Posted in Book Reviews

Hype or Like Friday: Can You Feel The Magic?

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Larkin, Britt and Jill . Check out the Goodreads group to know more about it and stay up to date with the weekly discussions and book of the month.

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August 26th: Review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (mostly spoiler free)

the cursed child

Title: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
Author: J.K Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Publisher: Little Brown Publishing
Release date:
July 31th 2016
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

It is finally here. The moment we all (or at least 90% of us) had been waiting for. After seven books that have allowed millions of people escape the grey of every day life in the Muggles’ word, a new door to the Wizard’s side opened.

I was not a part of the 90% people eagerly expecting The Cursed Child. This does not mean I did not miss my childhood and teenage years’ friends, or that I was not still waiting for the stupid owl that misplaced my letter. Netflix knows how much I miss the magical world created by one of the best witches of our time. But I had my doubts. After all, I had been entirely satisfied with the series as it was, and I was wondering if this new book was not just a marketing trap. And now, a few days after having read the script of what is called the 8th Harry Potter book, I realize my doubts were justified.

So, fast forward +20 years. Harry and Ginny did not waste those years and had little wizards, as did Ron and Hermione. Except being the badass team they were in school did not really help them in adult life, and things are not all sun and shiny. So far so good. Yet… Two pages in and I’m frowning.

Confundo : Causes the victim to become confused and befuddled.

Okay, Harry, I do get the logic behind giving your babies the names of important people in your life, but let’s face it, it is VERY confusing. Especially when you are not used reading scripts and you keep forgetting to read the names above the dialogue. It did get better with time, but several parts involving body changes had me feeling a little lost. Little advice for the next generation : GO ORIGINAL!

Conjonctivitis : Damages opponent’s eyesight

The format was a subject of concern for many of us. I can read a novel in hours, reading words faster than a TGV flies on the train lines (when not on strike, of course), but give me a script and I’m back in elementary school, following the dialogue with my finger and forgetting who says what. I’m sure I’d have enjoyed Shakespeare better is Romeo and Juliet’s fate had been narrated in a different format. I did get the hang of it. After all, I finished the book in 3 hours, but it being a script did take part of the fun away. Getting only a few scene directions and raw dialogue does not have the same impact. I need details, especially when wandering into the brilliant and diverse world created by Rowling. I want lengthy descriptions of magical places and other spells and potions’ unfortunate effects. We know 80% of the places where the action takes place, but it doesn’t feel the same.

Expecto Patronum : Conjure a spirit-like incarnation
of their positive emotions (to defend against dark creatures)

Now that we’re talking about feeling the same… After the details, the big stuff! The joy of meeting up again with our favorite characters, the cosy or scary places, the thrill of going on the train. It all came back, as if I had left Hogwarts only a few days ago. Yes, Emotional me was happy to come back. I was also glad to know what everyone had become. There was no doubts about Hermione’s career choice, and I was over the moon to see (spoiler! I think) McGonagall (still) sitting on Dumbledore’s chair. (What? She’s quite OLD now!)

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Malfoy and Potter. I wish I could forget some of fan fiction extracts I stumbled across a long time ago. Still, it felt right to see their relationship explored and deepened in reflection of (spoiler! ish) their sons’ friendships. Their interactions looked like the natural evolution we could have expected from their history.

Albus and Scorpius. I was skeptical at first, until a special joke early in the book made me laugh so loud I realized those boys were in for a true friendship. I never expected to like Scorpius more than Albus. (Yes, I’m a Potter fan, no my hair color has nothing to do with me hoping to steal Harry from Giny.)

Impedimenta : Capable of tripping, freezing, binding,
knocking back and generally impeding the target’s progress towards the caster.

Now to the less good stuff.

Albus. I must not be very good with teenagers and I am seriously considering sending them to boarding school when mine reach that age. Whining has never been my thing, and I wanted to slap him at times. If you have read the book, don’t tell me the thought never crossed your mind!

Harry, my poor Harry. You’ve never been so good understanding others, and this applies to your son. I was a tad bit disappointed by the cold wall between father and son. Yes, I know, without it there is no story, but even though we could all have guessed being Harry Potter’s son would not be easy, the depth of the gap between those two broke my heart. I would have wanted to have more snippets of their lives to understand how they had ended up do far apart. I had issues picturing Harry as the terrible father is seemed to be.

