Format Read: Hardback
on July 31st 2016
Book Depository | Buy from publisher
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.
I’m writing this while on holiday so please excuse any formatting issues!
Look, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read any other reviews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child before I wrote this review. The Harry Potter fandom is one that I’m so proud of being a part of, and hope that any kids I may have one day will also be able to share in the magical oh of being a part of this world. So I get it, the ‘8th’ Harry Potter story was not to everyone’s tastes. At the end of the day, it is a script book, which means it’s not meant to be consumed in the same way as the first seven books were consumed.
The descriptions that clearly showed readers that this was JK Rowling’s world is clearly missing from this book, but let’s be honest, we all a went into the book knowing this. I also think that some people forget that while JK Rowling helped and gave guidance to the story, it was predominantly written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany…for the stage! Like Shakespeare (many of his works which I could never get into), it’s important to go into this book with an understanding that it’s a script book, and you need to be able to set aside what you except from the first seven books before you head into this one (for anyone that hasn’t read it yet). That way, you avoid disappointing yourself.
I personally enjoyed this eighth instalment a lot more than I thought I would! It was captivating, and the slew of new characters gave the world a new life. While the golden trio is back, we spend most of our time with Harry’s younger son Albus and his best friend Scorpius, who turns out to be Draco Malfoy’s son.
If you are expecting Harry Potter 2.0…I’m sorry to disappoint. Albus and Scorpius are the black sheeps of Hogwarts, but their characters were captivating in their struggles to live up to the expectations of others, as well as the need to prove themselves time and again. We follow them on a journey where they completely fuck up at every corner, but their tenacity to right their wrongs really encapsulated the great depths of their characters…and this was all told through script!
I know the plot irked a few people, but I personally found it to be a great! I know there’s a few plot holes here and there, but overall, it felt like a good way to tell Albus and Scorpius’ story. What’s more, with the the way the story went, we were able to get glimpses into some parts (which I won’t disclose to avoid spoilers) of the first seven books that weren’t disclosed before.
I won’t go into details about the golden trio in this book either, but I will say that I agree with some reviewers and readers when they say that ‘certain characters’ personalities and plots felt wrong’. Not sure what happened there, but their language and speech sounded extremely weird all through this book, and I just can’t seem to shake off how odd they turned out.
At the end of the day, would I recommend Potterheads read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Absolutely! But just remember that while it’s ‘the eighth story’, try and enjoy it as separate to the first seven books.