Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling & Jack Thorne
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Well, this was something… different. I’m not going to lie, when I first heard that they were releasing the script for the Cursed Child, I did not plan on reading it. I knew that, regardless of how incredible the story might be and how great it would be to return back to my favourite fantasy world ever, reading it as a play just wouldn’t be the same. And, saying that, I wasn’t overly excited by the plot anyway. I only think this worked because we know the world of Harry Potter so well; had I read this alone without background knowledge, I doubt I would have given it more than two stars at best. At the end of the day though, there were some quite endearing and nostalgic parts that, ultimately, leveled out the negatives enough to warrant a mediocre three stars.
The plot revolves around the time turner. Albus Potter overhears Amos Diggory beg for Harry to bring back Cedric from when he was killed by Voldemort in GOF. Harry, knowing well and truly that it’s not quite so simple to just go back in time and change such a significant event, rejects him. However, young rebellious Albus isn’t quite as sharp so, along with his friend, Scorpious Malfoy and Amos’ niece, Delphi, they decide to ‘put things right’. First off, while I know Albus and Scorpious are young, I can’t quite believe that they seriously thought they could get away with this without any repercussions. This started a stream of ridiculously stupid actions on their part. Obviously, we’re talking fantasy here so not everything needs an explanation but there were tons of potholes in decisions made by all the characters that became increasingly frustrating. There were too many coincidences and convenient incidences that took away the enjoyment for me, such as the blanket moment near the end for those who’ve read it. Just, ugh.
My view on certain characters really flipped from the seventh book too. For example, I got really irritated with Harry as a father and Albus as a son. Harry was seriously disrepectful and rude for someone bringing up a child and, although I can appreciate that Albus would’ve grown annoyed by the constant talk about his famous father, he still came across as very arrogant and immature. This is a little off-topic and only really for anyone of you that have read it already but please tell me I’m not the only one who was seriously angered by Harry being really blunt and harsh with Mcgonagall? Like, come on Harry, out of line. On the other end of things, I was pleasantly surprised by some characters as well. I adored Scorpious; he was like a little Hermione and I even enjoyed the scenes with Draco too. Hermione and Ron were such an adorable couple and I really loved how their plot-line came in and out (spoiler alert: Hermione is Minister for Magic – love it!). There are some moments in the story where the world is kind-of taken in an ‘alternative universe’ where Ron and Hermione don’t end up married but their scenes together in these parts are really quite funny and endearing.
Luckily, as the book is written in play form, it’s very quick to read so I flew right through it. However, this led to many aspects of the book being brushed over too fast without any explanation or understanding. One of those being the time turner laws. I don’t understand them! Depending on the time-turner, you can stay for only 5 minutes or up to an hour before going back to real time. But you can also get stuck in the time period you returned to? There are several questions I have associated with time turners that, if written conventionally as a story, I know would’ve been explained.
There is a lot I have to say about this but they are mainly very spoilery so I’ll cut the review off here. My friend and I had a thorough discussion about this once I’d read it so I encourage you to do the same! There were many weird (and sometimes wonderful) aspects to this but I’ve decided to look at this separately to the Harry Potter series. To me, it’s not a continuation and by no means comparable to HP. I’m intrigued to see how the play is done though, with certain magical elements I wonder how it’s translated on the stage. Tickets are sold out solid unfortunately so don’t think I’ll be going any time soon! Anyways, quite a negative review really but I don’t quite have the heart to give it any lower than three stars and there were definitely some positives so quite an accurate rating really! I’d say give it a go if it sounds like your kind of thing but I wouldn’t bend over backwards to get your hands on it, and that’s coming from a hardcore HP fan.
Happy Reading Bookworms!