Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2 Broadway review – with SPOILERS

For the review that “Keeps the Secrets” and has photos go here.

If you have seen the play and want to discuss, keep going:

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2 Broadway review – no spoilers

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I saw the play, still in previews, on April 5th and 6th, in the evening. The Showbills have the same content inside, just different covers. I guess for the guests not seeing the shows back to back. The pins they gave out at the end of the night. They almost ran out on the second night. And I bought the pen and the bookmark as a souvenirs.

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I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed this production. I went in with such low expectations because I had read some things online about the story. Well you can’t always believe what you read because the story was different than what I expected. While I had a couple of issues with the plot because it felt a bit fan fiction-y, Cursed Child still remained true to the characters and did not demean their core values or their journey, actions and sacrifices from the first 7 books.

Also, it was so funny. I, and the audience, laughed a lot. I missed some of the lines because of the laughter and will have to read the script sometime to see what lines I missed. I didn’t expect it to be so funny. The actors had great comedic timing.
Speaking of such, the performances in general, even when the material was dark and serious they were fantastic.

I will say that the play being broken up in two nights, each two and half hours, is a bit long. I think some scenes could have been cut down or cut out.

I will make a separate detailed post about the things I liked and my critiques to discuss with those who have seen it.

I will end on a high note. The special effects were PURE MAGIC! Jaw dropping fantastic! I won’t say more in this review. Go see it, then go read my other post so we can discuss.

Some more photos: Expecto Patronum!

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Top Ten Tuesday: April 10: Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

April 10: Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read (submitted by Brandyn @ Goingforgoldilocks)

There are many, many books I love that I will only read once because there is just so many books to read and I can’t devote the time to reread everything I love. I’m keeping this list short to just highlight a few that really stood out to me.

1) Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.
It’s so beautifully written but so, so, so sad. It’s a difficult read because of everything Tess endures.

2) Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.
I like the movies a bit more than the books. So, I can just pop the DVD in when I am in the mood.

3) We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
Such a good story and I like the way it is told in letters. But the prose takes some getting used to and it is a story that gives you a book hangover.

4) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
I am currently listening to the unabridged audiobook. I love it, however, it is 52 hours long. I am about three quarters finished and have been listening since mid-February. Considering how long it takes to get through I am only doing this once. I did bookmark my favorite moments and the important plot points though if I ever want to skip to a certain part.

5) The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
I have already done a reread when the movies were coming out. If I am in the mood to revisit the story, I’ll just watch the movies. They’re close enough adaptations that can scratch the itch.

Top Ten Tuesday: April 3: Characters I liked That Were In Non-Favorite/Disliked Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

April 3: Characters I liked That Were In Non-Favorite/Disliked Books

I have been racking my brain for weeks on this topic and still only came up with two characters so this will be a short list.

1) Indigo in Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige.
I first heard about Dorothy Must Die at NY Comic-Con 2013. Usually it is not something I would read. Yes, I did read and loved Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire, but that was fan fiction backstory for the witch. Dorothy Must Die is not backstory, it is Dorothy coming back and becoming evil. However, I picked up a Comic-Con exclusive prepublication excerpt because it was free and I’ll grab anything that is a free sampler at Comic-Con.

When I read the first four chapters of the excerpt I liked it enough to put it on my to-read list. The character of Indigo was really the one who drew me in. I liked her sass. However, she is not in story much. The rest of the book is not that great and I never cared to continue with the rest of the series.

2) Rumplestilskin in Beheld (Kendra Chronicles 4) by Alex Flinn.
This book is a series of four different fairytale retellings. The book as a whole is so disappointing. I go more into it here.

Rumpelstiltskin was actually my favorite retelling. It featured the most magic, on Rum’s part, spinning the straw into gold. That was the most endearing part; when Rum and Cornelia are getting to know each other and are falling in love. There’s a good twist to this character.

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown book review – WITH SPOILERS

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They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever:

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Gold is the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.

 

I actually finished reading the day before the signing in NYC, January 23. It’s taken me a while to find the time to write a review and also think of what to say without spoilers. Well, there is no way for me to say what I feel without them, so here it goes.

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Top Ten Tuesday: March 6: Favorite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Buckle up buck-a-roos! This is a long post and it took me a long time to write up because I have so many and I did some narrowing down. Some will make sense out of context and some – well, it would too much to explain. That’s why I had to do some editing. The ones I chose are either the most memorable or classic quotes from that book, or they just really stuck with me because they made me laugh, cry, or I just found it so poetic.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.

