Series: Harry Potter #8
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on July 31, 2016
"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." ~ Goodreads
I have WAYYYY too many feelings about this book/script that I just can’t hold back the spoilers. Before I bid the spoiler-adverse folks adieu, I would like to say that I really did enjoy the book because it brought me back into the world and I LOVED the new characters. However, I’m not in love with this story as much as the other books because the overall plot line frustrated me at times.
Okay now, if you haven’t read the book or seen the play, farewell!
First, I just have to get some ranting out of the way. Even if it seems like I’m tearing the story apart, it’s only because I really care about the characters and the world that Rowling created. It’s totally cool if none of these things bothered you.
Why I feel Conflicted about this story
The use of the time turner feels false and slightly gratuitous. I’m not sure that it follows all the rules Rowling set up in the previous books. AND I was pretty annoyed that no one ever explained to these children that the REASON you don’t mess around with time is that it can have severe consequences. Also, if everyone and their mom is complaining/wishing that they had a time turner to fix things, you would think that maybe the newspaper or ministry would address the issue and be like… um we can’t bring back all your loved ones because if we try to it might ruin our present and make it so Voldemort would return. Like I think a PSA is necessary, come on folks. And maybe their reason for ignoring the situation is because it could put it in the minds of former death eaters, but I’m pretty sure they are already thinking it anyways, so I don’t think it would hurt.
My husband asked me if I’d feel any differently about the book if J.K. Rowling had been the one to write it completely, and honestly I think I would feel a bit betrayed if she was the sole writer/story creator. And the reason is that I honestly don’t think she would put Harry through Voldemort returning. Sure put him through the realistic angst of dealing in a post-Voldy world and adjusting to life as a dad who has dealt with some crap, but to bring back Voldemort, even an a parallel universe feels wrong. I can forgive this, since other people were involved in creating this story but part of me is still uneasy about it all.
Also, the whole Bellatrix being the mother of Voldy’s daughter thing just slightly irks me. Because when you think it about it, it presents some problems. Like was Bellatrix hiding her pregnancy all throughout the last book. Or it at least begs the question of whether or not there was some magic to accelerate the pregnancy because how could she have fit that in with all that was going on? How would no one notice it? … since she supposedly had it at Malfoy Manor.
Things I LOVED:
SCORPIUS – I’ve avoided reading other people’s reviews thus far, but I think the general consensus is that Scorpius is like the best character ever. And yep, I pretty much feel in love with him. He’s funny, bookwormy, a great friend to Albus, and just has this heart. He takes it upon himself to fix the mistakes he and Albus made with the time turner, even though he probably would have been just fine in the parallel world. He just has this goodness that is way less conflicted than some of the other characters. And I love that this trait was given to a Slytherin!
Seeing all my favorite characters again – I would say that most of the characters felt like a seamless transition from the book to this play, and I just loved it. I loved seeing Hermione as the Minister of Magic, and her interaction with Harry in the workplace. I loved getting to see the children, though I wish there would have been more Rose. And even though I appreciated Ron’s humor, I did think that he was a bit more goofy than the books (though maybe he’s just settling into his goofy dad role).
Friends and family dynamics – I loved that this story still focused on how important friends are. Scorpius and Albus are outcasts at Hogwarts, but it’s okay because they have each other. The play also emphasized being honest with yourself and your family and relying on your friends and family to help you when things just don’t make sense (or when Voldy’s offspring tries to change history and bring back Voldemort). I also really liked seeing Draco as a father because even though he was a jerk at times to Harry, he just really loves his son and is willing to do anything for him.
Even though I wasn’t 100% behind the overall plot, the characters made this story for me. And I loved being back at Hogwarts, seeing where all my characters are in life, and being introduced to Scorpius, Rose, and Albus. At the end of the day, it’s still Harry Potter, and honestly I bet it’s wonderful to see this play in person.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: