I would like to begin this post by giving a disclaimer: this is NOT intended as a Book Review. Nor will not be archived as such. This is purely intended as therapy for me and sweet, delightful torture to those of you who have NOT yet read this yet...
So. Here we are. Deep breath. I've just finished J.K. Rowling's newest addition to the Harry Potter Universe... The 8th story. Set 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts.
Part of me was so scared that it wouldn't live up to the hype. That the original 7 books created too high of expectations for us loyal fans that anything else just wouldn't make the mark.
There was plenty of ways it could've gone wrong, in my mind. So much so that I was actually bracing myself for disappointment when I ran through Walmart like a madwoman and snatched one off the Bestsellers shelf, then dashed to the nearest cashier, clutching it to my chest with the expression of a drug addict getting a much-needed fix.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play written by Jack Thorne, based on an original story written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne. So in my mind, potential disaster could result from strangers coming into Rowling World and messing shit up.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is sold as a Special Rehearsal Edition Script. No descriptions? No narrative? You've just hobbled my world by taking out half of what makes it magical. Potential strike two for me.
And then there's the obvious questions:
- What if we didn't like who Harry Potter became once he grew up?
- What if his life became just as droll and mundane as everyone else now that the Boy that Lived had finished saving the world?
- What if there was an unrealistic threat that was cooked up just to create tension with characters that seems forced and overdramatic?
- What if the authors kill one of the Potter children?
- What if Voldemort somehow magically - no pun intended - returns?!
As you can see, I was extremely pessimistic going into this whole charade.
And now the reason why I cannot - in good conscience - write a review over this book.
This book was SO CATACLYSMICALLY GOOD that I'm scared I would give away spoilers in my review.
In response to SOME of my earlier fears:
1. The Rehearsal Edition Script in NO WAY has an effect on the reader's ability to experience J.K. Rowling's world. We've lived in this world since the late 90's, either through Rowling's novels or on the big screen. We already know these characters and their surroundings inside and out. Their mannerisms, their quirks, the feel of Godric's Hollow, the smell of the Hogwart's Library. All of it is already there in your mind. The script allows you to experience the book in a fast-paced, cinematic sense. It's - in short - brilliant.
2. J.K. Rowling's voice is present and dominant throughout the entire script. Jack and John's contributions are wonderful, I'm sure. But I felt as if I was reading one of the original 7 again, tucked away in the world of wizards and Weasleys and Whomping Willows.
3. Even the way the script began gave homage to its origins...
Do you remember this?! The closing scene from the Epilogue of Book 7 - The Deathly Hallows????! When we get to see Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny - all grown up with kiddos of their own, getting ready to board the Hogwarts Express?!
I will say no more. If you have not yet bought Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, shame on you.
I am feeling merciful.
Thus, I will leave you with one... teensy weensy teaser. A parting gift, if you will...