Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on July 31, 2016
327 pages
Purchased at Barnes and Noble


It was always difficult to be 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 the 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.

I had mixed feelings about this play when I first heard of it. I was excited about a new story from Ms. Rowling; but at the same time nervous that it wouldn’t rise the level of her other books. I should never have been nervous. The eighth story is a fine addition to this amazing series. We are given a glimpse of Harry and his family years after the death of Vordemort. However, we are given glimpses of how important our choices are and how they can affect our lives.

Harry is still our fallible hero. He is still trying to move on from the Battle at Hogwarts and at the same time having to raise three kids with his wife, Ginny.  It seems Albus is having difficulty dealing with Harry’s past as well. Harry is not doing a great job helping Albus deal with his problems. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but Albus is a little different, house-wise, than the rest of his family. It does cause some angst as well.

I think the heart of the story is the friendship between Albus and Scorpius (Draco’s son). I think their relationship is really special and has the possibility of bringing three families together. For it is my opinion, that Albus and Scorpius will marry later on down the road. Their relationship will finally bring an end to hatred and animosity between the Potters/Weasleys and the Malfoys.

Also, in The Cursed Child, our choices can make or break our world. Albus and Scorpius made some serious bad decisions that gave us a glimpse of what would have happened if Voldemort won the Battle of Hogswart. First, Albus wouldn’t even been born. Second, Scorpius had to find a way to right his mistakes. Enter Severus Snape and all I can say is “Always.” Snape is still the questionable hero that we all either love or hate.

In the end, love is what is matters. Love will bring acceptance and forgiveness. Love will unite. Love will bring families together. Love conquers all.



Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One
Written by Ernest Cline
Published by Broadway Books on June 5, 2012
372 pages
Science Fiction
Purchased for September Book Club

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of the ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune – and remarkable power – to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved – that of the last twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt – among them certain powerful players who are willing to comment very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life – and love – in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

To start off, I haven’t read a lot of science fiction novels. It is not much usual go-to genre. However, Ready Player One was the September selection for my awesome book club, Books, Babes and Booze. This is one amazing book! The book has review on its cover that states it’s a mix of The Matrix and Willy Wonka which us a perfect description. Ernest Cline pulled you in from the very first page and kept you there until the very last. I couldn’t put it down.
Mr. Cline created a very dark and depressing real world where it made it very easy for the reader to believe that the virtual world was better alternative. Wade Watts’ real world was located in Oklahoma City, OK (I live just 20 miles south of OKC) and that really piqued my interest. He shaped together a bleak real world that included a trailer park where homes are stacked twenty high. Climate change has made the atmosphere almost unlivable. It’s dark, dirty and depressing.
However, OASIS is want makes living bearable for Wade and his friends. I found OASIS to be an amazing but at the same time a terrifying world. There is no human contact; each person is alone in the real world playing on their own system. I found it very sad and kind of scary. I can see how very easily our world today could turn into something like OASIS. Each person alone and only connecting via a virtual reality; which to me is not a real world. After stating all that, I was completely immersed in this world. I was pretty much enthralled with it.
As a 80s kid, I loved all the references Mr. Cline used throughout the book. The WarGames reference was perfect. I won’t give any spoilers; but this movie really showed how obsessive Wade and the other players were with James Halliday. Halliday seemed to be a difference breed of cat; a mixture of Jobs, Gates and through in some Willy Wonka. You only get glimpses on him, but he makes a big impact. OASIS was his chocolate factory.
In the end, the notion of actual human connection was what made this book really incredible. In order to defeat “the bad guys”, Wade and his competitors had to come together in real life and work together. Having them discover who that actually were was pretty priceless. But no matter what each person held secret; they still accepted one another as friends, and maybe more. Great book! Highly recommend!


I’M BACK!!!!

family2015-134You won’t believe what I did! I failed to renew my Kinx’s Book Nook (dot) com site and I lost everything! To my defense, we were building a new house and I started a new job. Truth be told, I really didn’t think I’d have time to blog anymore. But I missed it! So, I created this little site to continue my book-loving ways. I hope you enjoy this blog as you did my last. I probably won’t be taking many book requests. I think I got burned out over all the requests I received. It stopped being fun. But now, this blog will be a little more recreational and fun.