A Cursed Child Review from a Non-HP-Reader

TCC

Publisher: Little Brown
Page Count
: 352

It should come as no surprise that I haven’t read Harry Potter, as I talk about this quite openly. However, there are a few newbies swarming around the blog (hello, you – glad you could make it!) and please, don’t be shocked! There are multiple reasons of why I haven’t read the books and none of them include me thinking that I wouldn’t enjoy them in every way possible. I did watch the movies, all of them several times, and I know that’s not the same as reading the books, but I still developed this sentimentality for the story and now with the play being released, I wanted to be part of the hype.

First, I think this format (meaning it being a play) is not for everyone. I am very used to scripts, because I went to film school and we were supposed to read them all the time. There is a difference between movie/TV scripts and theater ones, but they are close enough for me to enjoy them just the same. I’ve always been a sucker for dialogue, so it’s really right down my alley.

So, now comes the difficult part – how to tell you everything I want to say without spoiling you. This story was not without fault. I much more preferred Part I than I did Part II, because that’s when everything got really wonky. In my opinion, and I think many HP fans will agree with that, not everything that happens is conform with the original timeline … and I am not just saying this because they are messing with time in the play. All that aside though, I found it really enjoyable.

The old characters felt true to their former selves but also developed, as they naturally would have since they’d grown up quite a bit. There were some surprising appearances that I personally quite appreciated, but others that were lacking (Neville, Hugo, Teddy, …), but then again I understand that they can’t have EVERYONE in this play. There is limited space (even though they definitely don’t skim on locations) and also people. The more characters there are, the less you can focus on the ones that are supposed to take center stage.

I am among the very many people that really loved Scorpius (HE’S MY LITTLE BUTTERCUP – DEAL WITH IT!), but I also liked Albus a lot. I would lie if I said that I didn’t see the queer baiting there … but what can you do? If they say they are straight, we are going to have to live with that. They weren’t the only new characters of course, but I am sad to say that I either can’t tell you anything about the others or that they are seriously lacking in page time. However, it is all the better to see the boys relationships with their respective fathers! Draco grew into the person I always hoped he would be and Harry … well, he is trying. There has been a lot of discussion about whether he is a bad father or not and that is one of the few things where I truly feel like he made a lot of wrong choices here and is not the Harry we all knew. I get that Albus can be a difficult kid, but I still didn’t agree with all of his parenting.

In the end, I like what they worked through in the story. They made some odd choices here and there that are surely up for discussion, but I feel that a lot of it has to do with the format and less with them not thinking it through properly or purposely wanting to imply something. In my head I saw everything play out like a movie and I cannot really imagine it fully as a play, but now I am kind of interested in seeing it one day.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Maybe not a perfect sequel, but definitely one that opens up a lot more possibilities in the future.

4stars

So, what’s your stance on TCC and HP in general? I am all up for discussion in the comments!

42 thoughts on “A Cursed Child Review from a Non-HP-Reader

  1. I mostly focus on dialogues as well! Guilty to admit but sometimes I even skip the short paragraphs between dialogues just to get straight to business 😂

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  2. Excellent review! I’m still conflicted about this one- cos I still don’t think reading this medium is for me (I was actually in a book shop the other day and picked it up to try it out- but could sense my hackles rising) I think I will wait till it gets made into a movie (cos I’m certain it will eventually)

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  3. AHH I am so conflicted about this book! I haven’t read it yet but I do have a copy just waiting for me to read… but I’ve heard similar things about it: the plot is a bit wonky, the characters feel a bit out of character, the book overall more fanfiction-y and less canon. I’m still intrigued, though, and I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually. Glad to see that you ended up giving it four stars!

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    • I think that most people’s expectations were REALLY high for this one. But if you don’t see it as entirely canon to the previous books, I think it might work better. I hope you have a good time reading it!

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  4. Nice review! The characters were the stars of the play for me. I can’t imagine how a lot of the scenes are created on stage, and I’ve read it’s really spectacular. The story could’ve used some work especially in the second half. Part of me wished it was a full-length novel as I would’ve liked to see Scorpius and Albus’ time at Hogwarts and more parts developed. That said, the play was still fun to read.

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    • Oh yes, I liked the first part a lot better than the second one. But Scorpius and Albus were great additions to the HP universe. I can imagine more of them to come in the future to be honest.

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  5. I’ve been waiting till I actually read the book (just finished it today) before I read and commented on it. First off, I have to comment on the fact that it’s technically the “eighth book.” I’m really conflicted. It’s kind of a weird add-on, like giving the Statue of Liberty an American flag. Related, you can see why it’s there, but is it really necessary? The books themselves were so perfect, that it feels weird. However it might work as an add-on to the movies.
    And as a story, it’s pretty good. Yeah,everything in this one has been done ad nauseum–the time travel stuff (Doctor Who, Back to the Future), the father-son difficulties (Chicken Little, to name just one), etc.–but it does it very well. The characters seemed to have developed naturally with age, Albus and Scorpius are great and remind me of friendships I’ve had, and the problems Albus feels as Harry’s son is real.
    I do have criticisms, though. Obviously, it’s derivative, even if it’s good. And while I understand Albus’s problems, I think Harry would’ve been a much better parent. The ending of Book 7 hinted that Harry was pretty mature and had an excellent relationship with his kids, especially Albus (I think JK Rowling even confirmed that once). This awkward parenting shtick feels shoehorned in. The only part of it that felt natural was Harry separating Albus and Scorpius, because Harry’s more emotional than logical.
    And obviously Delphi was suspicious! And when was Bellatrix pregnant?! Nowhere did they hint that Bellatrix was pregnant!
    Other than that, though, very nicely done.
    By the way, who do you think would win in a fight? Harry with his wand, Invisibility Cloak, and Firebolt, or Darrow of Lycos with his razor and pulse armor and grav boots. My money’s on Darrow. Tech that can match the magic in a fight, plus a master strategist.

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    • A lot of people don’t really consider it to be canon and since the format is so different from the original books, I don’t think it could have ever fully fitted in with the rest. Even if it were more canon …
      I am not so much disconcerted about Bellatrix being pregnant, but more about Voldemort being the father. He always seemed rather asexual to me in his latest form.
      Puh … weird question. Darrow is really cunning and resourceful, so probably him.

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      • It also doesn’t make sense to me that he would have a child, he would have it with Bellatrix. I mean, think about it. He sees her as his best soldier/tool, so getting her pregnant–which would’ve been noticeable, considering the timeline, how out-and-about she was as a Death Eater, and that Hermione transformed herself into her–would change that relationship and make her possibly less useful to Voldemort, who sees everyone as tools or enemies. He probably would’ve chosen some pure-blooded girl whom he could mold to be a devoted servant and a devoted mother, and kept her hidden from the world so that he could know his child was safe.
        Perhaps though he would’ve looked into someone having his child. After all, once he returned to power, he knew that Harry and he would eventually have to fight again. It’s possible that, while he thought his Horcruxes were safe and reliable, he wanted another contingency plan in place, so he went with another form of immortality: a descendant.
        I’m sorry, Puh?

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      • I don’t know … somehow I see Bellatrix as the closest to him, so that’s not what bothers me so much. But the timeline is off and it’s just weird in general. She gave birth before the Battle of Hogwarts … so, she hid her pregnancy super well.
        “Puh” meaning: why are you asking me such a tough question? sound that one makes when asked a difficult question.

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