Book review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

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Potterheads the world over have waited 9 years since the release of the last book in the series. But will this one live up to their expectations?
The eighth story, 19 years later, is currently being performed on stage in London, but fans the world over can now get their hands on a copy of the script and be a part of the magical universe once again.

Now, before you get overly excited and rush out to buy your copy (if you’re not still waiting on your preorder to arrive, urgh), remember this is a SCRIPT published in book format and is NOT A NOVEL. Just want to make this very clear.

That being said, let’s talk about the story.
I’ve seen quite a few people refer to the book as well-written fan-fiction, and I’m inclined to agree. The play is based on an original story by Queen JK Rowling herself, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, while the screenplay itself was written by Jack Thorne.

As a hardcore Potter fan, I knew this wouldn’t be quite the universe I was used to. Yet, I went ahead and ordered my own copy months ago. Because that’s what you do when your fandom releases something new.

And while I enjoyed the story and getting to experience some of the characters – I’ve come to love like my own family – I have to admit I was slightly disappointed.

One thing you need to prepare yourself for before you read the script or see the play (unfortunately, I don’t earn enough to make this a reality) is that you can tell that these are not just Rowling’s words, but a mixture of the Potter mythology many of us know and love and something new that might make it feel strange at first.

You’re also not going back to the Hogwarts you know and love, but to a post-Voldemort wizarding world where the children are now the adults who have children themselves.

The story is basically about how hard it is being the child of The Boy Who Lived and how hard it can be to find your own identity when others have already made up their mind about you.

I was so excited to learn about the grown Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny. I couldn’t wait to read how they’d all progressed in their lives and careers. I suppose I thought it would have been like a high school reunion for the fictional characters I grew up with.

It wasn’t quite like that.

It felt like there were lots of bits missing from the play that I would have expected to be included and that Rowling would have definitely filled in had the script been turned into a novel.

(Mild spoilers from here on out)

Where is Hugo? Ron and Hermione’s son is nowhere to be seen in the play. There’s a line or two where it’s mentioned that Ron is more involved in looking after the kids than Hermione, but all other acknowledgement of the son that was mentioned at the end of Deathly Hallows is non-existent.

What about Teddy Lupin? He was supposed to be snogging Bill and Fleur’s daughter Victoire at Platform 9 ¾, but there’s no mention of either of them.

And if you’re wondering about any of the other Weasleys or if Hermione’s parents ever got their memories back, then you’ll have to keep wondering or wait until Rowling reveals it on Pottermore.

Also, because it’s a play, it moves a lot faster than any of the novels. I was still getting used to the fact that Albus was at Hogwarts when all of a sudden he was in his second year and then his third. There’s not a lot of build up or cushioning to prepare you for the next big reveal or plot twist.

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