Hi folks, as promised a lovely rambling about a book I got to finished on my vacation. Let's start hard and heavy with the newest installment in the Harry Potter world...Harry Potter and the Cursed Child story by J.K. Rowling script by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. I picked this book up as soon as it came out, so excited to get back into my beloved wizarding world that I couldn't wait until I left and promptly curled up and read the whole book in one sitting! How did I feel about this latest entry...first, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Story - The story was pretty cool. I loved that idea of exploring the future of a boy who had done so much in his childhood/young adulthood and now has to cope with being a fairly mundane adult. The story of his son integrated very well as a brand new story that was still in the same vein as the previous ones. I felt the story got a bit bogged down in with the multiple Time Turner trips, Harry's story, Albus and Scorpius's story, Delphi's story and everything else shoved into a short space and wanted it to be a bit more streamlined, but the over all idea was pretty good.
Characters - This story had a weird mix of familiar characters in a new place in their lives and all new characters. I think I liked the new characters better then the older ones. I loved Albus and Scorpius and their awesome friendship. I liked how they were different from any of the previous characters in the older books and had their own identities. For the most part I liked how the adult Harry was developed with his anxiety over his children, his coming to terms with his childhood, how different his life must be now. I was a bit disappointed in Ron and Hermione. Hermione came across as an exasperated, harried overly busy person and Ron was relegated to a goofy background character who was completely diminished from the brave and loyal every man I remember from the books, so that was a bit sad. Overall I preferred the new characters to the old in this story.
Editing - Since this was a theatre script it read very different from the original novels and that has to be kept in mind when talking about the flow of this story. It is broken up a lot more then in a regular book making the story a bit hard to follow on occasion as it has to skip around to get all the characters to the places they need to be. That being said, as mentioned in the story section I felt that there was too many stories that were trying to be told in the same space which made feel a bit frenetic and bogged down all at the same time. There is also very little immediate background given, with the authors assuming that the audience/reader has prior knowledge of the other books.
Fatherhood - I found the most prominent theme in this story was the relationship between father and child. Mothers played a role, but it was the fathers that really took center stage in this book. I liked how all the different varieties of relationship were explored. The main one of course being Harry and Albus and the difficulty they had in understanding each other. Harry still struggling to justify his own life had no idea how to deal with a son who was both very different and eerily similar to himself. Draco and Scorpius had one of the sweetest relationships, especially considering the dominating relationship that Draco had with his father, the love and affection he (eventually) show's his beloved son is even more poignant. Even with Delphi, I got the feeling that her actions were not done to bring about a dark world, but to try and have some sort of relationship with her own father in any way possible.
Time Turners - As much as I felt that the Time Turner bit was used a bit to heavily, I did like that it showed just how well Ms. Rowling knows her own world. I thought that it was awesome to see that a world was so complete that the author could change one seemingly small aspect of it and then be able to follow the change through so thoroughly. When time travel is used as device it can become confusing and a bit deus ex machina, but the subtle simple changes leading to logical and yet far reaching implications was pretty masterful and I very much appreciate the thought that went into it.
Return to Childhood - For many of us who read the Harry Potter as it came out, waiting in line for the newest installment then ignoring any and all responsibilities to finish each book before the inevitable spoilers came out, this book was throw back to that insane feeling of awesome. Reading the book as an adult, seeing the characters we grew up with as adults, reading adventures of their kids to our kids and nephews kind of brings home the full circle of how beloved this series is. It is a weird mix of nostalgia, anticipation and melancholy, a realization that everybody, even the Boy Who Lived has to grow up and be some sort of adult. I'm not really sure how to describe the feeling, but I know it is shared by my fellow "adult" Harry Potter fans.
Overall Impression - I am very very very glad to have read this book, I loved that it was in a completely different format, and I am now dying to see it performed. It was a lot of fun to go back to a beloved world, it's been a blast discussing it with my fellow HP fans. The book is not a home run, but it is a solid and acceptable entry into the Harry Potter Universe. I give it a 7 out of 10 love potions and recommend it to anybody who loved the HP series and can't wait to read the next installment. Happy Reading Everybody!