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‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Book Release!

Well, it has been nine years since the last Harry Potter book was released, and five since the last movie hit theatres.

This year, all things magical are about to take over the world again because the series will go on for years and years and new generations will find, discover and love it.

Today Pottermore announced that the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1&2, which releases this summer on stage in London, will release simultaneously in script book form. This is especially exciting news since not everyone has the funds and abilities to travel to England, and hell, even if you live in England these tickets are coveted and sold out through March 2017 (I know, I looked already because I’m traveling to Ireland/England this winter and the cheapest tickets I could find were like $2000 American. Big fat nope there).

Also being released will be the rehearsal addition, meaning at the time of first showing, this is what will be said on stage. Through rehearsals and reviews, we can only expect there to be revisions made, and later in the year the Definitive Collector’s Edition will release, which will be the amended and final version.

The rehearsal edition will be available for purchase on July 31, 2016, which is Harry’s birthday of course.

From Pottermore, the premise of the play is as follows:

The eighth story. Nineteen years later.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

You kind of have to wonder where this will eventually lead to, and whether there will be more than just this single book/play to come in the future. Part of me wants to see his son sort into any house other than Slytherin, but on his way to becoming a dark wizard. I think that might be an unpopular opinion, but you never know, I could be nailing it on the head.

October 2016 also sees the release of the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by Jim Kay.

2017 is the 20th anniversary of the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK, and to honor this occasion, they will once again be re-releasing the first book, this time Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff themes. The Hogwarts library of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and Tales of Beetle the Bard will see new versions, Fantastic which of course is being expanded upon.

THAT’S NOT ALL THOUGH FOLKS! Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them also will be released this year on November 18, 2016 and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Los Angeles opens April 7, 2016.

THAT’S A LOT OF HARRY POTTER FOR ONE YEAR… and then some!

What are you most excited to see from the Harry Potter universe? Let us know in the comments!

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Review: Suspicion

Suspicion
Alexandra Monir
Delacorte Press
ISBN: 978-0-385-74389-1
$17.99


Suspicion starts out the way I always think a story I’m writing ought to start: jarring, with the reader coming in mid-plot, being fed some snippets of heavy information, and then being thrown into a flashback, destined to accompany the protagonist on a journey of self-discovery fated to end where the Prologue began. But I never finish those stories I write which start like that because it’s unnecessarily complicated. Flash forward, flash back, and then a long road to where we came in. By the time you get to the connecting point, you’ve forgotten where you started. It’s a cheap way to seem daring, and I’ve seen it too many times.

After the Prologue we go back to 2007 when our main character, Imogen, is 10, which is already painful since whenever I think about being 10 I go back to 1992. We learn about her familial relationships, her summers at Rockford Estate with her cousin, Lucia, her interest in “the boy next door,” and get a glimpse at what makes her “different.” I’ll save you the spoiler, but it seems connected to the grounds of Rockford, the ancestral home of Imogen’s predecessors. Like so many YA heroes and Disney princesses, her parents and her aunt and uncle are killed in a devastating fire, leaving her and Lucia orphans.

We jump seven years ahead, and find Imogen fairly well adjusted back in New York where she originally lived with her parents. She’s now in high school and under the guardianship of her parents’ best friends. Although graduation and NYU loom ahead, any plans for the future she’s been dithering over are derailed when the manager of her family’s estate appears with surprising (to her) news. Following the untimely death of Lucia, and the subsequent passing of her grandfather, Imogen is now a Duchess and the heir to Rockford.

The next 60% of the story is spent in what might be considered a charmingly awkward, and perhaps exciting-to-a-teenaged-girl series of events where Imogen leaves New York for England, and learns how to be a Duchess. This is arguably the better part of the story because at least it elicits a few laughs and employs some fun imagery. We’re eventually reunited with “present day” Imogen who we follow until we land back at where the Prologue left us, which is a good 80% into the book.

Alexandra Monir - photo by: Neal Preston
Alexandra Monir – photo by: Neal Preston

I really didn’t care for Suspicion overall. It follows the trend of YA fiction, especially those with teenage females at the lead, where the main character is surprised to find that he or she holds some kind of powerful ability unbeknownst to him or her. Don’t get me wrong; one of my favorite lines in YA literature is “You’re a wizard, Harry!” And I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that trope when it’s put to inventive and creative good use. Unfortunately, Suspicion falls bit short of being really unique, or even kind of unique.

It’s not a bad story, but it is lacking. While I liked Imogen well enough, I can’t say I connected to her. And though I’m usually a sucker for British peerage and castles and etiquette and all that that conjures, I don’t think I learned anything new or interesting. All in all, Suspicion is predictable, and yet somehow erratic. So often I knew what was going to happen next, what kind of dialogue was to follow. And then at the same time I would get blindsided with a decision or an observation or a revelation that came out of nowhere. I don’t think that this is an issue of Monir being inconsistent as an author, but rather providing what she feels is the standard reasoning of a seventeen year old girl and her translation of what the mysterious twisted deeds of those who wish to manipulate her must look like.

I did enjoy the history that Monir created for Rockford Estate and Lady Beatrice, the enigmatic ancestor who provides a clue as to who and what Imogen really is. Although that was vastly overshadowed by unintentional bathos of the totally unlikely and utterly complicated resolution of the mystery shrouding her parents’ and aunt and uncle’s deaths.

Suspicion is not a waste of time, nor is it by any means terrible. But it does lack the believability that a solid supernatural-themed novel is capable of. In fact, the supernatural aspect of this story is quite understated, and perhaps more believable than some of the plots, deceptions, and choices that most of the characters engage in.

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