“Music? Music is life! It’s physical emotion – you can touch it! It’s neon ecto-energy sucked out of spirits and switched into sound waves for your ears to swallow.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story by Jewel.

“I would try to be as bold as that blue waterfall that had the audacity to liberate itself from stone.”

“We cannot always control or avoid what happens to us, but we can control what it does to our spirit.”

“Hatred is hurt masquerading-it is an energy used to fool someone into thinking they are frightening when in truth they are frightened.”

Every Day by David Levithan.
“Some days are like this. And the only way to get through them is remember that they are only one day, and that every day ends.”

Another Day by David Levithan.

“Most of the time when we think we’re looking for death, we’re really looking for love.”

Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden.

“Your virtue is safe with me. Your discomfort is rather charming, actually, but I’m sure you’ll get over it.”

“The overall effect made Vos like a falcon poised in that exquisite instant between free fall and flight, and for a moment he couldn’t breath.”

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

“But I think you should be careful, Batyushka, that God does not speak in the voice of your own wishing. We have never needed saving before.”

“It is a cruel task, to frighten people in God’s name.”

Morning Star by Pierce Brown.

“Molten wounds still glow where the two nuclear bombs detonated. And I wonder, in my last moments, if the planet does not mind that we wound her surface or pillage her bounty, because she knows we silly warm things are not even a breath in her cosmic life.”

“Mobs are soulless things that feed on fear and momentum and prejudice.”

“Government is never the solution, but it is almost always a problem. I’m a capitalist. And I believe in effort and progress and the ingenuity of our species.. The continuing evolution and advancement of our kind based on fair competition. Fact of the matter is, Gold does not want man to continue to evolve. Since the conquering, they have routinely stifled advancement to maintain their heaven…”

Golden Son by Pierce Brown.

“He looks like a Miltonian angel falling with wrath and glory. His exoskeleton sheds its friction armor, as Lucifer might have shed the fetters of heaven, feathers of flame peeling off, fluttering behind. Then a missile slashes the sky and high-grade explosives christen him mortal once again.”

“No. Don’t speak. It’s not your turn just because I pause.”

“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

“Rise so high, in mud you lie.”

“And what is the bloodydamn point of surviving in this cold world if I run from the only warmth it has to offer?”

You’re a sinister little shit, aren’t you?” Victra asks.
“I’m Gold, bitch. What’d you expect? Warm milk and cookies just because I’m pocket sized?

Per aspera ad astra.”
“Through the thorns to the stars.” Sevro snickers. “You fancy little fart. Omnis vir lupus.” Everyone a wolf.

Zombies vs Unicorns, “Princess Prettypants” by Meg Cabot.

“My unicorn is going to smash your face.”

“You have one twisted unicorn.”

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

“And the next time you get handed something magical – whether you expect it or not – behave like the witch you are, not some silly human. Don’t ignore it or tell yourself you’re imagining things.” Willful ignorance and dismissing the supernatural were at the top of Sarah’s list of human pet peeves. “Treat it with respect, and if you don’t know what to do, ask for help.”
“Promise,” I said quickly, wanting to get off the phone. But Sarah wasn’t through yet.
“I never thought I’d see the day when a Bishop relied on a vampire for protection, rather than her own power,” she said. “My mother must be turning in her grave…”

She [Sarah] picked up three wineglasses and waved them in Matthew’s direction. “Got any more of that wine, Casanova?”
“I’m French, Sarah, not Italian. And I’m a vampire. I always have wine,” Matthew said with a wicked smile.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness.

“I just killed a man! This isn’t the moment to discuss our marriage.”
“Nonsense. Marrying amid bloodshed is a de Clermont family tradition,” Philippe said briskly.

“I trust my wife’s judgement,” Matthew said firmly.
“That’s what Philippe says about Granny,” Gallowglass muttered under his breath. “Just before all hell breaks lose.”

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness.

“And if we all did what we should, we would wake to find ourselves in paradise.”

“Ah yes the elusive right moment.” Matthew snorted. “It never comes, Diana. Sometimes we just have to throw caution to the wind and trust the people we love.”

“And one last thing: I do not, nor have I ever, sparkled.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower byStephen Chbosky.

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

“I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there.”

Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand by Aaron Allston.
“Luke, I don’t want to discourage your curiosity, but I have to remind you, if something goes wrong, this is an exceptionally embarrassing way to die.”

