Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

 

It’s been twenty-two years since Voldemort was defeated. But parenthood is as great a challenge as anything Harry faced during his youth.

With ominous signs occurring and his son, Albus, feeling like an outsider, events begin to spiral out of control. Albus and his best friend Scorpius Malfoy, take it upon themselves to right the wrongs of the past.

But dark magic is rising once again and a new threat emerges. Will the boys accept where they truly belong before it is too late? Or does Harry have to face the horrors of his past to ensure his son’s future?

Author: J.K Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Publisher: Little, Brown

Date: 2016

Rating:  4/5

Having heard mixed reports, I came to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with an open mind. I don’t have time for those who didn’t enjoy it merely because it was a play and not a novel. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I can see why others didn’t.

What worked for me is that I didn’t consider it to be the eighth book. The original seven were the books of my childhood and coming to something new so many years later was never going to recapture that experience. So in my mind, I isolated it as a stand-alone book that just happened to have the same characters.

The plot was not as in-depth as the novels, nor did the characters have the complexities we may expect from Harry, his crew, and the next generation. But this isn’t a novel. It’s a play. So it is going to be different, without hundreds of words dedicated purely to the characterisation.

So if it didn’t have the depth, what did it have? Humour. There were several lines that made me laugh out loud and I can imagine it being hilarious on stage (which is, you know, where this was written for, not printed for the public!). The young teenagers were illustrated clearly; they had their issues and they were determined to find a place where they belonged. Isn’t that precisely what Harry spent the entire span of the books doing?

Albus was like Harry – a bit whiny and always thinking the world was out to get him, but he developed. Scorpius won it for me, with his attempt at humour and to make the best of a bad situation at all times. He also displayed the traits of a true friend.

The plot was quite complex for a stage play, with multiple jumps through time. There was some phrasing that made me confused as to how they were going to demonstrate that on stage, such as the time-turner “thinking” and then looping back through time. That description gave me no image how they were going to present that. I have also never heard of so many people being discombobulated before!

So, no, this is not Harry Potter for me. What it is was an enjoyable read that I wouldn’t mind seeing on stage. I enjoyed it!

Amazon | Waterstones

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