Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

In 1997, the world was given a little taste of the Wizarding World. Ever since then, Potterheads- fans of the book series – cannot get enough of Harry Potter and what the Wizarding World brings. Author, J.K. Rowling, brought her readers into a whole new world by revolving her stories around three relatable misfits (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) whose determination was to stop “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. Once the 7th book was released, the readers had to say an unwanted goodbye to these characters that the readers had grown to love–or so they thought!

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19 years after the first book was published, Rowling -with the help of John Tiffany and Jack Thorne- had finally released the 8th story in a play that is currently  in London, England. As for the rest of the people who cannot attend the play, a “Special Rehearsal Edition Script” of parts 1 and 2 were released in a hardback.

Please always note: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is written in script form and not as a novel. Therefore, not everything in the script is described in the way that the other 7 books were. Reader’s must be very imaginable.

When flipping to the first page of “Cursed Child”, readers- or in this case some viewers- will find themselves right where the 7th book left off; Platform 9 3/4 [In other words:”I open at a close”]. Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione are saying goodbye to their children who are now starting their first years at Hogwarts. Albus Severus Potter-Harry’s and Ginny’s second born- is nervous and unsure about the sorting hat ceremony and his first year of Hogwarts. Albus is worried that he might be sorted into Slytherin and to him, being a Slytherin is something that just can’t happen. When Albus boards Hogwarts Express, he finds himself in Scorpius Malfoy’s compartment. Even though Albus knows his parents history with the Malfoy’s, this does not face him; instead Albus makes a friend.

Once Albus arrives to Hogwarts, the sorting hat ceremony begins; that’s when his fears become reality as he becomes the first Slytherin in the Potter family. All the students, except for the Slytherin house of course, are shocked by this. He becomes teased by other students because he is a Potter who is in the Slytherin house and has a hard time with casting spells. Even though he doesn’t live up to his family’s name expectations, Scorpius –Albus’ best friend- is there with a listening ear. The two are outcast and by far the least popular students at Hogwarts but they have a strong bond.

Albus’ years at Hogwarts comes across rather dull until days before his fourth year starts. A familiar character comes to the Potter’s house unexpectedly demanding to seek justice for something that he felt was taken away by Harry. During this familiar character’s visit, Albus overhears the terrible mistake that his father made in the past and is interrupted by a new character, named Delphi, who befriends Albus. After the visit from an old familiar face, Harry makes his way into Albus’ room to have a heart to heart before he leaves to Hogwarts.

It’s clear to the audience that Albus’ and Harry’s relationship is a bit shaky and complicated. Albus is tired of living in his father’s shadow and Harry can’t seem to understand Albus[yes, there is a bit of dad and son issues in the script].Things get a little intense and end badly when Harry tries to have a heart to heart with Albus, thus causing Harry to say hurtful things and storm out of the scene.

The next day Albus is on board the Hogwarts Express, he gets an idea to help fix the mistake his father made years ago with the help of his friend, Scorpius. The duo go on an adventure that could ultimately change history and end the safety of the Wizarding World. Dark secrets, prophecies, and more information about the day Harry first defeated Voldemort are revealed. Albus and Scorpius will be tested, and their friendship will become stronger with every turn of the page. Definitely prepare to fall in love with these new characters just like the original. Be prepared for tons of plot twists [aka BIG reveals] and cliffhangers- especially when finishing Act 1- when reading (or watching) the play.

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Although, Potterheads have grown up with these characters, the characters are in some ways different- only because now they have jobs and responsibilities, such as, their children. When coming cross the conversations that the characters in the play have about their children, realization strikes that they are not children themselves anymore (Harry is now working at the Ministry of Magic, Ginny edits the sports page on the Daily Prophet, Ron manages Weasely’s Wheasles, and Hermione[as always, is kicking butt] is the Minister)and Harry’s journeys no longer involve beating Voldemort but now are more involving him being a father to 3.

Reading this scrip was an amazing journey itself. The story filled me with emotions. At one page I’d be laughing and the next I’d be crying. By the end of the book, I still didn’t want it to end. Now, I want to know more(as usual). I know Albus and Scorpius will still be friends but I want to know what becomes of them after the words written on the last page read, “The End”. For me, it was a little unfair for Rowling to introduce these new loveable characters and then take then away once they grew on me. As for the original cast, it was weird to see Harry’s character as a dad. He was somewhat an absent dad. Physically he was there and did try, but the way I imagine him would have been with a more an Author Weasley like father; always involved and talkative. He didn’t have trouble with his other two children but the other children were not like Albus at all. Albus seemed to be a Debbie downer and a “I’m no good, I’m in Slytherin, and everything is about me” type of attitude. The Relationship between the two is definitely complex only because they seem to not know how to get through to one another.

As for the character that I’d least expect to be my favorite but then soon was, was Scorpius. In the beginning he seemed so shy, smart, with a twist of funny but throughout the script he started to come out of his shell and become independent. He wasn’t this boy who went through life just to go through it, at the end he finally held himself a little higher.

Eventhough, Rowling claims that she’s done with the Harry Potter era, the fans are definitely not done. There are still tons of questions to be asked, and knowing Rowling she will soon write answers using Pottermore, a tweet, OR hopefully another story(we can dream, right?). As for the “Cursed Child,” some reviewers have different opinions but after reading the scrip the title is really “up for interpretation”.

Recommend:

Definitely! Even to those who have just seen the movies. 

Rate:

9 3/4 

Just kidding!

 8

– Only because some things were a little different than the other books and a little confusing, but then again. ITS A SCRIPT, NOT       a detailed novel.

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