Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne (Script Book)

Based on the new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, Jack Thorn has created a new play that premiered in London, and luckily for Harry Potter fans, it was published as a script book. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows Harry 19 years later, and his son, Albus. Harry is now a busy Ministry worker with three children and struggles to deal with his past. Albus has to deal with the expectations that come with being the son of the famous Harry Potter, ones he does not seem to meet. 

Rate: 3.5/5 stars

I don't want to give away too much about this book since I think it is best if you go into without knowing much and with low or no expectations. It is a completely different format than the original seven books, and I wouldn't compare them. In my head I don't even really think of this book as canon because I found some of the characterization off, some other things unrealistic and at times, this book felt like fanfiction. All that being said, I did enjoy this book and I got through it quickly. I would recommend you read this if you are a fan of Harry Potter, even if it's just to see what it's all about.

Spoilers ahead.

The non-canon feel of the book was created by the fact that many of the plot points seemed quite unrealistic to me. It seemed completely ludicrous to me that Bellatrix and Voldemort had a child and that they were able to hide it so well. What are the chances of that happening?!

There was also the fact that, surprise, there are more time turners! First of all, I found it really unlikely that that Albus, Scorpius and Delphi were able to get their hands on the time turner that Hermione had hidden so easily. There is no way that they would be able to outsmart Hermione's defences like that. Plus, if find it highly unlikely that Ron/Albus was able to distract Hermione with that "I want a baby or vacation" thing without her thinking something was up. Then, when Albus and Scorpius were lost in time and another time turner was needed to reach them, Draco just happened to have one that worked perfectly.

Also, who would think that Cedric would become a Death Eater and kill Neville in an alternate world just because he was humiliated at the Tri-Wizard Tournament? I think that's slightly ridiculous.

Some of the characterization also contributed to making the book feel unrealistic. The Harry from the original books would never say that he wished his son wasn't his son. He would never have wanted Albus to stop seeing his only other friend and he would never have talked to McGonagall the way he did.

I found that Ron's character was diminished to just the funny friend who is only there to add humor to the plot. Also, I found Ginny was pushed to the side and had about as much personality as movie-Ginny.

All of this being said, there were some good parts to this script book. I liked seeing where everyone was in the future, especially Hermione as she had become the Minister of Magic.

As far as new characters go, my favourite was Scorpius due to the fact that he was a total dork. The other characters were okay, but none of them really blew me out of the water. I liked Albus and Scorpius's friendship, although I started to think it might turn into a romance (which definitely made it feel like fanfiction). Also, where were Harry and Ginny's other kids? We barely saw them! I can understand why a lot of the other characters like the other Weasleys and Teddy Lupin weren't included because it would be too much for a play, but I thought we'd see more of the other Potters.

I think it was great that the alternate world where Voldemort won was included. It's something people have wondered about, and it showed just how dark the world would have been if Harry Potter was killed opposed to Voldemort.

I definitely didn't expect the plot to go where it did, but I think it worked well for a play. It made sense (for once) that Delphi would want to go back in time to Voldemort to save him from his demise so that she could share the glory. This part of the plot added some extra complexity (maybe too complex when it comes to how time turners work) to the storyline, which I appreciated.

I'm glad that the book didn't end with everything between Harry and Albus completely fixed (although I think the real Harry would have been closer to his son in the first place). They still had to work on their relationship, but they ended up understanding each other better because of what they went through.

Even though this script book had a lot of flaws, it was enjoyable overall. Let me know what you thought of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Midnight Magic: A Midnight Release Party for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is finally here! To celebrate its release, I went to the midnight release party my local Chapters hosted. Also, I'd like to apologize for the terrible quality of photos you will see in advanced. The pictures are better than none (barely).

I wore my Marauder's Map shirt with my time turner necklace to the event and we (my parents, younger brother, my friend and I) got to Platform 9 3/4 (the line outside the store) around 9:30 since the party started at 10, and they gave you a numbered ticket at the door so you didn't have to stand in line for the entire time. 

While my parents and brother held our spot in line, my friend and I looked at the Harry Potter themed drinks in the Starbucks (The Leaky Cauldron) connected to the store to see what we wanted to order.

They had butterbeer along with themed drinks for each house. Ten points for Starbucks because Ginny was serving us as well. 

I got the Slytherin Snake Bite (green tea with lemon and lime if I remember correctly), my brother got the Ravenclaw Raven (something with vanilla, coffee and blue whipped cream), and my friend got the Hufflepuff Badger Blaster (a mango smoothie-ish concoction). I wanted to go back later to try the butterbeer, but the line was huge. I did really enjoy the Slytherin though.

When we walked in at 10:00, we were given the Marauder's Map, which showed us a map of the store and activities. They had live snakes, that I unfortunately didn't get to see because the line was huge and my friend is not very fond of snakes.

Also there was my city's university's Quidditch team. They had some of their brooms and one of the goals, plus a highlight reel.

There was also a dementor and a green screen that you could take pictures with, so that's what my friend and I did (as you can see).

In the middle of the store, there was a bunch of Harry Potter merchandise and colouring activities. The day before I was there and bought a Hermione Funko Pop, and I'm glad that I didn't wait until the release party because it didn't look like any were left.

At 10:30, the Harry Potter improv started. I was skeptical of it at first, but it turned out to be really great. Before it actually started they took down names and places from Harry Potter and they used these throughout the performance. The improv lasted for an hour, so there was only a half hour before the release.

About five minutes before the release, they called up the first twenty people to get in line for the release, which fortunately included my friend and me. They had all the books in boxes wrapped up with plastic (as you can see above) and the staff were not allowed to open it until precisely 12:01 (otherwise they were promised a lunch date with a Dementor). 

There was a ten second countdown, and then the book was released! Once my friend and I got our books (and tote bag), we headed home where I proceeded to read the first 80 or so pages, slept, and then finished the book day of.

That about wraps it up! Did you go to a midnight release party? Have you finished the book?