Please note, I do consider this to be a banned review because of how often the original series was contested due to Witchcraft. Not putting eleven year olds in danger from giant chess sets. Witchcraft.
But I digress…
Banned Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
The Meta Details:
Length: 343 pages
Content Level: Young Adult
Controversial Content: witchcraft, time travel
Trigger Warnings: Implied adultery (very brief), poor parent-child relationships, Snape (I sobbed)
Featuring: Harry Potter and Company
Recommended for: Fans of Harry Potter who are willing to give it an honest chance. You still might not like it, but if you go in prejudice against it there’s no real point.
Rating: Are you reading it yet? It’s okay. I can wait here until you do…
I’m serious, I will wait…
Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: I’m not even going to lie to you right now, I loved every moment of Cursed Child. I love when Harry and Albus were fighting. I loved when Harry was being a train wreck of a father. I loved when Harry and Ginny were fighting. I loved the references to Snape (even though I cried for hours. Hysterically. And woke my husband up out of a dead sleep for a hug and he thought someone had died.) I loved Draco. I loved Draco being an asshole to Ron, Hermione, and Harry. I even loved forgiving Dumbledore.
I adored every second of this book.
Could not read it fast enough. So please understand how hard I’m working to overcome my fangirling and give you an honest review.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child starts 19 years after the end of Deathly Hallows. It actually begins with the same time period covered in the epilogue. An epilogue I had previously enjoyed and thought was robust enough for me, despite others opinions to the contrary. (Turns out I was wrong, but I’ll get to that later.) We meet the Potters and the Granger-Weasley’s as they’re sending Albus and Rose off to school. We can already sense the tension between Albus and the rest of his family. He doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the Potters. He doesn’t even quite fit in with Rose, who seems aware of their potential celebrity and seems determined to make the right sort of friends on the train just as her mother did. Albus runs into Scorpius and that’s it. Lifelong friendship cemented on the train just like his father, even though it pushes him further and further away from his family.
Then we skip around a bit from locations and years as we fast forward to when the meat of the story really begins. My only complaint is that there’s a lot of skipping and hopping at the beginning which I worry can be confusing or distracting to people who aren’t used to reading plays or don’t think of this as a pensive. Which I did. Because I’m a hardcore Harry Potter fanatic.
Now, once we get into the story proper, Harry and Albus begin making one mistake and misstep after another. You know, just like Harry always has. I found it slightly amusing, given their similarities that Harry and Albus found it so hard to relate to each other since they seem so similar to me. Albus is scorned by his classmates because of his name, doesn’t quite fit in, and with a nasty temper and a chip on his shoulder. It reminds me of the theory that a male parent will favor a female child (and vice versa) because you expect more from someone of your own gender. Here it seems as if Harry expects more from Albus because they are so similar, stating that his other children are easier.
…well, honey bunches, you weren’t exactly a picnic growing up your own self.
Really, this conflict is what the story circles around. Albus trying to prove himself and fix his father’s wrongs. Harry trying to do what’s best for his family and … fix not only his mistakes but also his sons. It’s circular and they work against each other, and good lord was that entertaining.
I’m going to cut this review short here, since if I go any further I’ll tell you all about Act Three. (Oh god, Act Three). Just know that everyone was perfect in this story. Scorpius is my new favorite character. Myrtle was still on point. As previously mentioned, I actually forgave Dumbledore. I wished McGongall was my grandmother. Ron and Hermione… well I apologize for ever shipping them with anyone else. (I still will, but now I’ll feel guilty about it.) Harry and Ginny were as solid as they seemed in the epilogue…
And really, that’s what this play was. The epilogue (and ending) that the series had always deserved.
My only wish was that there was more (or any) stage time for several characters. (Hagrid, Neville, Astoria, Kingsley, the rest of the Weasleys…) but since this was a play produced on the stage, I understand. I don’t like it, but I understand.
As I stated previously, if you’re a fan of Harry Potter and are willing to give the story a fair shake, pick it up. If you already have a hard set head cannon, I’m not sure if you’ll enjoy it. Haven’t read Harry Potter at all (or seen the movies)? You’ll probably have no idea what is going on… Go start with book one and I apologize for all the getting attached to characters who are going to die by the end of the series I just subjected you to.