


message 34: by Eliana (new) - added it

Eliana OMG OMG OMG A NEW HARRY POTTER!!!! And i found this out THE DAY I FINISHED THE 7th HARRY POTTER! Accio book accio book accio book!!!!!!! is this really real or is hermione Confunding me? I AM HYPERVENILATING!!!!!!?


message 35: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven Take a deep breath and try to remember that it's a screen play and not a book in the same sense as the other seven. It'll be like reading a play in high school classes, just with Harry Potter as the subject matter. :)

That helps me calm down enough to be able to wait for it... even though on the inside I'm still saying "MORE GIVE ME MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE!"


Joshua *Leafstorm* Hey, who knows? Maybe someone will step up and rewrite it as a book! Yeh could get pretty famous doing that…


message 37: by Lovepreet (new) - added it

Lovepreet Saini I really want to read it


message 38: by Diana (new) - added it

Diana I ordered mine online, I may have to wait a couple of days but I don't have to deal with the crowds.


Jamie i like walmart for days


message 40: by Nafeeza (new) - added it

Nafeeza So ready!!


message 41: by Renata (new) - added it

Renata Yes! Can't wait!


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more I've already said this in the BB&B thread, but I'm so excited (and nervous . . . and EXCITED) that I'm a little bit sick to my stomach.


Andrea Can't wait to get my hands on this!!


message 44: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly I pre-ordered this from Target, I get an exclusive poster with the book when it comes. They wrote to me a week ago to say the date was pushed back in me getting my copy, so waiting with fingernails between teeth!


message 45: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Mine will arrive Wednesday!


Helen 2.0 OMG the waiting room picture... LOL


Lucia Amazing review, Jessica! I am with you on so many things! I truly did not like how this book basicaly negated almost everything that has happened in previous seven books. I am huge HP fan but this was unnecessary addition to the series. I think I am going to pretend I did not read it LOL


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Andrea wrote: "Can't wait to get my hands on this!!"

I hope your experience is everything you want it to be!


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Kimberly wrote: "I pre-ordered this from Target, I get an exclusive poster with the book when it comes. They wrote to me a week ago to say the date was pushed back in me getting my copy, so waiting with fingernails..."

I did, too. I have the book, but not the poster. How 'bout you?


Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more Amy wrote: "Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Mine will arrive Wednesday!"

Ta-DAH. :)


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