PREFACE: First paragraph is as spoiler free as I can get but will have my basic feelings. The Second Paragraph is still fairly spoiler-free but will mention one BIG plot device that I’ve seen mentioned in many reviews even those that say “Spoiler Free” but I want to warn you that I did NOT know about this plot device. I’m kinda glad I didn’t because I might not have ever read it. So, if you are worried, only read the first paragraph. SPOILERS WILL BE ALL OVER THE COMMENTS SO DON’T GO THERE UNLESS YOU’VE READ IT. I’ll post my other thoughts WITH spoilers in the first comment in case any of you have read it and want to discuss it.
The first part (Acts 1 and 2) was tough. It didn’t feel like Harry Potter and while some of that is the format (it’s hard to feel like Harry Potter without JK Rowling’s descriptive language. We only get dialog.) some of is simply the story itself. It felt dirty and clunky to me and I was SO DEPRESSED. I put the book down and tweeted about how sad I was having bad feelings about the play. BUT THEN PART 2 was AMAZING and it felt VERY MUCH like Harry Potter and I want to see the play SOOOO bad now! There is one character I ended up loving SO MUCH that I want to have an entire series dedicated to him. I’ll tell you who he is in the second paragraph in case even loving someone is a spoiler. My review? STICK WITH IT. IT IS WORTH IT!
Very Mild Spoilers I’ve Seen Mentioned In Other Reviews But Don’t Read If You Don’t Want To Know Anything
(Image inserted to avoid casually glancing in case the words jump in your vision. LEAVE NOW if you’re avoiding ALL spoilers.)
First of all, the character that I adore is Scorpius Malfoy. He’s amazing and I want to know all about him. I want to know about his childhood, his family unit, I want to see what happens to him after this play ends. I WANT TO KNOW SO MUCH MORE. Remember how we all wanted to know Teddy Lupin after the last book? Nope. Not any more. You will want all Scorpius all the time! Secondly, the reason I struggled so much with the first act is that the major plot device I hated (and I often hate) used in the play was/is time travel. The second it was introduced early in Part 1 I audibly groaned because it’s such a gimmick for interest and rarely used well in a series/story/book not built entirely around time travel. Throwing that in felt very “jumping the shark” and I didn’t even like how it was used or playing out the entirety of Part 1. BUT THEN PART 2 happened and we got to see so many fun/great things AND it really introduced great moments to the story and gave a VERY suspenseful conclusion. If you hate the feel of a spontaneous burst of time travel, hang in there.
4 thoughts on “The Cursed Child”
1. I’m glad we did get to see the catastrophic potential of a time turner. That is everyone’s “Go To” comment about the entire series. If only there had been a time turner!
2. Loved the scene with Snape/Ron/Hermione in the totally bizarre timeline. I love it SO MUCH. I want to dig into their reactions to the alternate timeline, Snape’s especially.
3. WTF that Voldemort can reproduce? Anyone else get all skeevy at that idea?
4. LURVED Scorpius SO MUCH. I especially loved how upset he was by the bizarro timeline version of himself. And I want to know so much more about his family, his Mom’s illness, his Dad…I want SO MUCH MORE from them.
I admit I felt a bit underwhelmed by the Cursed Child, but as I’m not a diehard Harry Potter fan, I wasn’t too upset about it. I still think it might work great on stage, with the various magical things happening and the transitions from scene to scene. I imagine it’s pretty amazing visually. I agree with you that Scorpio is a very interesting character and a great addition.
I just had a few problems with parts of the plot, timetravel not being one of them, it’s a magical world after all and they make good use of it here. My biggest problem was the “secret offspring” idea. In a lot of stories (books, TV) to me this feels like a cheap idea of bringing in a new character who causes trouble for the regular characters. Delphi as Voldemort’s daughter just rubbed me the wrong way, for some reason.
I also wasn’t a fan of the first part, because it felt too depressing for a Harry Potter story. I never really understood why Harry and Albus had such a difficult time with each other? It was mentioned over and over again, but it wasn’t really explored how that came to be. Or did I miss something?. And to be honest I still think an old baby blanket is a crappy gift compared to an invisibility cloak or wings. The fact that Harry turns the old blanket into such an important item felt strange to me and when it later turned out that this particular blanket was important, the whole thing felt even more than a plot device.
I’m being overly critical and negative, right? I’m sorry. I did enjoy part 2 in its own way and I think I might like it even better once I might re-read it again in the near future. And I still definitely think it’s amazing to watch this all play out on stage. I’d be so curious how they pull it all off, the locations, the transitions, the transformations from one character to the next…. Probably a feast for the eyes.
I was so disappointed. I can’t even pinpoint what I disliked about it most – the characters didn’t ring true to the ones from the original stories (I didn’t really like or sympathize with any of them). The story felt boring and pointless as it all hinged on my least favorite plot device, time travel. Lots of people are describing it as bad fanfic and that seems spot on to me. I
I loved Scorpius too! From the very beginning. And his love of Rose. So cute.
It did take me a little while to get used to the play format but then I got into it. I really want to see the actual stage production as well.
I thought the time turner plot was exactly as you say, a great answer to the critics/smarty pants who said she should have just used one to solve the whole problem in the books. Going back in time has huge consequences. I’m talking to you, Barry Allen!
I was crying when Harry was in Godric’s Hollow, watching his parents die, knowing he couldn’t stop it.
Voldemort having a child is just creepy. Maybe it was Bellatrix’s crazy devotion to him that caused her to get pregnant and not the two of them actually having sex. Because, yuck.