Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* The much-anticipated return of Harry Potter is here at last, in the form of a rehearsal script for the play (a finalized script will be published later), conceived by Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. Set 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, the spotlight shines on a new set of wizard friends, Albus Potter (Harry and Ginny's youngest) and Scorpius Malfoy (Draco's son). A strained relationship between Harry and Albus comes to a head at the start of the young Slytherin's (yes, Slytherin!) fourth year at Hogwarts, prompting Albus' rash decision to go back in time and tamper with events at the Triwizard Tournament over 20 years ago. With a stolen Time-Turner, he and Scorpius return to the fateful tournament, but quickly learn that even slight changes to the past have enormous consequences. Only occasionally indulgent, the story explores new character relationships and several alternate (and alarming) futures once the Time-Turner comes into play. Series fans can breathe easy knowing this play has been respectfully and lovingly wrought. Tensions thrum, spells fly, and Slytherins finally have their day in the sun but at center stage, as always in the Potterverse, is the overriding importance of love and friendship, especially in the face of danger. Really, readers need only be concerned with how to get to London to see it performed. Floo powder, perhaps? HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Have you not heard of this Potter chap?--Smith, Julia Copyright 2016 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
It's been nine years since readers left Harry, Ron, and Hermione on Platform 9 3/4, as the characters were ushering their own children onto the Hogwarts Express. That scene, which appeared in the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, opens this new stage play, now playing to sold-out audiences in London. The script, in book form, will completely undermine the show's hashtag campaign to #KeepTheSecrets, but for Potter fans who can't see the production, this is a welcome substitution. Reading this play--more than 300 pages of dialogue and a few scant instructions for the actors--is, of course, an entirely different experience. The fact that so many of the children are named for key figures from the novels (Albus, James, Lily) and that some of the cast's 42 characters occasionally transform into others demands careful attention to who's talking. Fortunately, most of the characters are familiar, and many of the plot elements turn on memorable events from the novels--the Triwizard Tournament from Goblet of Fire chief among them. A time-turner, last seen in Prisoner of Azkaban, plays a key (if hokey) role, used as a sort of resurrection stone to return favorite characters to life. Stage directions only hint at what an extraordinary challenge it must have been to produce the many special effects that are required--some enchanting, some terrifying--and the bare-bones nature of a script doesn't adequately convey what must be a devastating moment for many in the audience near the conclusion of Part Two. Ironically, after having all the secrets spoiled, what many readers will likely want most is to see the play. Ages 8-up. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Playwright Thorne and director Tiffany (who previously collaborated on Hope and Let the Right One In) worked with J.K. Rowling to extend the "Harry Potter" universe with an eighth "installment" in the form of the script from the new West End production. The book starts where the last chapter of Deathly Hallows left off-19 years after the main events of the series-with Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione all saying goodbye to their children as they leave for Hogwarts. As Albus, Harry and Ginny's youngest son, attends Hogwarts, he is plagued by the Potter legacy-something he never wanted-and, as he's sorted into Slytherin, is terrible at Quidditch, and constantly compared to his famous father, he becomes reclusive and angsty. His sole friend is Scorpius Malfoy, the only son of Draco Malfoy-prompting further separation from his father. When Albus hatches a plot to go back in time to save the life of Cedric Diggory-what Albus views as the biggest mistake his father made-time becomes distorted and Harry is left to examine his own life, his relationship with his son, and how love can sometimes be much more complicated than it seems. This is an interesting extension of the "Harry Potter" universe, but readers should go into it knowing that it's its own beast. Rowling didn't write it (much to the fury and vitriol of many fans), and it is in script form, so it loses some of the magic that won over millions of readers back when it all began. However, many of the themes that made the original series great are still in abundance-love and friendship conquering all, facing your flaws and accepting them-so that it simultaneously still feels like a "Harry Potter" tale while remaining its own story. VERDICT It is unlikely that the script will create new Potter followers, owing to its format (reading a script vs. reading a novel is a whole other ballgame), but it's a well-crafted and enjoyable read.-Tyler Hixson, School Library Journal © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
This "Special Rehearsal Edition Script" of the 2016 London play includes stage directions and original cast list. Harry's adolescent son Albus and best friend Scorpius Malfoy embark on a mission (using an illegal Time-Turner) to right wrongs in Harry's past. The play is most successful with its characters, indulging the audience's desire to revisit old friends while introducing a new generation of wizards. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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