With the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I returned to the wizarding world once more and have quite a few thoughts on this new installment. I won’t be spoiling anything from the play but just wanted to get these ramblings out of my head.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on July 31, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Plays, Fantasy, Magic
Pages: 328 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased
The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
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.
When J. K. Rowling announced Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I was, of course, extremely excited for new stories in her wizarding world. I was intrigued by a future that we knew very little about, how all the old characters would have developed into adults, and how their children would fit into the picture. I tamed my initial joy though, knowing that it would be very different from the original series and would probably not meet my high expectations. Thank goodness I did!
First and foremost, Cursed Child is a play and this book release was only a rehearsal script. It left a lot to be desired honestly, holding mostly just dialogue and minimal set direction. I would have love to see more description of the set dressings and the characters themselves, even though I’m familiar with the wizarding world. There was definitely something missing just reading this story and I truly believe I’d like it more if I could see it on stage.
I’m a big character person so I was interested to see what revelations were in store for the first generations’ children. I actually really liked Albus Severus Potter (regardless of his awful name) and how he struggled to fit in and find common ground with his dad. Scorpius though is now a new personal fave and his friendship with Albus was glorious! Unfortunately Rose Granger-Weasley was so underused and that’s a travesty for me.
When it came to the OG crew, I thought their characterization was pretty spot on. Ron and Hermione are pretty much exactly how I imagine they’d be. Ginny too, resonated that quiet force she’s always had. Harry was the only one who seemed a little off to me. I did appreciate a couple of conversations that addressed moments from the previous series. It gave a little insight and possibly closure which I was happy about.
The story though was seriously lacking. Claiming it’s an original story is totally reaching since it pulled so much from what’s already been done before. And yes, like many have said already, it reads like bad fan fiction. For me, I know I’ve read better HP fic than this. I still cannot believe this is what they came up with. It was so out of the realm of possibility and they still went there. Now Rowling wants us to see it as canon? Do we even have a choice?
The nostalgia of Harry Potter definitely kept me going though and overall I still enjoyed reading this. There were moments where it felt right and then others that were just so off. I still want to see it performed and hope that it holds a better impact than just reading the script. It may take me a while to get over this story though. Still happy for more HP and I’m looking forward to Fantastic Beasts on screen.
So, have you read Cursed Child yet? What was that story though? Did you enjoy Albus and Scorpius? Did the OG characters grow up the way you thought they would? If you’ve seen the stage play, will I like it better that way? Let me know all your thoughts, opinions, feelings, etc in the comments below!