Off to the secondary characters. I had no idea what the book would be about, but I soon figured out the next generation was the lead. I would have wanted Ron to be more than an extra. Yes, he appeared, but I don’t recall him doing anything of importance. Poor Ron.

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Accio (sounds enough like action, therefore it’s plot time!)

This story is definitely character-driven. It doesn’t lack of stupid action(s), but the exploration of the past and how it impacts someone was all I took with me when I closed the book. I feel I can’t talk about the plot itself without any spoiler whatsoever, so I’ll keep it short. Exploring relationships through errors and injustice of the past was a great idea, but nothing really happened except for teenagers making terrible mistakes. I did not feel any tension as I knew there was no way it would end badly. The superficiality of the plot failed to give me the sense of adventure I was looking for.

I feel the authors made a quick list, threw all the old’s recipe ingredients in, and sparkled half a cup of sugar on top. But adding a couple of new characters to a familiar setting does not secure you an amazing book. I was able to appreciate the story in itself. I even found elements of the plot clever, though a bit rehashed. I might have liked the book more if on its own. But I never felt it belongs to the Harry Potter series. Magic was here, the original places and names appeared, but the mix did not convince me. Spoiler! How many times can they pull the Voldy threat?

Overall, it was a good read. Nostalgia gave it a bittersweet taste and it was nice to be among wizards for a while, but for me, it’s a HYPE.

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Nox

Did you read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child? Do you want to read it? What did you think of it? Did I miss something?

22 thoughts on “Hype or Like Friday: Can You Feel The Magic?

  1. I’m glad to hear about the issues you had with this book : MINE were the SAME ones. I wanted more details, to fully get back in the fantastic universe Rowling created, and the script form kind of frustrated me, A LOT. But it still was good to get back with these characters, made me so nostalgic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review and love the spells you used. The fact that it has a script format is enough to put me off honestly. And even if I wanted to read this book I think I’d be missing a lot of background as I’ve not read or seen them all yet so I’d have to catch up on the characters and past stories first. I’ll pass on this hype for once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I struggled a lot about what to say, but I knew from the start that I wanted to include spells 🙂
      Yeah, you appreciate the story and references more if you’re familiar with the entire series. This book is a little extra, that was not necessary in my opinion.

      Like

  3. Totally agree! Harry & Albus’ relationship needed more backstory. How did it get to be that bad? And how come Albus never really mentioned his siblings? It was just kind of off. I also wasn’t thrilled with how sour Ginny seemed to be in this. Some of the lines she had just seemed to be complaining about all the attention Harry got (along with Ron & Hermione). Almost like she was jealous. It made her seem a bit petty about everything they went through.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how you used the spells for your review. Good idea! Too bad you weren’t over the moon with this one. I think the expectations were probably too high because of their decision to market a script book as the 8th book. It probably would’ve been better and less hype for people if they just said it’s a Harry Potter story and called it a day. I liked the book, but I definitely see why you had some issues. I was wondering why Harry and Albus were so at odds and why certain characters like Neville didn’t make an actual appearance and were only mentioned. It seemed odd that we didn’t see him at all even though his name was mentioned a few times. And he should’ve been there, especially after seeing some of the other characters. Some of the older characters were kind of annoying and sounded like complainers. I just sort of ignored them and moved on. But I did wonder why they were acting so bizarre. Totally understand your issues with the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The spells had to be included, that is the only thing I was sure about with this book xD
      I missed Neville, I thought it was idiot to mention him as a teacher and not have him appear, when a big part of the book happens at Hogwarts. Familiar, but too different, too bad! I wonder if they’ll make a movie of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that was such a good idea. High-fives! I know. Why did they even mention Neville and not have him in the play? 😂 I’m sure they’ll make a movie once the play has had a world tour or even remakes from different productions. Then I bet we’d see a movie. It’s all about money.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with so much of this! I had a lot of issues with both the story and characters and I refuse to think of it as a continuation of the books. But it was lovely to return to that world, so I think that softened me a wee bit. x

    Liked by 1 person

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