Well it has finally arrived! The next (and supposedly last, though we’ve heard that before) installment in the Harry Potter-verse cannon. And I went to Barnes and Noble’s midnight release party (of course!) to get it. And I’ve stayed up all night reading it! So here is my review. I’ve tried to keep it mostly spoiler-free but do briefly discuss some plot points and themes. Also don’t judge this review, I’m sleep deprived and it will not be my best work lol!
Ok, do we start with the Good, or the Not So Good?…
We are returning to the Potter-verse after 9 years! Woo Hoo! I religiously went to each midnight release party when books 5, 6, and 7 came out so I was happy to return to the world of Harry Potter!
We get to revisit most of our beloved characters, which is great fun. We get to see what they made of themselves as adults, and how their relationships have matured. We also get to revisit some characters you would not expect to meet up with, and see different sides of them.
We get to see a little bit of how the world has coped with the defeat of Voldemort, and how this has affected (effected? Too tired to puzzle that out) the Wizarding world.
The Not so Good
This story just doesn’t capture the magic that the original books did. I’m not surprised or let down though, because how could anything hope to compare to the story that took the world by storm?
This is not written by J.K. Rowling and you can tell. The characters and situations do not read in the way we expect from a Rowling book. Most disappointingly, many of our favorite characters appear to be completely different people. Of course they are 20 years older.
The fact that this is a script book means that we are given almost only dialogue. We do not get to experience the nuance of emotion the characters are feeling, we have to infer it from their dialogue. We also get almost no descriptions of scenery, which means the world is very lacking in detail. You will have to use a lot more imagination to paint your own picture of what the scenes and characters look like. There were times when I was confused as to what was happening, because there were no cues in the book, only dialogue. I knew what characters were saying, but not what they were doing.
Female characters are utterly unimportant in this story, in every way. Its all about various sons relationships with their fathers, and only their fathers. The women might as well not have existed.
Strange and confusing dream sequences.
The verdict? (The Review)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a fun and funny romp through several years and situations in the Potter-verse. Follow Harry and Albus, and Draco and Scorpius, as they try to navigate the post-Voldemort world while trying to establish relationships with each other. Fathers struggle to let go their pasts and accept their sons as they are, while sons of the famous and infamous alike struggle to find their footing and make their own identities in this world. While the dialogue-heavy script book lacks much of the detail, emotion, and magic that J.K. Rowling effortlessly captured in the original series, Cursed Child will still be a must-read for Potter fans everywhere, who have waited more anxiously for a return to this world than for their Hogwarts Letter all those years ago. For fans, this story will satisfy those who have missed these characters these past 9 years, and who wish to check in with them and see what they are up to. Those looking for a true “8th book” will be disappointed in this script book, but those looking for a simple continuation of the world will find enjoyment in what is offered herein.
Final thought: I enjoyed the ability to return to this world that so truly touched and shaped my life enough to overlook the weaker aspects of the script book!