One of the much anticipated books of 2016 was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It has been a good decade since a Harry Potter book was released. With news that a new London stage play was coming and the release of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it has been a pretty good year for Potterheads.
With the exception of the fact that it is near impossible to get tickets to the stage play. Unless you are in the UK.
For those of us not fortunate enough to get tickets, the news that a release of the play’s script has ignited the frenzy of fans to get a copy. Having gotten my copy on release day and completed it in two days, I can honestly say I thought it was well worth it.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child starts with that ending scene we are all familiar with: Harry, now an adult, seeing his son Albus off to Hogwarts for the first time. We continue from there where Albus and his cousin, Rose Granger-Weasley, meet Scorpius Malfoy, the only child of Draco Malfoy. Though Rose is wary, Albus makes fast friends with Scorpius. At the sorting ceremony, Albus is sorted into Slytherin and from there things progress rapidly until his fourth year. His relationship with Harry is strained through the years.
Just like Harry, Albus’ fourth year at Hogwarts is where everything changes. An illegal Time Turner is ceased by the Ministry of Magic. Albus, unhappy about being the son of Harry Potter, decides to use the Time Turner to go back in time and try to save Cedric Diggory from his death at the end of the Triwizard Tournament. Albus’ first attempt leads to changes in the Granger-Weasley family; his second attempt results in more drastic changes that Scorpius struggles to correct.
All is put right, eventually, but then the real threat arises that may change everything.
While I have read a few reviews that were unhappy with Cursed Child‘s format as a script, I quite liked the format myself. It made for a quick read yet was still enjoyable. Also, many have said that this new story wasn’t in Rowling’s style and didn’t read like a Harry Potter story. I disagree; it’s a Harry Potter AND Albus Potter story (and Rowling did have a hand in the script). Harry isn’t a Hogwarts student anymore, he’s a Ministry head and a father – a father who has never had a true father figure in his life. Harry is touted as the hero who defeated Voldemort, but he hides a lot of internal struggles like the fact he survives when so many he cared for has died. This isn’t the adventurous student who was out to prove himself; this is a man who loves and is scared for his son, who worries that he isn’t doing right by all those he loves and all those who believed in and died for him.
I really enjoyed this new story. Reading a script was quite enjoyable. After reading this, I am really considering pre-ordering a copy of the script for Fantastic Beasts so I can read it before viewing the movie.
My rating: 4.5/5