Hardcover, 308 pg.
Scholastic, Inc., 2016
Read: September 2, 2016
I went into this with low expectations for a few reasons (negative buzz being one of many), and sadly had them all met — I don’t think anything were exceeded.
This is fan-fiction, pure and simple. Sure, it’s official fan-fiction written in conjunction with Rowling — but it’s not the same series, it doesn’t feel the same. It feels like someone’s trying to recapture what they had, in just a slightly different form. I’m fine with that — if people want to throw money at Rowling, Tiffany and Thorne for doing this? Let them. Let’s just not pretend it’s more than what it is.
The story primarily focuses on Harry and Ginny’s middle child, Albus. Albus is pretty uncomfortable living in the shadow of the Boy Who Lived — he doesn’t like the notoriety or pressure that comes with that territory. Which is absolutely understandable — especially now that he’s at Hogwarts, where Harry’s legend is strongest. Between that, and typical teenager strife with Dad leads Albus to take some really big risks with banned magical technology.
These risks center on time travel — and this is where it lost me. I just can’t stand the kind of stories where someone goes back in time with perfectly good intentions and messes things up, changing the future so much that it’s not recognizable. So then they (or someone else) have to go back in time again to prevent/minimize the damage. And magically, this second (or third) intervention restores everything back to the way it was before the time travelers left. Sure, this is a series in which magical things like that are clearly possible. But there’s possible and too-incredible. It almost doesn’t matter how good this story/execution was, I wouldn’t be crazy about it.
The writing was . . . okay. Nothing spectacular, nothing that had the same …”magic” as the other books in the series. It’s not as bad as many claim — but it’s not as good as others claim either. How some of this can be staged, I just can’t imagine. I’m not saying it can’t be — but wow, that’s a real technical challenge, I’d think.
There were some nice moments, some great fan-service stuff — and I’m very glad I got to meet Scorpius Malfoy. I’d rather spend time with him than any of the rest of the descendants of the original series, there’s something very cool about this kid. I should also mention that there’s some nice father-son moments with Harry and Albus.
On the whole, I’m glad I read this, but I really can’t get crazy about it.