Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Other fitting titles may include but not limited to: Harry Potter and Voldemort’s Love Child, Harry Potter and If the Trio Had Been a Duo , or Harry Potter and The Time Turner’s Unfortunate Return.
When this play book was initially announced I was both excited and concerned. The first seven books that make up the original Harry Potter series have quite the standard to live up to and I was not sure if its success could be replicated. I was further conflicted when I realized that this was written by a writer other than J.K. Rowling. While Rowling did help co-write she was not the main captain, which made me think that this ship was gonna sink before it even left the port. However, Harry Potter fan that I am, I pushed all of that aside to welcome a chance to step back into the world I grew up loving.
The night of the release I dragged my boyfriend, and fellow Harry Potter fanatic, along to pick up the book with me and enjoy in the festivities. Unfortunately our Books-A-Million was overcrowded and not too terribly organized so really all we did was line up and watch other people get cake from some unknown location. Once I got the book and we drove home we began reading together, because sharing is caring and impatience abounds when Harry Potter is involved.
Automatically our skepticism grew as we flew through the first act. It was obvious from the start that this book was largely left up to someone else other than Rowling to write. Rowling has a way with words that just simply was not displayed in this play book. While I enjoyed this book it is by far not on par with the other Harry Potter works. I wanted to delve into a few of the pros and cons that I found in this book and examine them a bit further.
PROS: It’s always better to start with good news first in my opinion so that is what I’m going to start with in this blog post.
To begin with the most obvious positive thing about this book is that we got a chance to revisit our favorite characters both living and deceased. We got to read another handful of snarky comments from the wonderfully savage Professor Snape. We got a chance to see our favorite trio all grown up with families of their own living the mundane life that is adulthood. Apparently even wizard adulting is boring. But the point is we got to see them again. It is like visiting an old friend, there’s so much to catch up on.
We also got a chance to meet some of the children. The main focus was on Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter, the sons of Draco and Harry respectively. I would’ve liked to see more of Rose as she is so much like her mother. But in all honesty if Rose had been in on the boys’ plan half of the crap they got themselves into wouldn’t have happened. Scorpius and Albus aren’t the brightest.
Also there is so much Romione goodness in the book that I cry. I just cry. Even when in the alternate realities that the two are not together it is so obviously clear that they are in love with one another. I am sorry but I will never not ship them. Not to mention that the scenes in which they find out they are supposed to be together were just gold. Simply gold. All of the love for those snippets.
Lastly I will say that this book is fast paced. This is partially because it is a play so plot has to be squeezed down and packed into a tiny bit of time. This is also a bit of a con because things go by quickly and we do not get to really experience each plot point in detail. However for a nice one sitting read this book is perfect. It is packed with action and is to the point.
CONS: On to cons… this is the part where I unfortunately have to tear about a book I was honestly hoping to absolutely adore. While this story was a good guilty read and an excellent chance to return to my childhood escape it was just not… good.
To begin with it read like a fanfiction through and through. From the writing to the plot itself. It was as if someone stole J.K. Rowling’s characters and took them for a spin. Which is in all honesty is essentially what happened with this book. I found myself multiple times thinking “The fuck just happened…?” and laughing at the improbability of things unfolding as they did. It is unfortunate that this story would have better thrived on fanfiction.net than in bookstores but that is honestly how it seems.
Another thing that I noticed right away was that the characters were extremely out of character. Even in the reality that was supposed to be the true one, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny – everyone – was just acting awfully strange. While they have aged they should not be entirely new people. This was obviously written by someone who does not know the characters as their original creator does. It felt like I was reading about completely different people just pegged with the names of my favorite characters.
I know that this is a play and that the scenes are going to shift abruptly which makes it ten times harder to judge this book because it is not being consumed in its intended format. But nevertheless there were multiple times that I had to stop and reread to try and figure out why we had jumped ahead in time or place.
Going back a step I wanted to reiterate that this is a play and that the format therefore made it hard to read and understand. There are cues and such but there are no actors there delivering the script in its intended fashion. That made the dialogue sound cheesier and more stilted. I would really like to see this in play form, I feel like I would genuinely enjoy it on an entirely new level if I saw it live instead of in book form.
Also, one of the most important parts of the book, the plot, was simply a wreck. It made no sense, it was improbable, and it was in all honesty silly to begin with. Do the writers really expect us to believe that these two teenage boys are that stupid. Not to mention that time travel novels are so easy to fuck up. And well they fucked up. There were in continuities galore. The entire idea of the time turner was muddled and decidedly changed from the original Harry Potter novel in which is was talked about.
Overall this book did not feel edited in the slightest. There were simply too many plot holes and improbabilities. The wizarding world was turned on its head with the number of contradictions and scenes that did not make sense in the slightest. It was a bit of a mess. It felt thrown together as if they realized the deadline was the following day and they needed to vomit up some kind of rubbish to turn into an editor, who in turn seemed to be unaware of his job to actually fix the hell out of this sucker.
A few other things I’d like to point out:
- Voldemort did the icky nasty. Ewwie. That is what nightmares are made of.
- What’s the deal with the trolley witch? That was some kind of horror movie shit. Are you seriously telling me that the sweet little lady who sells chocolate frogs and Pumpkin Pasties turns into some kind of freaky weird demon shit? I am not okay with that. Nope.
- Where is Teddy Lupin??? Questionsssss
- How’d nobody realize that Bellatrix was just chillin preggers and such in the seventh book? Please tell me. Because I may not know a whole lot about pregnancy and babies but buy God, Bellatrix is three times the bad ass bitch if she was carrying a baby while fucking shit up as she was. Although I must say it would make sense because she was so high key into Voldy and his nasty self.
- Hermione is Minister of Magic. Freaking Minister of Magic. She’s a fucking queen and I will forever bow down to her kick ass self.
Overall I enjoyed this book on a guilty pleasure level. Is it a great addition to the Harry Potter world? No. Not in my opinion at least. However I’ll cherish the fact that I got to once more indulge in a world that I loved so much growing up.
What were your thoughts? Did you like it, hate it, or are you still confused as to how exactly you feel about it? Share down below in the comments, I’d love to know!