Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I've been putting this post off for weeks - I've been finding it so hard to get my feelings down on paper. My brain is just a jumbled mess of feelings! But here it is, my thoughts on the Cursed Child!

The release of this book has just been such a surreal experience for me. In all honesty, I don't think I was that excited about it until a few days before 31st July. When they announced the play, I didn't try and get preview tickets - I don't live near London and at the time I was totally skint! When they announced the script I was relieved - who needs to go all the way down to London when I can just read the book? I used to pre-order Harry Potter books as soon as I was able to, but with Cursed Child I happened to be in Waterstones buying something for my Dad and and thought "why not?". That was in June, so in my opinion, I left it quite late! 

It was only when it reached late July that I started to get excited. I think it was seeing other people get excited that helped - it felt like I was back in the early 00s. Almost ten years we went without a Harry Potter book, and yet the whole buzz surrounding it hasn't changed. After reading this my boyfriend and I actually queued up on 4 devices to book tickets to see the play - November 2017 here we come!

However for me, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child felt familiar whilst being a completely new experience. Enemies of the heir, beware (of spoilers)...

First thing's first - I'm not sure whether I loved it or whether it was just 'meh'. This is the first time I gave a Harry Potter book four stars on Goodreads (which I suppose is good for a regular book, but bad compared to the other HP books). But then you have to call into question whether it really counts as a Harry Potter book. Yes, it's JKR's story but it isn't JKR's words. For me, it was a very elaborate fanfiction. A JKR approved fanfiction. It featured quite a few tropes that I remember from when I used to read them - timeturner plots, Voldemort having a secret child, the Scorpius/Rose pairing - throw in a Mary Sue OC, American exchange students and Weasley bashing and you've got a party! But it was quite satisfying to see some of the fandom-accepted head canons become true.

Another thing that it reminded me of, and this one is a bit niche, is the Very Potter Musicals. Back when I was 17/18 I utterly adored these musicals. When I started reading I couldn't help but think, back to witches and wizards and magical beasts...
I'm not alone in this opinion, as illustrated below by a collection of gifs from Tumblr. There are just so many similarities, it's almost as though JK Rowling just watched Starkid's stuff for ideas!

But then again, I'm just happy to be back at Hogwarts. I'll take anything that adds to the universe (I'm still waiting for a series about the Marauders, damn it). I think I can't appreciate this play fully until I've seen it in person. You read all these stage directions that help you visualise the play, but it feels like there's something missing. Words can't compare with a West End production. That's why I'm so excited and grateful that I have tickets to see the play.

For me, this wasn't the "eighth story". It was an author-approved spin-off (read: fanfiction). But that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate it.

What did you think of the Cursed Child?

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