Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne takes Potter fans back into the wizarding world to give us a glimpse into what has been happening for the last 19 years since Harry and his friends fought the battle at Hogwarts, defeated the Dark Lord, and restored peace to witches and wizards in said magical world.
The story, written in a playwright-script style, centralizes around the relationship between Harry and his son, Albus. While the rest of the witches and wizards in Rowling’s world praise Harry for his accomplishments, Albus does not share in their sentiments.
Oh, the angsty teenage years.
Albus goes to Hogwarts, just like Harry and the rest of his siblings, but finds that his time there is very different than it was for those that went before him. Albus befriends a Slytherin *gasp* and, well… the rest you’ll have to read and discover on your own.
Rowling, Tiffany, and Thorne’s play is exactly that… a play.
As a reader, it is important to note that it is not the eighth sequel to the Harry Potter series. It is a separate story entirely and as such, it should be held to that expectation.
Unlike the Harry Potter series, where Rowling takes an entire book to devote to each year that Harry and his friends are in school, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child jumps through time rather swiftly. We quickly see Albus go from his first year to his fourth. This did make the book seem a little rushed at times, although the writers did attempt to fill in the gaps with the general gist of what we needed to know.
As readers, we get to see the main characters that we know and love years later, but there isn’t even a brief mention as to where many of the side characters went, or how the main characters wound up where they are today. While I understand the focal point of the story was Albus and not all of the characters from the original book series, there should have been a little more help from the authors to string together what we’ve missed in the last 19 years.
Most of the characters did hold true to what we know and love about them. However, there were a few moments where I wasn’t sure if a character really would have done or said something that they did. In these moments, it was clear this was penned by three different authors, but Rowling would never have let this story go public if she wasn’t behind it 100%. After all, this is her creation. Her world.
Overall, I really enjoyed this read. The nostalgia alone is enough to make any Potter fan’s heart melt, but to get a glimpse of the magical world after ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’ is no longer a part of it truly is the most magical of all. Due to some of these time gaps, the story feeling a bit rushed, and a lack of some detail – I’m led to rate it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
If you take it for what it is and aren’t expecting the eighth Potter book – hopefully you’ll enjoy it too.
Read away and turn some pages, my friends.