Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Book Review

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It’s amazing to think that it was 9 (NINE) years ago that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published. That utterly flabbergasts me, makes me think time is a magical conspiracy designed to fool people into thinking they’re really not growing old at all, that years aren’t passing by, that we have all the time in the world. But before we know it, we’re no longer teenagers in line at the book store waiting to hold the final book of a beloved series, and though we still obsess and keep this magical world in our hearts, we’ve moved onto other things (though this might not be entirely true, for as I well know, besides a few life-changing experiences now under my belt, I may as well still be that excited teenager waiting in queue, wearing a Harry Potter t-shirt and gripping my $20 note).

Until, at least, our beloved author of said magical series announces an 8th Harry Potter book. And well, then we’re all just back to being children again, giddy about finding out more about our favourite characters and our favourite world, counting down the days until we can pour over those special pages and either be consumed by happiness or disappointment, depending on whether we loved or hated it.

This time I didn’t line up to buy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Instead, it arrived at my new flat in England rather timely the day after it was published as an early birthday present from my boyfriend. I poured over the covers last night, in awe at having it in my hands and I waited until today to read it, wanting to savour for the moment just a little.

The book, or I should more accurately call it a screenplay, took me no more than 5 hours to read. And in my honest opinion, it was a 5 hours very well spent. Spending most of the day reading Harry Potter in bed was something I spent a lot of time doing from the age of 9 – 17, and having that again with The Cursed Child was one of the few things I can describe as true happiness. Getting to spend time with Harry, Ron and Hermione again and getting to know new characters like Albus and Scorpius was wonderful and enjoyable and I loved every minute of it.

I am in danger, as always, of getting a little too spoilery (this is sort of a bad habit of mine), so I will only say a few more things about The Cursed Child.

Yes, I really liked it, but that does not mean it is in any way a perfect Harry Potter book, and because of these various things I know that a lot of people won’t like. But I’ll let people come up with their own opinions on these things.

It’s very different to any other Harry Potter (I mean, it’s a script so that’s to be expected), but I really enjoyed this kind of format and while I think the richness of the story would be better portrayed in the play itself, I thought it was still a great way for us fans who likely won’t be able to see the play to read the story. The only problem with this is that I think it has the danger of being read as something with less depth and meaning. Some people might read it and think it’s a load of hogwash, because, as a script, there are details missing and there’s less text, and this makes it easy for readers to not pause to think about scenes and rush through it instead. It’s a completely different reading experience to a novel, and I personally enjoyed it, but can see why some wouldn’t.

Some of the characters do often seem a little out of character, in a way that’s not on purpose (you’ll get what I mean by that if you’ve read it). Sometimes I found myself thinking, ‘would (insert character name) really say/do that?’ This happened with Harry and Hermione, actually. There were moments I was questioning whether I liked the characters any more at all. But these moments were only sparse, and generally I liked the character development and the way they had all changed (or not) in 19 years. And it all seemed to conclude in a way that was more believable. Though it is a shame that some characters didn’t appear in the book at all (not saying who).

Ron, as always, was perfect. He made me laugh and he was exactly as Ron should be. I can’t really name other characters that were also perfect as that would be too spoilery, but there were some very epic moments between the characters, whether they’re beloved by all the fandom or characters we love to hate, and it was all pretty brilliant to see.

I have to say my favourite thing about The Cursed Child (besides any part with Ron), and this I think all fans will agree with, was Scorpius, and in relation to that, Scorpius and Albus’s friendship, their interactions with Rose Granger-Weasley and I guess Albus himself (although I can’t say I loved Albus, I did like him a lot, and thought he was a really well-put together character. His struggles with his dad, our Harry Potter, were super emotional, realistic and well-written). Scorpius and Albus have one of the best “bromances” I’ve ever seen, very close to what Ron and Harry have. They are so great together and every one of their scenes was incredibly entertaining, hilarious and, dare I say it, heartwarming.

But, I have to give a special shout out to Scorpius. I didn’t expect to like him as much as I did, but I really really do. He’s my new favourite HP character. Okay no, no one beats out over Ron, but Scorpius Malfoy sure does come close. He’s very witty and clever, though he often loses confidence in his abilities, and becomes hilariously dubious under pressure. I thought he was fantastic and I’m so glad we got to see so much of him in this book.

It’s ridiculous. Yes, this book is incredibly ridiculous. The plot is whacky, I have to say. But I enjoyed it. It was entertaining, funny, emotional and clever. I felt like it even made a joke of itself, like it made a joke of what loads of Harry Potter fans have said about the Harry Potter plot holes for years. Again, you won’t know what I mean unless you’ve read it :).

No matter how crazy the plot was, I really really enjoyed reading The Cursed Child . One things for sure, if I had a spare £100 lying around, I’d be going to London tomorrow and doing all I could to get tickets for the play. The Cursed Child was magical and a lovely read and I’m very happy that I decided to still read it despite disenchanted reviews I’ve read.

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