Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review: The 8th Harry Potter Story? I Don’t Think So

August 7, 2016 by Jenna | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review: The 8th Harry Potter Story? I Don’t Think SoHarry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Series: Harry Potter #8
Published by Little Brown UK on July 31st 2016
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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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.

Like most readers, I’ve been highly anticipating Harry Potter and the Cursed Child since I first heard that the script was going to be released in book form. But I actually knew nothing about the plot going into the story and I think that worked in my favour. I had very few expectations and I ended up really enjoying the story and the characters.

cursed-child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a collaboration between J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. Even though Rowling has been involved in this project, I don’t believe she had anything to do with the writing of the script itself (correct me if I’m wrong). And because of this, the script read more like fanfiction to me. I definitely don’t consider this to be canon and it reads very differently to the Harry Potter novels. There were some elements in the story that didn’t fit in with my knowledge of the Harry Potter world and sometimes it felt a little bit contradictory and inaccurate to me. Having said that, I mostly just tried to go with the flow and I enjoyed the story a lot once I had let go of the fact that it wasn’t exactly going to be Harry Potter.

In terms of the story itself, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows Albus Severus Potter, who’s living in the shadow of his father’s greatness. He’s not the brave and adventurous boy that everyone expects him to be… and on top of that, he’s not even a Gryffindor. Because of the tough time he’s having at Hogwarts, he resents his father and all the people who have suffered in order for his father to claim glory. When the opportunity arises for him to travel back in time to save Cedric Diggory from dying, he leaps at the chance and drags his best friend, Scorpius Malfoy, into his incredibly stupid plans. I really loved the plot of this book. It was wild and crazy and just absolutely ridiculous. But it was so crazy and mindblowing that I couldn’t help but just be completely sucked into the story and I highly enjoyed it all. I loved that the book was about saving Cedric Diggory and how unexpected that was. I thought the plot was adventurous and a lot of fun. It was filled with humorous moments and lots of hilarious lines. My one criticism was that, because of the format of this book, it was hard to imagine some of the things happening. I think knowing that this entire play is going to be performed distracted me a little as well, and I found myself trying to picture how certain scenes were going to be executed and wasn’t able to really imagine some things playing out.

I loved the huge cast of characters in this play. There were so many beloved characters from the original series, and I enjoyed seeing them all again in this script. Because the characters use a Time Turner to travel back in time, I got to see characters who I never thought I’d see again and it was so nostalgic and amazing. I also loved meeting all the new characters and Scorpius Malfoy was definitely my favourite. Draco Malfoy has been my favourite Harry Potter character from the very beginning but his son definitely gives him a run for his money. Scorpius is cute, geeky and sensible and I loved his character so, so much! And as minor of an element as it was, I really enjoyed the developing romance between Scorpius and Rose Granger-Weasley. If I can’t have my Dramione ship, then Scorpius and Rose will have to do. But most of all I loved the friendship between Scorpius and Albus. I thought they had a really strong bond and were a wonderful duo, despite being self-proclaimed losers.

epilogue

While this script and story isn’t faultless and I wouldn’t really consider it to be canon, I still highly enjoyed it. I was expecting it to be a little bit dark and serious and I think it was the exact opposite. It was light-hearted and fun, with some darkness sprinkled throughout. The characters were amazing and I can definitely see myself rereading this over and over.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Jenna-Sig

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Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. You can usually find me binge reading series, fangirling with fellow readers, devouring pastries, or binge watching Netflix shows. You can find me on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

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28 responses to “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review: The 8th Harry Potter Story? I Don’t Think So

  1. I'd love to see it as a movie! But it'd be a different kind of movie to the existing ones since the book is quite lighthearted and funny (for the most part). People would probably have the same problem with it as they do with the script. You should totally try to get it out from the library though because I think it's worth the read. Just try not to take it too seriously and you'll be fine!

  2. I'm so glad you liked it! I've heard such mixed reactions and I've been so torn about whether to buy it myself or give it a miss, but I don't think I can resist! Great review πŸ™‚

    Michelle @ The Unfinished Bookshelf

    • Haha, don't try to resist! You might resist for too long and end up getting spoiled πŸ˜€ The Aus edition is sooooo beautiful (it has a much prettier naked hardcover than the US edition) and I'd buy it just for that tbh.

