Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
Published: July 31, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 328 pages
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.
I both went into this book (play) with extraordinarily high expectations and didn’t – because on one hand, I was thrilled to find out that I’d be getting an extension of the Harry Potter world, but on the other, I really didn’t have too many expectations that I demanded to have met. I think I’d say that I had an open mind about what could be brought forward in this play – and thankfully, I wasn’t at all disappointed.
I gave this book’s packaging a full 5 stars because honestly, I love it and have absolutely no complaints.
I know that a lot of people were initially thrown off by the format of this book, since this is actually a script of the play, but I loved it. I, personally, have always loved plays and reading their scripts (part of why I love Shakespeare so much), so I really, really loved being able to read this Harry Potter story in play format. I don’t know – it’s just something about so much being expressed by each of the characters through body cues and stage direction and dialogue, rather than by an author describing and writing out an entire scenario, that I can really connect with.
The writing itself was wonderful, though – especially the dialogue. Because plays are unable to describe as much emotion as books are able to, emotions and feeling are really conveyed through the dialogue and through stage cues. I thought it was through the dialogue that the characters really came alive – I learned so much about each of the characters through the things they would say and how they would say it.
While I’ve read a lot of negative reviews from people saying that they just didn’t feel as though the characters we read about in this book/play are the characters we left in Deathly Hallows, all I have to say is that the characters we left in Deathly Hallows have grown up. It’s been years since we last saw Harry, Ron, and Hermione – of course they won’t sound the same that they did in adolescence, and of course the things they’ve gone through in the time that they’ve been gone from us (as well as due to maturity) will render them different from the way they were as teenagers. However, this doesn’t mean that the characters became unrecognizable – not at all, actually. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and even Draco were very much the people that we know and love. Just grown up.
Having said that, I personally thought that the way they had all matured was very believable and realistic, and I personally loved being able to read about them and their new lives. With the new generation of characters, Albus, Scorpius, James, and Rose, we didn’t really see as much of James and Rose as we did of Albus and Scorpius. Albus could irritate me at times, especially when he would be mean to Harry – Harry is my favorite fictional character of all time, and no one is allowed to hurt his feelings like that. However, I thought he was a really accurate portrayal of an angsty teenager (😂) and I came to love him. Scorpius was an absolute sweetheart, and I loved reading about him – he was such a fantastic character and such a good friend to Albus.
Oddly enough, the plot of this book is where I had the most problems. I just found certain aspects of this book to be way too farfetched and eccentric (<spoiler> like the idea that Albus would really try to steal a timeturner to go back in history and save Cedric Diggory? I just couldn’t buy that this is something that would actually happen </spoiler>) , while other aspects of this book were completely believable and wonderful to read about. Along with this, I also really didn’t like the entire fact that <spoiler> they were essentially re-opening a closed storyline. I thought that the Voldemort plot came to an end at the end of Deathly Hallows, and thought it was really unnecessary and a bit cheap for them to try and re-use it for a new set of characters. I think I really would’ve preferred for Albus to have gotten his own storyline with his own, new set of issues in the magical world </spoiler>. Also, can I just say that <spoiler> I KNEW that Delphie was sketchy as hell. I was so sure that she would end up being a villain, AND I WAS RIGHT. Although, the whole ‘Voldemort’s daughter’ thing to me was weird – weird as in I wasn’t sure if I even bought it? Voldemort having had a daughter with Bellatrix Lestrange honestly sounds straight out of a Harry Potter fanfiction that I would find on fanfiction.net. But I mean, I just kind of went with what J.K. Rowling was giving us, so I guess. </spoiler>. It was still really entertaining to read, and I definitely flew through it – I just wasn’t really able to buy some of it, and would end up getting really weirded out.
Overall, I gave this book a 5/5 stars, because even though I had some issues with the plot, I loved everything else and loved being able to jump back into the wizarding world. I honestly couldn’t imagine giving any book that’s part of a world I love so much anything less.