Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Review

Harry Potter

So look what I bought and read yesterday!

Warning: Spoilers, ahoy – so scroll no further if you haven’t read it yet and don’t wish to be spoiled (although they will be on the mild side).

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Okay, so last warning, seriously, there be spoilers ahead…
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Alright. So.

I kind of really liked it, and I wasn’t really expecting to.

Let me explain.

I was kind of disappointed when they announced it was simply going to be a release of the play script instead of a novelization but frankly I wasn’t super duper hyped about the announcement either way. Because while I love the Harry Potter series, I do need to be honest about the fact that I enjoyed each of the last few books a little less than the last. One through four remain sort of the pinnacle of the Harry Potter world for me, with five through seven each being slightly more “meh” than the last.

And I was expecting the same sort of “meh” from this, so I wasn’t super excited. I didn’t even pre-order it. In fact, I was basically operating under an “I’ll get to it when it comes out in paperback” sort of attitude until my friend Kathleen read it and said she was super upset and disappointed with it.

And of course, I’m a rubbernecker at heart, so if it was that much of a disaster – I HAD to read it.

So to the bookstore I went.

Four hours later I was done with it, and was pleasantly surprised. It seems that I really liked it, for all the same reasons that it seems a lot of die-hard Potter fans didn’t.

To be honest, the plot itself was sort of meh in the big picture. I’m kind of over the whole time-travel-messes-things-up-in-the-past-gotta-fix-it trope, to be honest. But that’s not what really shined for me in this script. What was the true gem of this was the dialogue and the character writing. I love the way the adults have grown slightly complacent, and how their flaws are allowed to shine. I love the way the cruelty of kids is laid bare. I love the slightly melodramatic conflict between Harry and his son, and how Albus’ teenage angst is handled in a FAR less annoying way than Harry’s was in Order of the Phoenix. I love how they handled the first few scenes, establishing the conflict and resentment that grows between Harry and Albus, and how both Albus and Scorpius are having a rough time at school over the first few years using short snapshots to move time along. I even love that Ron has become king of the Dad jokes (I ALWAYS knew that would happen).

I think a lot of what I’ve been seeing in terms of disappointment is that people aren’t taking it for what it is… a script. It seems to me a lot of people really built this up in their heads because of the way its been marketed as the “8th Harry Potter book.” But it’s not a book. It’s meant for a stage performance, and I think maintaining sight of that as I read through it helped me enjoy it. Because I can see how upset you could end up if you were expecting a story of the magnitude of the novels. I really can. And in that sense, I think me not really having high hopes for it to begin with really helped me avoid disappointment and just have fun reading.

Because that’s really what it is. A fun little read.

Final Verdict: 4/5 stars.

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2 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Review

  1. I’ve been staying away from this book mostly for the same reasons you were. Honestly I hate when people add more on to something that was wrapped up. It always seems like they are just trying to squeeze more out of it and it always (or at least most of the time) goes wrong.
    But now I kind of want to read it. I want to see if I like it (like you) or don’t like t (like your friend). That being said, the plot kind of sounds like Back to the Future.

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