  3. I LOVE those Harry Potter pop figures! I have one Harry Potter one but still plenty to collect.

    Great review too. I will get the book eventually. I did not rush out to buy it because I dont' really enjoy scripts.

    • I'm simultaneously happy and mad that they keep releasing new Harry Potter pop funkos! I just cant collect them all because there are too many T_T. And they're getting increasingly more expensive too. Who am I kidding? I'll probably buy them all next week or something HAHA.

  4. " I wouldn’t really consider it to be canon" This. This is actually why I somewhat avoided this book, I thought it would taint the rest of the books for me. I think if I do read this one I will try to go into it with your mindset because it seems like a fun read if you take expectations out of it.
    My recent post 2016 Mid Year Book Freak Out!

    • I think you should read it because it's a really charming story! But I agree that you should lower your expectations and just think of it as fanfiction. You'll have a much more enjoyable time that way!

    • YAY! I'm glad you're excited and I hope you really enjoy the book (if you haven't read it already). If you've read it, I hope you loved it as much as I did!!

  5. Oh wow hahaha I can definitely see why you say this reads like fanfiction. It's as if the scriptwriters (or the authors I suppose) got together and were like "I want Cedric Diggory to live" and "I want Hermione and Malfoy to be together but since they're not lets pair up their children!". I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, but I think it would definitely help to keep in mind this isn't like the other books (if I ever read this that is).

    Thanks for the really enlightening review Jenna! I'm glad you still enjoyed this even with all the hype surrounding it πŸ™‚
    My recent post Olympic Book Tag!

    • Yeah! It's hard to see it as anything but fanfiction really. I can see why people are upset and disappointed with it but if you don't take it seriously, then it's actually quite an enjoyable read. Hehe, I hope you do give it a go because it's quite a fun and charming story.

  6. Oh wow hahaha I can definitely see why you say this reads like fanfiction. It's as if the scriptwriters (or the authors I suppose) got together and were like "I want Cedric Diggory to live" and "I want Hermione and Malfoy to be together but since they're not lets pair up their children!". I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, but I think it would definitely help to keep in mind this isn't like the other books (if I ever read this that is).

    Thanks for the really enlightening review Jenna! I'm glad you still enjoyed this even with all the hype surrounding it πŸ™‚
    My recent post Olympic Book Tag!

    • Haha definitely wait for the hype to die down! I think it's died down quite significantly actually. I hope you enjoy it when you pick it up!

  7. corrallingbooks

    Ahh, you make me want to read The Cursed Child! I was actually kind of planning not reading it, just because I was worried it would disappoint me, but this sounds sweet! I'd have loved to see it on stage though (I've heard the stage effects are absolutely gorgeous)…the book form of the play will have to do!
    My recent post Conversations: I Love My Books!

    • I want to see this performed on stage so badly! It seems like it would be a great experience and I'm so jealous of everyone who's gotten to see it. The story is definitely really sweet and I recommend picking it up! The key is to not take it too seriously and just think of it as fanfiction. I don't think you can be disappointed that way.

    • I want to see the play so badly! There are some things in the script that I couldn't quite imagine them doing and I'd love to see how it's actually performed. I hope you can get your hands on this one soon, Braine!

    • Awww I'm so sorry that you didn't like it at all. Especially since you made a trip to Dymocks, especially for it. Just think about Scorpius and ignore everything else? XD

  8. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews for this one, so I'm really afraid to read it… I've also read a lot of people are mad about Rose and Scorpius ship, they want Albus and Scorpius ship. But I thought Rose/Scorpius was canon even before The Cursed Child? Or is it just me and my inner dramione making asumptions? I think I would try to read this one, but I wouldn't consider it a canon πŸ™‚
    My recent post Review Anthology #4 : ARCs

    • HAHA it might be your inner dramione instincts talking there. I'm a huge dramione shipper so I was totally fine with Rose and Scorpius. I love the bromance that Albus and Scorpius had more but I'm not mad at all about where the story went. Romance really isn't a theme in the book either. I reckon you should totally check it out! Just don't take it too seriously?

  9. Awww it sounds absolutely adorable Jenna! I definitely know what you mean when you say it isn't canon but it's definitely a great nod to the series. Looking forward to reading it!

    • Ooh have you read it yet Jeann?! I think you'll really like it! It's such a nice and nostalgic story with some awesome relationships between the characters.