I joined in with the hype for the new eighth story in the Harry Potter series back in February and preordered the script set nineteen years after the end of the Battle of Hogwarts.
The book is not directly another Harry Potter book, it is a script of the Westend Show (that I am so desperate to see!!) of the same name. But, here’s the kicker, the show is in two parts, so you have to book to see two shows to find out the whole story. Luckily for us with the book version of the script, we get both parts in one lovely hardback.
I was so excited when this was announced and was desperate to preorder to make sure I got my copy (something which I did not need to worry about, copies are EVERYWHERE). But once I’d preordered it, I then forgot about it. Completely. Until, that is, I saw a tweet from someone saying they had received an email confirming their copy would be waiting for them on publication day (this was a couple of days before release). I suddenly remembered I’d preordered one too and eagerly awaited my email. Sadly, days went past and I didn’t get one.
No fancy, midnight-opening, cosplay type event experience for the people of Bracknell then? I called the branch on the day of release (31st July – to coincide with JK Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthdays, no I am not ashamed to know that) and asked what was happening, would my copy be waiting for me, and they casually said yes.
So I went straight away to get my copy. I was handed a paper bag with the words “THE EIGHTH STORY. NINETEEN YEARS LATER. HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD – PARTS ONE AND TWO – #CURSEDCHILD #HPSCRIPTBOOK” on it. It was heavier than I expected. Not sure why but I thought it would be The Tales of Beedle the Bard type size so stupidly assumed there was something else in the bag. I didn’t want to ruin the surprise so waited until I got home to open it.
(At home) opening the top of the bag, I was surprised to see it was only a large book in there, nothing special for preordering it; not going to lie, I was a little disappointed. I was then even more disappointed when I realised the book itself was damaged! I cursed myself for not looking in the bag when I was at the store – how could I have been so stupid? OK so it was nothing ground breakingly bad, the top was a bit crushed, but it was a brand new book. Save the damaged ones for the shop shelves – don’t give them to the loyal pre-ordering customers who obviously want a completely perfect book!
Annoyed is not the word for how I felt. I took to twitter, as you do these days when it comes to complaining, and the store were quick to let me know I could go back in and change it. So, annoying as it was to have to go back into town, I did (this morning), and now I have a lovely, new, non-damaged version – that will just sit on my shelf as I went ahead and read the damaged one yesterday…
I know, I was meant to be reading Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy, but this Harry Potter. Everything else can wait.
Now, to the story itself
As the title suggests, there will be no spoilers in this review so worry not.
I friggin’ loved this! You all know I’m not a quick reader, but I sat there for about 4 hours straight and read until my bladder could take it no more and I had to have a break (it was that good); plus by that time it was half seven and I promised Dan we’d make dinner together. I then carried on a bit later for another hour (I think, might be slightly less) and read right to the end.
It was purely magical to be back in the Wizarding World with the old gang, finding out what they’d been up to and what they’re up to these days, and getting to meet their off-spring was a delight. The twists and turns in this story are incredible, and personally, I felt like I was surprised by the events over and over again.
I have read some other reviews that call this story a bit confusing and hard to relate to as it’s a story about a group of people that we no longer know and their kids who we don’t really get to know, but I have to disagree. It shows their story has moved on, just as ours’ do, that they’re not stuck forever as kids defeating Voldemort, they got to move on and have everyday problems like we do, but are still brought back to the story – just as we are.
It feels almost validating. For many of us, the story of Harry Potter and the whole Wizarding World is one that will never die, and for those of us growing ever older, it allows us back into their world as friends as they grow old too.
There was one line, just a line of background information, you know, to set the scene; and it made me feel so much. I can’t express what I felt (heartwarmed? Joyous? None of these are quite right), and I can’t divulge the line as it would spoil it for some, but oh. I enjoyed that feeling, whatever it was.
Now I’ve read it, I am even more excited to see the live performance one day, if I ever am lucky enough to get the chance, and as hard as it’ll be, I will do my utmost to not look at the eighth book until this time – so I can allow myself to forget what happens and be surprised all over again.
Would I recommend this book? I would, although, I do think this one is more for the adults – not content wise, it’s still Harry Potter, get your mind out of the gutter – it just feels more grown-up, as though a younger generation may not fully appreciate it. There will of course be exceptions to this, but it would definitely appeal to a more mature minded audience. Oh, and you definitely have to be familiar with the original story and characters or you really won’t have a clue what’s going on.
Up next to read: Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding (definitely this time…)
Until next time. x