Let me start by saying that I LOVE Harry Potter. Unconditionally. I am, hands down, a huge fan, to the point where I have been willing to overlook inconsistencies and slightly less thought through plot lines. I know I have been driving my boyfriend crazy with my unwavering devotion to these books, and even to the movies.
When people started tweeting about the Cursed Child, with the hashtag #NoSpoilers, I was going crazy, because I was never going to be able to afford going to England to see the play, so please; do spoil! I wanna know what happens!
And then, the play was released as a ebook. Right in the middle of Gishwhes. Imagine the torture, having this book, and not having time to read it. Damn you, Misha. I feel like I said that a lot, that week…
Anyway, I did finally read it. Actually, its a while ago by now. I’m just having trouble figuring out what to say.
First off, the “book” is written as a script for the theater. At first, I thought that was a funny idea, you know, for those of us unable to go. Now we got to read it, and imagine what it would be like, right?
Well, to be honest, it feels rough, unedited, and just… second hand. All the way through.
It takes a lot for me to say that something feels unedited, but this script has words missing in more than one place, and it completely fails to build up any real emotion.
Harry is conveniently hysterical, when needed, and easily says dumb things to his teenage son, to kick start the story. If it had only been that, I could have over looked a weak foundation, but the rest of the story is just as… I struggle to find any other word than this; pointless.
It’s a time travel story. Now, most writers have a hard time handling time travel. Doctor Who, under Russel T. Davis, did a great job. My Little Pony and their “future Twilight” episode, did a great job. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, manages to be a complete waste of time.
Why? Because it is a time travel story, where Albus and his friend Scorpius, goes back in time to save Cedric. You know, the boy who died at the cemetery at the end of book four.
I had issues with that, right from the get go. Amos Diggory, Cedric’s dad, asks Harry to go back in time and save his son, because he heard that the Ministry for Magic has discovered a time turner. And yes, we know, they were all destroyed, but well… Let it slide… You know, I could have accepted that story, and how one survived, or was reinvented, or whatever. But for Amos to know that Voldemort called Cedric “the spare”… Now THAT bugs me. How did he know that?
Did he, perhaps, read the books?
I mean, there was ONLY Harry there, and Voldemort’s men. Who would have told Amos? Even if Harry told Dumbledore in a vulnerable moment, who would have been so cruel as to tell Amos?
Again, I would have let that slide too, if it wasn’t mentioned again, and again, and again… Once more, it felt like the story was build on a foundation that… should not exist. That only existed, because the writer made it so, with complete disregard for the universe of the books.
Anyway, the two boys go back in time, mess up, and everything changes. Hermione and Ron are no longer married, their kids don’t exist, and so forth. Ron does have a child though, with someone else. Which should raise some serious questions, about reversing the story, shouldn’t it?
I mean, sure, Rose and Hugo was born in the first world, but as time changed and this new child was born instead, is it okay to choose that his life is worth less than the two others, who never existed now? Just saying. No reversing time now, without undoing someone…
But we do, without a moments hesitation. Aaaaaand make it even worse, by killing Harry, so that his children are never born and Voldemort is never defeated. By which point I was yawning, seriously wondering if I wanted to waste more time reading this book. I mean, come on. That is just pointless. That is a story line we KNOW is going to be reversed and erased, because J. K. Rowling has proved unable to actually kill off Harry. Writing something like that isn’t the slightest bit interesting, it just makes you want to skip to the part where Scorpius figures out how to reverse it, so the story – was there a story?- can move along again.
And then we have to kill off Hermione, and Ron, and Snape, (again,) in a vague attempt to create an emotional scene, but nobody cares, since we know it is going to be undone.
Once Scorpius manages to get everything back to normal, we discover that Voldemort had a daughter.
Yes, you read that right.
A child. Voldemort.
Hang on. I’ll just go jump out the window, if that’s okay with everyone?
I mean, come on. This emotionally crippled man, with a body resurrected from a hand of a servant and the blood of his enemy…. And a soul, torn into 8 pieces. Are you telling me that he… had sex?
Are we talking about the same Dark Lord here? Because last time I checked, he didn’t seem like the kind of guy to even remotely have those kinds of desires. And Bellatrix is the mother? Sure. Okay. What?
In all of the Harry Potter universe, was there NOTHING else that could have spawned a story? ANYTHING else? I mean, the possibilities are endless, why go with a time travel story that leads no where, and could have easily been left out, (yes, 3/4 of this book is undone and could have been just not written,) and the child of the most unlikely person to ever procreate?
Anyway, moving on. This girl wants to stop Voldemort from trying to kill baby Harry, thus preventing him from ever losing his powers, so she gets her hands on the time turner and takes Albus and Scorpius with her, (not sure why, it must be so they can stop her,) back in time.
And just like that, we are right back to the story being uninteresting again, because we know that J.K. Rowling is not going to erase all 7 Harry Potter books. Could have been fun is she had dared, but no…
All in all, The Cursed Child is a status quo story. It starts and stops at the same spot. It has very little character development, even Scorpius and Albus who grow up during the book, feels like they are a strange mix of children and grown ups, depending on what the situation calls for, all the way through.
I have to say, I kind of wish I had not read it. I loved the Harry Potter universe. It kick started me, as a fantasy writer. I always felt at home, opening one of those books, or kicking back with my popcorn, watching one of those movies.
Now, I don’t know. I’ll always know how it ends. And it is killing the story for me. They might as well have dared erase all 7 books and let Voldemort never try to kill baby Harry.
That would have been better. That would have been tragic. Something. Anything. Just not this… pointless, indifferent ending.
Anyone think I’m being too mean? Just remember, I WANTED to love this book, more than anything. It is just utterly, utterly disappointing.