Title : Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Part One and Two)
Author : Jack Thorne (Based on Story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany)
Series : Harry Potter #8
Genre : Fantasy, YA, Play
Released on : 31st July, 2016
Goodreads summary :
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.
First things first, as a general statement : I did not like this book. I had a lot of issues and problems, and in spite of trying to look beyond them, I could hardly find anything satisfactory in this book.
Now, to some more in-depth, detailed thoughts.
To think that this book is marketted as the ‘8th Harry Potter book’ is a disgrace and I wonder how this was allowed and encouraged. Because, this book comes nowhere near to the magic and grandiosity of the original Harry Potter. I know a lot of people have been defending the book by saying how this book needs to be viewed separately, and how it is a ‘play’ and not a ‘novel’ and to this I have two questions : 1) Yes this book is ‘separate’ from the series, but it’s still part of the same world, and it is a continuation of the series and it has the words ‘Harry Potter’ on its title, then how can I not compare the two or at least, expect this book to be a tad bit like the original series? (which is absolutely wasn’t btw) And 2) Just because this book is a play, does that mean its poor writing and stupid plot can be justified? Haven’t you read well-written, well-plotted, well-characterized plays?
I was extremely skeptical of reading this book; in fact prior to its release, I had decided not to try it out. While the whole world rejoiced on the 31st of July and posts about this book filled up every social networking feed, I ignored them all and minded my own business. Why? Because for me, the story has ended with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. No use tampering with it now. And then, the mixed reviews hit me. So many loved it, so many hated it. Then one of my friends got this book and at a dinner over at his house, well, he showed me the book andddd I melted. Because it’s big and beautiful and LET’S JUST SAY, curiousity got the best of me. I brought it back home, and started reading it and though I don’t regret reading it, I certainly wish it had been far better executed.
Okay, so first, I’m going to talk about the few things I did like/love about this book. No matter what anyone else has to say, the NOSTALGIA HIT ME HARD. It was good to be back to this world which I call home, and watching all the characters back was nostalgic, at best. I SO WISH that the play had been just a short little book which gave us an insight into what all the characters’ lives have become, nineteen years later. Adding that ridiculous plot was so senseless.
But anyway, we’re talking about the good things. And I cannot not mention Scorpius Malfoy. He was a ray of sunshine, that boy, and it is surprising that (considering his parentage) he turned out to be so good and beautiful. Also, Snape. (Snape’s my favorite character of the series and probably one of my top 5 favorite characters of all time). I loved those few pages with Snape, even though it was an alternate universe and didn’t have any grounding in reality. Still, I loved his dialogues and the humour in his scene.
And now…for the rant.
This was by far the worst aspect of the book, even more so that the foolish plot. It was so bad. Oh my. [And now, before you jump up and say that is was a play, let me just say that a play does NOT justify this shitty writing.] I thought the writing was bland, flat and did nothing for me emotionally. And I’m not even comparing it to Rowling’s writing [which was magical and beautiful and in spite of everything, felt like home and emotions] I’m just saying it was even worse than mediocre writing. Like, some of the dialogues were really bland and dull and some so ridiculous and stupid that I actually wondered how Rowling gave this a pass. Most of the scene endings were really abrupt, and ended suddenly without any proper meaning and it was just a terrible headache. It was like, the dialogues were clipped and hurried and keen on delievering their message in as few words as possible, which completely overlooked any emotional coherency.
You might have heard this before, because even people who loved the book admitted to this : the plot was gibberish. It was seriously so stupid and (honestly) laughable that the creators of this book actually tried to pull this off. There were plot-holes, the most important being the whole issue with the Time-Turner (which is beautifully explained in this video.) Also, I felt that the plot was way too grand and big for a short play of 320 pages. The happenings of this book didn’t have to be based on such a large scale, they could be small and sensible. The entire plot is a) based on a ridiculous idea and b) too huge and large-scale to try to fit into a mere 300 pages. The result? Unsatisfactory. I would’ve much rather enjoyed some family dynamics instead of this crazy mission. Do Ron and Hermione still bicker? How is Ginny as a mother? Does Mrs. Weasley still act like a stern, sweetheart mother? Is Luna still as magical and crazy? But you know what? I got answers to none of those questions. Rather, I had to read this terribly thought-out story.
None of the characters felt like themselves. I repeat, none. Every single character felt off and out of their usual self, and it was like they were forced with dialogues to make them reflect their true selves. For example, Hermione got to make a few smart dialogues, but it didn’t seem like her true self. It was more like, the authors felt that she wasn’t sounding herself and thus added a couple of dialogues to make her seem in form. Which.Didn’t. Work. No one seemed real; everyone was just a poor carricature of their true self.
I’m just breaking this down into separate points :
=> Am I expected to believe that Voldemort actually had sex with someone and had a daughter????!!! Mind=fucked.
=> I genuinely disliked Harry and Albus’ relationship; I know they sorted things out by the end but the whole relationship they had was poorly structured and not explained in depth and Albus was a brat to his father.
=> Ron was a stupid idiot used as a device to spew out stupid jokes at inappropriate instances. I love Ron as a character and seeing him in this book was painful.
=> The universe where Ron doesn’t end up with Hermione – Hermione ends up as a spinster who’s still pining over Ron and that was so enraging. Like she couldn’t marry someone else other than Ron? Like she had to become this mean lonely lady without Ron? Like she couldn’t become Minister of Magic without Ron? Like she had to end up alone without Ron?
=> And while we’re at that, Ron married Padma?! And what the actual fuck is Panju????
=> Cedric Diggory is a Death Eater? Like, WHAA??? I laughed out loud at this. Hufflepuff is a kind, nice house and Cedric himself is one of the kindest, gentlest and most mature characters of the series, and just because of one embarrassing incident, he become a freaking Death Eater? *rolls eyes*
=> NO NEVILLE. NO LUNA. WHY?
=> James and Rose were terribly annoying. All the kids in fact, (except Scorpius) were so annoying.
=> The offensive attempt to wrap up Scorpius ‘asking out’ Rose and completely ignoring the thing Scorpius and Albus so clearly had.
=> Harry’s character was such a turn off. What happened to him? I actually preferred Ginny over him.
So many sad thoughts attached to this book. Sigh.
That is it for my review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!