Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Genre/Themes: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: July 31st 2016
Page Count: 328
Can you believe I pre-ordered this book way back in February…it feels like it was just yesterday! The magical world of Harry Potter obviously means a lot to many readers. It’s a world that we grew up with and felt like we grew up in. I’m sure we all fantasized about going to Hogwarts while reading this series as children. Hell, we still fantasize about going to Hogwarts while reading as adults! I’m still waiting for my acceptance letter. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I can’t believe it has already come and gone.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the events of the 7th and final book in the Harry Potter series, Deathly Hallows. Cursed Child follows Harry and Ginny Potter’s son, Albus Severus Potter, as he is now old enough to start attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Albus quickly befriends Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius Malfoy, as they meet for the first time on their train ride to Hogwarts. Meanwhile, there is rumour of a time turner that has not been destroyed by the Ministry of Magic after the battle of Hogwarts. Amos Diggory, father of the late Cedric Diggory, has caught wind of this rumour and he begs to use the time turner, if it does actually exist, to go back in time and save his son from his inevitable death during the Triwizard Tournament. Of course, playing with time and history never works in anyone’s favour.
WORLD / SETTING
Ah, The Magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It feels good to be back. While Cursed Child lacked some detail in terms of describing Hogwarts, Godrich’s Hollow etc., I think that it was done for some pretty understandable reasons. One being the fact that Cursed Child is written as a stage play, in which writing in detail doesn’t usually happen. Two, this is one of MANY books that takes place in the same world. We’ve all already been told about Hogwarts and every other magical setting while reading the other novels from within the Harry Potter universe for nearly the last 20 years. We don’t need to be told again, at least not with the same level of detail. The world is still just as magical as ever though, and it felt as though we had never left the world of Harry Potter.
I loved that this story was told 19 years into the future. I love that we finally had the opportunity to follow the lives of the children that we briefly met at the end of Deathly Hollows. While we still get to read more about Harry, Ron, Hermione and even Draco, we also get to learn more about their children. Albus is moody and definitely has some daddy issues. He hates the fame that comes with the Potter name and he takes it out on poor old dad. While Albus is dark and moody, Scorpius Malfoy is the most pure and innocent cinnamon roll. You’d think based on their parentage that these roles would be reversed, but that isn’t the case and I’m grateful for this decision to break the idea of what we were all expecting. Rose, Ron and Hermione’s daughter, was hardly in this book at all. I thought she would join in and we’d be following the adventures of three children again, but that certainly was not the case. I would have loved to have seen more of her.
While the majority of the story follows the children of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco, we also get to revisit our favourite classic characters once again as well. Harry and Hermione haven’t changed much, they’re both literally just older versions of who they once were when the went to Hogwarts. I did feel as though Ron was a lot more of a goof than he used to be however. Out of the three, he was the one that felt the most different to me for sure. Draco was still a tad slimy, but his character has definitely grown and developed over nineteen years. He loves his son and will do anything to protect him from the nasty rumours that have surrounded their family for years. Also, I’m so glad Professor McGonagall is still kicking around!
If you didn’t know already, Harry Potter & The Cursed Child is written as a stage production. The format in which this book is written is not that of a typical fiction novel. It is written line by line as the actors would speak them. I’ve read other stage plays before and while the format is hard to get used to at first, it starts to grow on you as the story continues. Between bits of dialogue we get little action sentences that explain the characters emotions or the way the set changes which can be strange to get used to at first. While I enjoyed learning more about the children of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco and following them on their new adventures, I did find the story to be a little repetitive. There was a lot of the same scenario happening over and over again which made the story feel as though it was dragging on a little.
Ultimately, I am extremely glad that we had this, possibly final, look into our favourite magical world. Harry Potter is the reason I’m the extreme reader that I am today. Harry Potter introduced me to the world of books, which is probably just as magical as the world of Hogwarts, and for that I am forever grateful. I would absolutely LOVE to see this production live and on stage and I really hope that it can happen one day in the future! If only I could find myself one of those time turners…