review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The book that I put off because its predecessors are my childhood – it’s finally finished, and here is a review with both spoiler and spoiler-free section.

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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.

First, the spoiler-free section in its usual format.

TITLE. I love the way the Cursed Child situation can be applied to many characters within the novel. At first it may seem to apply to a particular character, and then another, but I think the big reveal near the end shows exactly who the true Cursed Child is.

COVER. The imagery of the golden snitch shape definitely relates to the plot and imagery of the storyline, although I’m not sure how the nest relates. I’m assuming the child is supposed to be Albus, although to a certain extent it could represent Scorpius – both children are under pressure from their parents’ legacy, although for once Draco is the one to handle it better, which is not something I’d ever thought I’d say.

PLOT. Time travel was a major plot point of the novel and I think this made it very different from the other novels. Although a time turner has been used before, Cursed Child uses the concept a lot more. I can see why some people might be upset about this, but in my opinion it’s a welcome change that makes Cursed Child stand out in it’s own right.

CHARACTERS. Scorpius Malfoy was my favourite character because of his love for books – if you crossed Hermione, Harry and Draco you’d get someone resembling Scorpius. The only portrayal that often felt off was Harry’s, which seemed quite inconsistent with him making obvious mistakes. This isn’t necessarily a change from the books, but it didn’t feel like his choices made sense after the events of the main series – that’s as specific I can be in the non-spoiler section.

OVERALL. After a lot of debate I’ve rated HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD as a 4.5*.

The spoiler section will just be me having a quick chat about some points I wanted to bring up.

I’ll say it again: this is a script book. Some of what happens is slightly difficult to visualise due to the stage directions such as “rotating” and “transforming”. However, the stage directions towards the end definitely emphasise the emotion of scenes.

The Delphi part was very well done, although I was a little confused as to how she knew time had been changed without touching the time turner (I may have missed a stage directions).

The adult Harry was the reason I dropped half a star. His character seemed all over the place and while I suppose some of this was affected by the time travelling, his character felt the weakest (with Scorpius and Draco feeling the strongest to me. Draco’s development was something I loved – while reflecting the sentiments of family loyalty like his younger self, he became the independent leader while also being able to follow others when appropriate. He and Harry continued to mistrust each other over bad blood, but ultimately their sons brought them together.

The other sought was that disappointed me slightly was the lack of diversity. Although I felt there were definitely LGBT themes with Scorpius and Albus at the start, the situation with Rose and how they spoke at the end made it feel like this was no longer there. I would have liked the main action to fall to someone other than two white boys and a white female who, ultimately, was the child of Voldemort and essentially became the villain. Don’t get me wrong – I liked the plot – but this play could have introduced a new generation to the magic of Harry Potter. Even the addition of Rose to the main plot line would have improved the story for me: the descendants of the original trio plus a representative of Draco on the right side, for once. I think it’s going to be the sort of book I reread several times to pick up on all the things I missed.

Have you read the new Harry Potter yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


 

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2 thoughts on “review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  1. I hadn’t thought about Rose being a part of a new generational ‘trio’ but now that’s you’ve put it in my head I love it. That was the problem I had with it being dialogue driven and in the play format… I didn’t get much development on Rose at all. It was a big deal when she was “erased” so-to-speak, but it would have had more impact if she was part of the inner circle! SIGH I really wish it was a fully developed novel and all these bits were more fleshed out. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this book almost as soon as it came out. I absolutely loved it. My full review is on my blog if you would like to hear more :)

    Like

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