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.
**Side Note: I was that adult-child that went to the Barnes & Noble midnight release party to get this book! My fangirl heart was so freaking ecstatic!**
Ok, bare with me folks, I have so much to say and sort through in this jumbled emotional heart/mind of mine. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads, but it was most definitely a hesitant 5 stars! I’m going to do my best to write this review without giving away spoilers.
I was both extremely excited and super nervous to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Harry Potter is the epitome of my childhood; it will forever have a special place in my heart. Therefore, I tried to go into this book with an open mind, but it was so hard to keep that mindset as the super fan that I am. So naturally I had to restrain myself from picking it apart. I knew that it wasn’t going to be written by JK Rowling, or at least not entirely, and I knew that it was a script written for the stage. I honestly got used to the script format fast, so that was definitely not an issue.
The book picks up directly from the “Nineteen Years Later” epilogue from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows right from there. The time absolutely flies by; skipping from year to year, but for the most part it follows the lives of Albus (Harry’s middle child) and Scorpius (Draco’s only child). I absolutely loved reading about Harry’s children and seeing my beloved characters as adults. The entire plot/concept was so unexpected and had me completely riveted from beginning to end.
However, there were so many times that I found myself thinking “he would never say that” or “that just doesn’t seem like it would happen that way; this isn’t JK Rowling speaking through her characters.” So to put it plainly, I could really tell that it wasn’t the same author. Any fan who knows the books well enough will be able to as well. There were just many questionable lines of dialogue throughout that had me going “um…what?!” hell there were even super cheesy lines that I just couldn’t fathom how they fit into the story. On the other hand, there were some parts that had me tearing up at how happy it made my heart to see things play out the way that they did. So of course there was plenty of awesome mixed in with the not so awesome.
I am torn between viewing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as an actual 8th installment to the series, or just as an entirely separate entity that may or may not be considered as “factual” in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Don’t get me wrong, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I mean it‘s Harry Potter, I’m gonna kind of love it by default, but that doesn’t mean that my stickler true-fan heart won’t argue the differences, and how they take away from the sanctity of the world and its characters’ legacies. Nevertheless, the story of Harry Potter will go down in infamy, and that is a seed that was planted long before there was ever talk of an 8th book. To me, my heart lies with the original 7, The “Magnificent Seven.” I would still recommend any fan read this story, it definitely satisfies that burning need to delve back into the world. I’m honestly dying to reread them all again now, or at least finish listening to them on audio.
Buy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Amazon here, or essentially anywhere else that sells anything on this planet (they’re literally everywhere).