** This review might contain mild spoilers if you currently know absolutely nothing about The Cursed Child. I try not to include detrimental bits of information that will ruin books for future readers.**
Title: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8)
Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Published: July 31st 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Play
My Rating: 3/5
“All I ever wanted to do was go to Hogwarts and have a mate to get up to mayhem with. Just like Harry Potter. And I got his son. How crazily fortunate is that…you’re my best friend, Albus. And this is mayhem to the nth degree.”
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’m going to start this review with a couple disclaimers. First, I understand that this is a play. I have been educated in reading and studying plays. They do not bother me, they do not hinder my understanding of a story, and I understand it will look different and feel different on stage.
Secondly, I love Harry Potter. The movies, the Wizarding World, the books, everything. I love it all. So it is the hardest thing for me to give this book anything less than 5 stars. I wanted so much to be in love with it. So don’t think that I am just hating on Harry Potter or something crazy like that.
Okay, now onto the review.
I went into The Cursed Child having little to no clue what kind of plot I would be looking at. I didn’t know if this would be centered around The Golden Trio or Harry’s kids. I didn’t know it would be based around Albus (Harry’s middle child) and Scorpius (Draco’s son).
I must say, these two characters (though mostly Scorpius) were joys to read about. Even when the plot darkened with the difficult relationships with their fathers, I still enjoyed their wit and back-and-forth dialogue. They were funny and completely NOT Harry and Draco.
As for our Golden Trio, Ginny, and Draco, these were not the characters we all grew up with. Yes, they have aged 19 years, and that will change you, but this wasn’t an aging change. It didn’t feel like them at all. Ron and Hermoine were a little more themselves. I could easily match Emma and Rupert’s voices from the movies into my head to read their lines. But as for Ginny and Harry and Malfoy, I felt so little connection with them and it was really disappointing.
Then there’s the plot…what a wild and crazy mixture of all the past Harry Potter books. It was chaotic at times and just a complete mash up of the past with the present. It was almost like it was trying too hard to be a Harry Potter book.
I think the fatal flaw for this book/play came in labeling it Harry Potter #8. When they decided it was a continuation of our beloved series, they not only put a lot of pressure on the story, they also gave us this hope that we would be receiving another part of our series we fell in love with. Instead, we were given glorified fanfiction with J.K.’s signed approval.
I know there have been mixed reviews. Some people just don’t mind that it feels like a well done fanfic and love it just because it is Harry. And that is so completely fine. I wanted to love it too! But I didn’t love it, I thought it was okay for a play that wanted to take on Harry’s future.
What did you think of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Did you love it, like it, or just think it was okay?