Saturday, 27 August 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Series: Harry Potter (#8)
Authors/Playwrights: JK Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
From: Amazon (Hardback edition)
Genre: Fantasy, Play Script
Release Date: 31st July 2016
Challenges: Summer COYER 2016, 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Read the Books You Buy, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 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.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child can't really be read as a standalone, especially if you're a Harry Potter fan. It works as an 8th book but I do think that it relies quite heavily on the plots of the previous canon to be truly standalone. However, on stage it may work as more of a standalone (but I am yet to book tickets for that!) As per JK Rowling's instructions, this shall be a spoiler free review, though with everything going round my head after reading that may be a tricky thing for me to pull off.

I'd forgotten the excitement of waiting for the delivery on a Harry Potter release day until today! (FYI it's 31st July as I'm writing this and the book arrived a couple of hours ago, at which point I dropped what I was reading for this!) As someone who grew up with Harry Potter release days in their childhood the wait was almost as exciting as the story itself!

It's been 6 years since I had to read anything in script form (since my A2 English Lit plays!) so it took me a little bit to get back into the swing of it, but because we know the characters and the settings so well (for the most part!) it was easy to sink back into the story and completely forget the way in which it was written.

The old characters were true to form, and there were a few more surprising ones in there that I hadn't expected, and the new characters added something different. I liked the additions and thought some of the more minor plotlines were genius, they fleshed out the characters and made them as real as those in the original books. I do have a serious question about one of them though, but I can't ask anyone yet!

There was one thing in the entire story that I expected, and it was actually very important, but the rest of it took me completely by surprise. There was no point where I thought I knew what was going to happen and I found myself completely entranced, just like with the previous 7 books.

This was undoubtably magical and a fantastic edition to such a loved series. I hope I get to see it on stage soon!