So, the Midnight hour between Saturday and Sunday came and went and another chapter in the life of Harry Potter and friends is upon us. When I first heard it was coming out, but would be in script form I wasn't sure if I would bother with it. It's not a 'Harry Potter' book in the form we are used to, it's only 'based on' an original story by J K Rowling and plays are so hard to read - you only get brief descriptions, stage directions and the spoken words.
And the doubts in my head will have lasted about 2 seconds - of course I would be getting the new book. IT'S HARRY POTTER!!!!
And, yes, I will be hoping to see the stage play - again, IT'S HARRY POTTER!!!!
So, Sunday lunchtime saw my better half and I in Waterstones, and Café W (renamed Potterstones for the day). We had excellent food, Harry Potter themed buns and I left clutching HPatCC and eager to make a start on it.
I guess you want to know if it was worth the excitement, well, for me at least, I'd say yes. The story starts 19 years after the end of Deathly Hallows and although we have a new cast of characters in the Potter/Weasley/Malfoy kids there are enough of the original cast around to make it feel like familiar ground. Things are not good between Harry and his youngest son Albus - quite a bit of 'teen angst' going on, how do you live up to your famous father's reputation when you think you are always going to be in his shadow, that kind of thing. The resultant adventures revolve round a good bit of time travel and trying to 'do the right thing'
For me the time travel thing is where it all fell down a bit but as this is a series aimed more at younger people I guess I can let that slide. The paradox stuff just threw me out of the story a little at times (if A happened, then B happened, C couldn't have happened even though it did). It didn't take much for the story to draw me back in though.
The story is very much what you would expect from Harry Potter so if you liked the original books and can get your head around the script format there is nothing to stop you really enjoying it. There are plenty of nods to the original series so some knowledge of events is useful (especially Goblet of Fire). The story feels very much like an expansion of the Potterverse, a continuation of the story, if you will, not, as some people have said, "a blatant cash grabbing venture".
If anything, the book has made me even more keen to go see the stage play at some point. I was entranced by Harry and co right from Philosophers Stone, each new volume added to the wonder and now, with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child we have been given another slice of the cake - and it is good cake. Not perfect but not far off.
In the last few days I believe J K Rowling has said that "this is it for the Harry Potter series". I hope she changes her mind because it seems like there is plenty of life left yet in The Boy Who Lived