Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne – Book Review

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne – Book Review

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.

“How many people have died for The Boy Who Lived?”

It’s been years since we last saw Harry Potter and the Golden Trio, and they had saved the world from the likes of Lord Voldemort. They won the Battle of Hogwarts, even though there were those that didn’t survive the attack. And nineteen years after that final battle, after Voldemort was finally defeated, we see the future where Harry and Ginny are taking their kids to Platform 9 3/4, their son Albus Severus Potter’s first year of being a student. But what happened afterwards? Was all truly well like Rowling promised it would be? This original play says different, and with it being Harry Potter, we all should have known better.

When I first found out that there was going to be another book about Harry Potter, I was in shock. I swore that Rowling was done writing about him, and that she would be going into other aspects of the Wizarding World (like Fantastic Beasts for example). Then I found out more information and was a little disappointed to find out that it was necessarily a new book, but a play. A play that I would never get to see because I wouldn’t have the means to see it. Would it have the same magical effect that the rest of the series had on me all those years ago? I wasn’t sure, which was probably why it took me a few months to actually get the book, let alone read it.

The premise is basically what we remember from the epilogue of Deathly Hallows. We start on Platform 9 3/4, with Harry and Ginny taking their oldest son James, and their youngest son Albus to the Hogwarts Express, with daughter Lily in tow. It’s Albus’ first year and he’s afraid that he will be sorted into Slytherin because his big brother James has pretty much put that fear into his head that it would be bad to end up in that house. I guess 20 years hasn’t changed kids’ perspectives on Slytherin. Harry basically tells him that he was named after a Slytherin (Severus Snape), and he was one of the bravest men he knew. So if he was sorted into Slytherin it wouldn’t be so bad.

Of course, Hermione and Ron are there as well, with their daughter Rose and son Hugo (who isn’t really mentioned much, not sure why) also going to Hogwarts. We see Hermione in her daughter a lot, even to the point that Rose doesn’t think that Albus should make friends with Scorpius Malfoy, all because of who his family is and the rumors about who his real father is. Cruel, I would say, to think that Hermione’s daughter would show such prejudice to someone who can’t help who he comes from. And with that, Albus and Scorpius becomes the best of friends and Rose and Albus aren’t even friends, just cousins that keep up appearances for their parents’ sake.

There were a few issues that I had with this book, mostly because it just wasn’t the same as what I was expecting. I definitely wasn’t expecting the bad guy being… well who the bad guy ended up being. Also, messing with the timeline always makes this worse, and the alternate reality that Scorpius ends up going to just made my heart hurt. Imagine if it was what really happened? I couldn’t take it. I’m glad that it was just an alternate universe, let’s just say that right here and now. Also, Albus was a jerk. Definitely not worth being named after Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape. Scorpious was an actual sweetheart, and I think we needed to see more of him.

I liked seeing the original gang throughout the book, but it also showed me that Harry and Ron hasn’t grown up as much as I thought they would, and why did they make Ron seem so dumb? Or silly? He’s not just a comic relief, even if he wasn’t the best at spells like Hermione was. He did have some substance to him throughout the series so why not bring that into this book? It just wasn’t the same for me, and I usually love Harry Potter.

Rated: 3.5/5 

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