Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
This is a difficult book to review I admit – mainly because of mixed feelings, which to be clear from the outset does not mean that I disliked the book at all, just that I had certain issues.
I don’t want to give away too much about the plot in this review. Time has moved on. Harry and Ginny have three children and their middle child Albus is about to attend Hogwarts. It isn’t easy living in the shadow of such a famous wizard – big boots to fill and Albus and Harry find themselves with an ever increasing wedge between them.
So, the good, the bad and the other!
I just loved getting to read about some of the characters again. It was like a trip down memory lane and it just gave me that happy glow that you sometimes achieve by reading about old beloved characters. Okay, this isn’t written by Rowling and so it isn’t the same – but it was just still nice to revisit them. Plus I loved some of the different threads and ideas that this plot allowed us to explore – but I won’t elaborate on that point.
Now on the counter to the above – I felt like the characters hadn’t grown. Which, in one way I liked, because I actually wanted to revisit the characters that I know and love. But, on the other hand – this is twenty odd years later so it felt to a certain extent that they should have changed in some ways. I think maybe in some respects that could be my own brain not allowing them to grow up if you follow me. It felt really odd seeing Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione as parents. I don’t think i could fully get my head around it. I felt like Ginny came across a bit wishy washy and Ron also felt to have lost some of his ‘character’. In terms of the new characters though Scorpius was really good – I confess that I enjoyed his part more than that of Albus.
Two things that are totally personal to me and therefore might not affect others – one, I’m not overly fond of reading plays and, two, I’m a bit of a stickler about time travel.
So, and I realise that this will just sound crazy, but when I preordered this (and, yes, I did rush to buy a copy) even though it clearly says ‘a new play’ on the cover I don’t think I fully realised that it was actually going to be in a play format. Why, what was I expecting! A play that isn’t a play! Really! Anyway, obviously I’m a raging maniac but that’s irrelevant. That misconception was my own fault. I think I was being told it was a play but I was in denial somehow! Would I have still picked up a copy if I’d really understood that it was a play – I think I probably would have because I’m a completist in some ways and so it felt necessary to read this. But, for the record, I’m not a person who really reads plays because for me a play is a different experience. I just feel that it’s something to be enjoyed on a stage, acted out with backdrops.
On to the time travel. I love and hate time travel in books. There’s just an element of chicken and egg and what came first.
Basically, at the end of the day, I just decided to say to myself ‘sod it’ and read the book and decide to just go with the flow and quit all my over thinking and in that respect I actually enjoyed this. It was a quick and easy read. I loved getting to revisit Hogwarts and I enjoyed the rewind to certain elements from the previous books plus all the characters.
In summary, I had a good time with this once I got into the flow of the play format and once I left my over zealous scrutiny at the door.
I feel that this is a book that people will either want to pick up or not whether or not I gush about it or not. As it happens, I actually had a good time reading it. It’s not perfect and I had to change my mindset but once I’d done so I thought it was well worth the read. In fairness, and to be honest, I would have preferred Rowling to write any follow up to the Harry Potter series but that didn’t happen and at least this was I got to go back and spend a little more time in a world that I enjoy.