Most of the details of the book (and the play to some extent) have been kept under wraps. J.K. Rowling herself asked that folks not share details about the play, creating the hashtag #keepthesecret.
Of course, not everyone has "kept the secret." People who have seen the play and given reviews lean a bit toward the ecstatic, giving me the impression that there are a lot of visuals and special effects in the play that may not come across in the script. While at least one reviewer compares it to fanfic, most fans who've seen the play are raving about it.
The New York Times reviewer was all a gush and wrote this about the play (to give you an idea about its complexity):
Who is that cursed child, anyway? More than a few of this story’s many, many characters (the adeptly multifarious cast numbers 42) might fit the description. Like the novels that preceded it, “The Cursed Child” is stuffed with arcana-filled plots that defy diagrams and baldly wrought sentimental life lessons, along with anguished dives into the earnest, tortured solipsism of adolescence. By rights, such a combination should try the patience of any grown-up. But like Ms. Rowling’s books, the play vanquishes resistance.
For hardcore fans, I won't give any spoilers about the storyline, but for those who want to know more about the book, I'll share what I've heard:
- Don't expect it to read like a novel. It is a play, and true to form, this is basically a bound script.
- Although this is being touted as the "8th book in the series," you should treat this more like an addendum or a bonus story rather than a continuation of the Harry Potter saga.
- The story actually starts off with the last scene of The Deathly Hallows. So fans may not need a refresher (unless they really want to reread the books).
- While the play is set 19 years after the Deathly Hallows, time travel is involved—so the story actually takes place in a couple different (& defining) time periods. And yes, a time-turner is involved.
- The cast of characters, of course, includes Harry & Ginny and their son Albus, Ron & Hermione and their daughter Rose, & Malfoy and his son Scorpius.
- Albus and Scorpius are first years, along with Delphi Diggory (a blue-tipped hair girl that rounds out the trio).
- Albus, Scorpius, & Delphi take the mantle from Harry, Ron, & Hermione
- The Cursed Child is complex and full of surprises, and the title may refer to any number of characters (which shouldn't surprise Harry Potter fans).
- This is the "Special Rehearsal Edition." As changes to the play are finalized, they will come out with the "Definitive Collector's Edition."
- The play happens in two parts. The book contains both part 1 and part 2 (Audiences who see the play, actually end up seeing two consecutive plays: part 1 and part 2, sometimes on consecutive days.)
- As far as print runs go, Scholastic stated back in February that they'd not yet determined the print run. However, I think it is safe to say it will be in the million+ range.
- This book has already broken all pre-sale records (which were previously broken by Deathly Hallows, and before that Half Blood Prince).
- Warner Bros. already has the film and merchandising rights, so don't be surprised if we see another movie franchise, although I'm guessing we won't see this until after the Fantastic Beasts trilogy has been released.
- J.K. Rowling is signing copies of Cursed Child, so expect to see quite a few hit the collectibles market shortly after release. And if buying a signed copy, remember that her official signature now comes with a holographic sticker.
Labels: 10 days of Harry Potter, book release, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, information, no spoilers