Lifestyle · Review

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child – Book Review!

Since hearing about the release of a new Harry Potter book, I have been eagerly awaiting its arrival on July 31st 2016.

With Rowling concluding the Harry Potter series with Harry and his wife Ginny, saying their goodbyes to their second child, Albus Severus, on platform 9 ¾. It seemed a very definitive ending, or perhaps the perfect moment to revive the store and bring the newest instalment of Harry Potter’s story.

The Harry Potter and the Cursed child, is a script of the two-part play that has recently opened up in Londons West End. Although Rowling has been involved in writing the story, Jack Thorne wrote the script. I found that this is an obvious mistake from the outset, as the story was not compelling. I was unable to restore the emotional connection that I felt with the characters I have loved so dearly. Additionally, the characters that I fell in love with all those years ago were not the same. Their attitudes and remarks were often different to how they were perceived in the initial series, making it very difficult for me to enjoy the story.

In regards to the characters, the majority of major characters from the series return in one shape of form, although they are less compelling and featured compared to the two young ‘heroes’ of the play, Albus Severus Potter and Scorpious Malfoy, the sons of Harry and Draco. As both Albus and Scorpius struggle with living under the shadow of their fathers, the cursed child, seem to wrestle with their legacy. Albus is an awkward hero; he is Harry’s middle child whilst Scorpious appears to be a sweet boy, who is an outcast due to rumours that he is the son of You Know Who. During the story, I tried to engage and sympathise for both characters, however I felt that they lacked depth and charisma. This made me find it difficult to empathise with them throughout the story, and care for them when things got difficult.

Additionally, the villain in the story is very half hearted. Although it is nearly impossible to come up with a villain who is as cruel, malevolent and as fascinating as Lord Voldemort, the cursed child appears to try to create a character equally as evil. However, it does not work. I found it difficult to convince myself that this villain would ever triumph, or actually fear for the Wizard World.

I also felt that the story did not do the Harry Potter Series justice. I believe that ‘time travelling stories’ need to be done well. The stories were all too similar and all to repeated from the initial series, and that as a Harry Potter fan has disappointed me. Albus and Scorpius could have many adventures in Hogwarts without needing to revisit the past, or try and bring the old Harry Potter series to the forefront. Overall, the story did not work, and despite having some twists and turns at many points I felt I was reading a well-crafted fan fiction. The characters names were the same, the places were the same, but it was apparent that this was an uncreative imitation nonetheless.

It is entirely possible that seeing the stage show will help bring this story to life, but currently for me Rowling risks undermining the powerful legacy of Harry Potter.


Have you read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child yet? If so what did you think?

Leave a comment below, or send a message on Twitter. @ejh92x


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One thought on “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child – Book Review!

  1. Hi Emily! Nice to read your book review! Too bad that you were not very enthusiastic about the script. I was, actually!

    -for everyone reading this, this comment will include a lot of spoilers-

    I definitely get what you’re saying about the plot – all the time travelling relied a lot on the past stories, which should not have been necessary to create a good new story. But, personally, I liked it! I loved to revisit scenes from the past (especially since the fourth book has always been my favorite and it was so prominent here). I also really loved to see some parts of how the world could have been, and think about this. For example, I liked how Ron & Hermione would not be a couple in many alternative realities (as I think they’re very different, and would really need the right circumstances to fall for each other)
    So, personally, I liked the plot – but I do understand that you feel differently about it!

    About the characters. I don’t really understand why people are seeing that they didn’t feel the same as in the books. To me, they did! Many times during reading the cursed child, I would say to myself: “Oh, yeah, that’s typical Harry/Ron/Hermione” or “yeah, I can imagine Harry being like this after so many years”. And of course, Draco, for example, has changed a lot – but it’s been 19 years, so to me that made sense.
    But of course, every person interprets characters a bit differently, so to someone else, who has a bit of a different view on them, they migh have felt out of character this time. Could you perhaps give some examples, on which point you thought they were not acting like themselves? (You don’t have to defend your opinion of course, I’m just curious to know about it! :))

    About the new characters; personally I loved Scorpius but did not really like Albus. I agree they seemed a bit flat/lacking depth, BUT, I think this is really a consequence of the book being a script, and not of the story itself.

    I do get your point about the villain. Actually, I guessed very early on in the book that she was not to be trusted, and I also guessed in advance that she was Voldemort’s daughter. And I did not really like that, especially I didn’t like Bellatrix being her mother! I also didn’t think she seemed particularly scary or powerful. So I guess we do agree on this point.

    So overall, yeah, I totally understand an agree with some of the crisicism (though not all). And that already shows that I liked The cursed child a lot less than the 7 books. (I literally don’t have any bad things to say about those). I never expected it to be as good as the 7 books, and it wasn’t. But it surprised me in a good way, and, despite its shortcomings, I loved it.

    I am sorry for the long comment, I just really like talking about Harry Potter 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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