Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Series: Harry Potter #8
Publication Date: July 31, 2016
Published by Little Brown UK
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.
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 have some spoiler-y thoughts but I will put them at the end of my review, with a spoiler warning)
Where to begin?? I am presently rereading the series, but I’ve only read through the full Harry Potter series once, and it was many years ago (although not until after the final book had been released – I was late to the Harry Potter fandom). I’ve recently seen all of the movies for the first time as well, and I just love this series. I love the world J.K. Rowling has created and the characters who live there.
However, when I first learned that there would be a new instalment in the Harry Potter series, and that it would be a play, I was less than enthused. I definitely do not have the means to travel to London to see the play, and so I thought that was that. I’d read a plot summary online somewhere eventually but it wouldn’t form a part of my Harry Potter experience. But then they announced that the script would be available to purchase, and I started to get excited. I know that reading a script is certainly not the same as reading a novel, but I would still get to read about what happened to Harry, Ron, Hermione, and everyone else.
I read the book (I know it’s a script but I can’t help thinking of it as a book) in one day, the day after I picked up my pre-order. It was a holiday Monday and I made sure that I had nothing to do that day but lounge on the couch and devour this story.
I just loved it. Early on, I was caught up in the story, and teared up a couple of times when reconnecting with beloved characters. Hands down my favourite of the new characters is Scorpius! I really enjoyed the story, and seeing what had become of everyone as they grew up. I also think this would absolutely make for an amazing show to see live. Somehow, someday, I will find a way to see this play!
While I may have been initially concerned a little bit about reading a play vs. reading a book, that quickly fell away. Once I was caught up in the story, I didn’t feel any difference between reading the script with stage directions and reading a novel. I could see and hear everything clearly.
There was really only one thing I disliked, but overall I totally loved it. I have tried to stay away from reading negative reviews – I know there are people who haven’t liked the story, but I’m flying too high on my Harry Potter love right now, and don’t want to be brought down. But eventually I will be curious to find out why some people haven’t loved it as I do.
Overall, this was so wonderful and I think it is definitely a must-read!
SPOILER WARNING! Read on for some specific spoiler-y thoughts.
The one thing I didn’t care for, and that probably holds me back from giving a full five stars to this, was Ron. I felt like he came across as a doofus – like he was there for a bit of comic relief or something. I got a great sense of the friendship between Harry and Hermione, but I didn’t get that from Harry and Ron. I also didn’t super feel the romance between Ron and Hermione. I totally love them as a couple, but they didn’t feel very couple-y to me here.
I really enjoyed the time-travel aspect, and that they revisited the Triwizard Tournament and Cedric Diggory. And when Snape showed up, I totally felt myself tearing up!
One of my favourite things was getting more of Draco’s story, and reading about his relationship with his son, Scorpius. My BFF Danielle and I have talked about how we wanted more of Draco’s story from the books and movies, and so getting to read this, where Draco and his son are so central to the story, was very satisfying.
This is definitely definitely a must-read for Harry Potter fans, and I am so happy to add it to my Harry Potter shelf.