Harry Potter & The Cursed Child || Book Review


Author(s): J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. This trio of writers & directors have many merits between them. Rowling is the creator of the Harry Potter series, Tiffany is a director and playwright and Thorne is also a formidable playwright.

Rating: *** (3.5 stars)

Review:

It was almost what I wanted.

The feeling of getting the book at midnight, via kindle, staying up until 2:48am in order to finish it. Seeing the characters again and experiencing the what-ifs and what not momentsso good.

My favourite characters: Rom & Hermione. There was something so deliciously full about them. They made me laugh, got me tearing up and I could see the actors of the show doing it really well. Althoughpoor Ron. He really got downgraded in the play compared to his role in the originals. His worst fears were realised – they didn’t need him anymore.

That being said he and Hermione did have the best relationship in the whole script. Odd considering J.K. Rowling herself said that she expected Ron and Hermione to get divorced when they were older

The story, which I’ll delve into in a minute, felt a little ‘fan-fictiony for me, which was strange as it under the direction of Rowling as much as Thorne & Tiffany, but what I came to accept was that the original series of Harry Potter was a planned series. Rowling wrote the last chapter of the Deathly Hallows before she finished writing Book1. So this play was always going to feel disjointed and as such like fan-fiction.

Nonetheless the new characters are great! Albus and Scorpio! It was interesting to see how Rowling, as the creator, had shaped her old character’s lives and it worked well – you’ve got to like the biting humour between Draco and Harry which lives on even if they’re much more amicable now:

Draco: Keep up old man!

Harry: We’re the same age!
 
The splitting of the play into two feels a lot like a money-grabber, I’m not going to lie. I haven’t seen the play, I want too, but the constant back and forth of time-travel – which is the main element of the story – felt very long winded. Splitting the pieces in two means that characters go back and forth a lot and it takes a lot of concentration in order to remember exactly what is happening.

The plot line, as I’ve already mentioned, is great since it focuses more on Albus and Scorpio Malfoy than the originals – and the Polyjuice potion scene is fabulous! – but the running theme of  certain 'rumours’ felt odd and is my main criticism towards the book (in a personal level).

It is a spoiler and I can’t not reveal the spoiler so

 

SPOILER ALERT – DO NOT READ AHEAD IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW – SPOILER ALERT
 
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I never thought Voldemort could have sex, let alone sleep with Bellatrix Lestrange before the Battle of Hogwarts. I don’t imagine that was what was on his mind and neither can I imagine Bellatrix and him getting hot and heavy in the sack.

It doesn’t fit the persona I have of Voldemort being entirely evil and as far away from being human as possible, and sex is a very human/animalistic interaction. I don’t know how much snakes get it on but I can’t imagine Voldemort having sex with Bellatrix and creating a child.

When he was younger and charming/good-looking sure! I imagine he was having plenty of sex. But before the Battle of Hogwartswith Bellatrix Lestrangeat Malfoy ManorHOW COULD NO ONE HAVE KNOWN! And when the hell did Bellatrix have a baby??? When did she have time between setting Hagrid’s house on fire in the Half-Blood Prince and dying 11 months later?

And how would Draco not have known since he lived with her for the majority of that time, or her sister or her brother-in-law? This is not the sort of secret that Malfoys would have kept after the fall of Voldemort! Why would they. So how!

I don’t know.
 
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OUT OF SPOILERS – READ ON

Sothat was my main criticism, on a personal level. Everything else is harder to critique since it’s not a book but rather a play. To really critique it I would have to see the play and I can’t afford thatnor do I have the patience to hang in a queue of 194,768 places as I was the other day!

Luckily, however, I think with the sales of the script, the rave reviews of the performances and the many other reasons I think Harry Potter & The Cursed Child may be sticking around for a while. And I hope so because I want to see the play in order to make a much more even review of it.



That being said there was plenty of flaws in this story and thus, whilst it wasn’t awful, it wasn’t great. It hasn’t ruined the originals, for which I am glad of, but I don’t think I’ll be reading ‘Book 8’ straight after I finished re-reading the series again next year!

Let me know what you think of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Did you like it? Hate it? Want to see it? Etc!

Happy Reading!