I can go on and on with Harry Potter quotes, but this is what I narrowed it down to:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.
“So light a fire!” Harry choked.
“Yes…of course…but there’s no wood!” …
“HAVE YOU GONE MAD!” Ron bellowed. “ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT!”

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling.
“Ginny!” said Mr. Weasley, flabbergasted. “Haven’t I taught you anything? What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain?”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.
“Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.
“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.
“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me ‘sir’ Professor.”
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”

 

 

Iron Gold – Pierce Brown book signing at Barnes and Noble – January 24, 2018.

My sister and I got to Barnes and Noble pretty early and we got some good seats.
She had not read Iron Gold yet, but I finished it the day before.

Pierce spoke about the different POVs in Iron Gold and how his writing had to change. He usually does not outline, but he had to for IG and the next book Dark Age, not just because there is more going on but for pacing and syncing up different POVs that have to match at the same point in time. Otherwise there would be a lot of rewriting.

Something Pierce said that I related too when I write was that sometimes when writers outline they have so much energy and momentum while doing so but then lose it when it comes time to actually write. So sometimes it is better to just go for it.

This part threw me off because I noticed that Pierce changed his answer in another interview. At this event he said Lysander was the hardest to write because he’s so smart, and Lyria was the easiest to write. He thought Lyria would be the hardest.

One thing I really liked was when Pierce said that the readers have different experiences in life and it’s not an author’s duty to tell others how to think but to ask questions.

The Q&A portion with the audience was great. These were some of my favorites:

1)Someone asked what are the other Howlers’ real names. Pierce answered that he will reveal them in due time and it wasn’t an oversight to omit them, just there is a way he wants those details to be presented. He also has to find his notes to remember them. HA!

He also spoke a little bit about the differences in his former editor, Mike Braff and his new editor, Tricia Narwani. Mike had become one of his best friends and Mike’s complements could be counted on one hand. He’d say the pacing was slow and get to the killing. So Pierce would put in an Obsidian to distract him. Mike called Obsidians “Space Vikings.”

This is a funny story: Pierce told Mike that the end of Golden Son had a wedding. When he got to the end Mike was sending him messages in all caps and called him. But he was in his cubical so he had to use his inside voice but was clearly like WTF!?

Tricia was a beta reader before, the first person after Mike to read the drafts, so there is still continuity there. She is more complimentary and helps with the pacing when his world building slows down the story.

He has pages and pages of world building and his editor(s) would tell him it’s great and none of it will be used. I think that right there is a great start for a World of Red Rising Encyclopedia.

2)Another person commented how Lyria was written beautifully and wanted to know if he would ever write a novella from Mustang’s POV – as a mother and Sovereign.

Pierce said, “No comment. Seriously.”

Now I have nothing but speculations about Dark Age!

3) This was my favorite question of the night: When Pierce began writing Morning Star he wasn’t going to write a story about the aftermath, the what happens after the Death Star explodes. Is there any series, TV or book, that Pierce would like a follow up like Iron Gold?

Pierce answered almost all of them because when you are in the Falcon or at Hogwarts you feel like you are at home. You miss your home and you miss your friends.

The problem is…would the additions ruin the initial trilogy? He said it’s his burden/responsibility not to demean actions of the first three books: the original story, personal journeys and sacrifices of the characters.

So then, and this was my favorite part of the night, Pierce used The Last Jedi as an example. Luke’s evolution demeaned him from the the Original Trilogy.

Pierce wants to add on to the same journey with Iron Gold. The story should feel like the same characters and not a restart but an evolution of them as older people.

Sometimes he thinks he wants more but maybe it’s better not to have more. Many series go past their prime. He knows this story is not past its prime because he’s exhilarated to write this trilogy and if it didn’t feel right he wouldn’t write it. He doesn’t want to dilute or make the past consequences feel insignificant so that the fans feel cheap for reading it and then have fans say “that’s not my canon” or “not my Darrow.”

By not taking a big break and going right into this new trilogy he has kept the same tone. And there are new things to explore through the different POVs. We see more of the world and culture, and the cracks in their civilization. So it feels richer, and when we reread the first trilogy we’ll know all this is going on outside Darrow’s POV.

Before the signing portion we concluded the Q&A with a collective howl. People in B&N must have been like, WTF, lol.

Photos and a major spoiler below!

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