Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: mortality, violence, witchcraft, timeshifting.
Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars
I’d been so very torn about reading Cursed Child. When I heard that it came out, it was on my To-Buy list immediately, but then I started to hesitate when I saw the reviews. I didn’t want to spoil the magical world that I grew up with, so I put it off. Mentioning this to a friend (shout out to Amber!), she said she had a copy that I could borrow if I decided I wanted to give it a chance.
I’ll say within the first 30 pages, I knew I didn’t like it. Part of the reason was because I struggled in that aspect reading this script and imagining some of the parts that don’t pertain to what we know of as cannon in the wizarding world. The other part was the way the plot was pushed along. It felt very fast (almost too fast) and emotionally charged, to where I felt as a reader that I wasn’t getting depth in the characters. JK Rowling put so much complexity into her characters and her writing, but we’re following the children of these characters she created, and we get very little depth on their character development. I could only superficially understand the “cursed child” syndrome, and in script form Albus comes off full of angst and dramatics- circa Harry fifth year- so it made me dislike him almost immediately, whereas I’d rather like the main character.
Despite all that I will say overall, the script got more exciting the further I read on and the story overall is an interesting concept. A brief summary for those who haven’t read: Harry’s middle-child son, Albus Severus, dislikes being the famous Harry Potter’s Slytherin son. Albus overhears Cedric Diggory’s father asking Harry to use a time turner to go back to the Triwizard Tournament and prevent Cedric from dying at Voldemort’s hands- a request Harry denies. Albus decided to fulfill the request instead, and with his best friend Scorpius Malfoy and Amos Diggory’s niece Delphini, they set out to change the course of history, each for their own personal gain.
(Photo Credit: Google Images)
To me, it felt like I was reading published fan fiction. It was entertaining, but I can’t quite accept it as canon (and as I’ve seen in other reviews, I’m not alone on this), and I really dislike that it’s considered the eighth book in the Harry Potter series. It’s not a book, it’s a play script, and there are so many little bits of information that do not correlate with the structures set by the preceding books.
So, answer the big question: to read or not to read? I say read if you are hardcore potterhead, and take in the story with a grain of salt, as if you were reading any other fan fiction. It’s not going to ruin the world we know and love- it’s just going to give another alternative view.
Published: July 31, 2016
Publisher: Arthur A Levine Books
TL/DR: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play script based off the epilogue at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and considered the 8th book of the series.
Read it? Ugh. This book…. if you’re a diehard potterhead, read it to say you did so that you have some backup for when you complain about it.
Recommend it? NO. I really think it’s not acceptable cannon.
Buy it? Definitely buy the hardcover version for your HP collection, and let it perpetually be on your TBR.
If you liked this novel or review, check out these similar reads:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Movie Comparison!)
- The Tales of Beetle the Bard by JK Rowling
- The Life and Times by Jewels5 (Fan Fiction)