Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Review:  #680
Title:  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Series:  Harry Potter - 8th book
Author:  J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Read Before:  no
Comments:  Set nineteen years after the seventh and final book of Harry Potter, The Cursed Child sees the return of most of the cast as well as focusing on Harry’s son, Albus Severus Potter.  The Cursed Child differs in that it is produced specifically for a play, and thus it takes on a play format.  Naturally, it loses a lot of the descriptions of the scenery as well as the inner monologue of characters, unfortunately causing it to lose a lot of charm in the process.  The Cursed Child has a severely flawed plot.  Avoiding a big spoiler, suffice to say that the plot takes a concept that was done in one of the earlier books, and then throws the established rules out the window.  Granted, it tries to justify that what’s happening, can happen and isn’t breaking any rules, but considering how expertly it was done in the main series, it is hodgepodge here and feels like a cheap knockoff.  The reader is left in disbelief that the writer actually went there.  It doesn’t help that the other significant flaw is the unlikeable characters.  Albus, along with Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius, are portrayed as whiny, constantly complaining and pathetic characters.  Harry himself has his unlikeable moments due to his stubbornness and blindness.  The play tries to deal with the concept of love in more ways than one but the couples, mainly being Harry and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione, are both lacking chemistry.  The only true couple you feel something for are Draco and his wife Astoria.  The antagonist was too easy to figure out early on such that when they show their true self, it wasn’t surprising at all and feels anti-climactic.  It feels that nothing is sacrilege in this story, and tries hard to retcon something about Voldemort which just doesn’t feel right or fit into the story.  The script tends to repeat some scenes already told within the main novels about Harry’s early year, so it feels like a waste of time in an already paper thin plot.  In the end, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child feel like a work of lacklustre fan fiction.
Rating:  6/10

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