Are you a Harry Potter fan? I am(Hufflepuff pride!), so when I first heard rumors of there being another HP story written by J.K. Rowling coming to a bookshelf near me, I got very excited. Another HP novel set nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts? Sounds awesome! But I’m here to tell you why it’s not awesome. I’m here to enlighten you as to why Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is a sham and you’d be better off just reading the cliff notes version. Sit back, relax, and prepare to be disappointed, this week’s In My Opinion Review is about Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by Jack Thorne.
Now, I’m sure some of you with a sharp eye noticed that I said the story was written by Jack Throne instead of J.K. Rowling and are now wondering about the mistake. Not a mistake. In fact, let me blow some ideas of yours out of the water now before we go any further.
- This is not a novel. Even though J.K. Rowling announced it as a novel, as the 8th installment in the Harry Potter series, it’s not.
- J.K. Rowling did not write this story. Although, since it is her intellectual property and she’s making most of the money for it, she gets to not only put her name on the cover but her name goes first on the cover.
- This is the script for a London Broadway Musical of the same title, not a novel, not even the novelization of the play. Just the play’s script.
Now that you understand this isn’t a HP novel, let me drop some more knowledge on you. This play came to be when J.K. Rowling met with two playwriters and told them about a story that she’s been toying with for a while. She’s never written the story, it only exists in her head. She told these two playwrites about it and they said they could make it into a play. J.K. Rowling gave them permission to do so, checking back with them throughout the process to see how things went, but ultimately had nothing to do with it. This move by J.K. Rowling, in my opinion, was done simply to net her more money, like similar moves recently. She’s selling rights for movies, for plays, for games, and she doesn’t care if they’re crappy projects. For this play she did ZERO work, yet knew people are dying for new HP material, so she came up with this. She’s making money hand over fist from ticket sales, and because she advertised the script as ‘the next novel in the series’ tons of people went to midnight releases to be the first to read it… and then got super pissed off because it’s only a script, which isn’t even written by HP’s original author! AHH!
If you’re someone who grew up on Harry Potter, like me, this is somewhat infuriating news: J.K. Rowling whoring out her stories just to make more money and screw the fans and readers? It sucks. But enough about me and how this book is an insult to HP fans everywhere, let’s break it down.
PLOT: Though the original plot was birthed in J.K.’s head, Jack Thorne fleshed it out and actually wrote the darn thing. The plot is not great, and split into two major plots; one that takes the first half of the play, the other takes the second half. Both deal with time travel, and the play heavily revolves around the use of Time-Turners. At first you might think, “Time travel? In HP? Sounds cool, let’s check it out.” But the entire time I was reading I kept thinking to myself, “Of all the things that they could explore in the wizarding world of HP, of all the time travel related stories they could examine, they went with this? They couldn’t think of ANYTHING else?” In the end it was a cool concept poorly executed.
CHARACTERS: This is probably the most disappointing part of the book because you’re already familiar with the characters, you know what to expect and how certain relationships should already be coming into the story, but then you read a few pages and wonder what happened to your beloved characters. Harry is definitely not the smartest auror at the Ministry, but he is brave, and that matters more, right? Ron gets the shaft and is always written as this bumbling idiot who can’t possibly have two coherent thoughts in a row, and Draco acts like a twelve year old version of himself. It was disappointing to see the names of characters I knew and was excited to read about, only to find that they too have been changed under Jack Thorne’s pen into something not quite themselves.
IMAGERY/SETTING: Oh man, was this terrible. It’s a script, so the setting and imagery are never fully described. The reader is given a quick summary of what the stage looks like at the beginning of each scene, and that’s it. One sentence, explaining that the characters are outside and it’s dark. Moving on. Which leads me to the most laughable part of the play: The scenes of this play are, at most, five minutes each. Which means that a stage crew is running around behind drawn curtains, taking ten minutes to set up a scene, only to tear it down again after three mins of acting and build another one for another three minute scene, then tear it down and build another. I feel as if the audience members are sitting through scene changes more than they’re actually watching the play. It’s ridiculous!
VERDICT: Don’t read this book, and certainly don’t buy it. I only read it because I’m a die-hard Harry Potter fan, and I am crushed after reading it. I’d like to save you the same feeling. Not gonna lie, I sort of hate J.K. Rowling for allowing something this horrendous to happen to her creation. But that’s just my opinion. My advice to you would be: Even if you are a HP fan like me, just read the summary online and save yourself the extreme disappointment. I repeat, DO NOT READ THIS LIE- I MEAN BOOK. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. In My Opinion.