[Review] The Cursed Child

I’m not mad at this. In fact, I’m pretty fucking happy

*There will be spoilers – you’ve been warned*

Before we jump into it, does everyone remember this? If you’ve never seen it you absolutely should because it is subtly genius. Ron, Ron, Ron Weasley

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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.

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4star

It is currently 1am and I’m maniacally writing down my thoughts. Brace yourself for an old fashioned ramble.

*Those spoilers are coming – I won’t be upset if you abandon me*

I am so incredibly jealous of anyone who gets to see this live. I just want to put it out there, I’m mad at you all haha.

  1. If you are looking for the Rowling version of the Harry Potter world that we’ve all come to know and love and that has become a defining presence in our childhood, then you are going to be disappointed.
  2. If you are looking for an adventure, to see some familiar faces and catch up on what’s been happening in the lives of our trio, then you may enjoy this book more than you think.

Ron, Hermione, Rose, Harry , Albus, Ginny, Draco, Scorpius

Quick fire review:

I want you all to know that I love this and I’m not mad at all. Whatever the drama is that is causing a lot of people to dislike this book has not found me because I just went on a fucking adventure and that is all I can ask out of a book.

Also, going to be shipping Scorpius and Albus for days. Days!

The whole shebang:

Before I picked this up and when the hype surrounding it was real, I heard a lot of mixed things about this book. Some people were ecstatic to get to see Harry, Ron and Hermione back in action, while many were disappointed with the format and the overall flow of this story.

Part of the reason I enjoyed this is because I didn’t see it as a follow on from the series, I saw this as a standalone story set in the same world and featuring characters we know and love. It helped knowing that J.K.Rowling hadn’t penned this tale herself and so I expected that the narrative would have a different aesthetic – it also helped being able to understand that this was a play, not a standard story where the journey of the MC has time to be fleshed out.

*Seriously, everything from here on out is a spoiler*

This picks up right where we left off at the end of The Deathly Hallows with Harry and his squad all grown up, bidding farewell to their children as they board the train to Hogwarts. Albus Severus Potter, son of Harry and Ginny, and Rose Granger-Weasley, daughter of Ron and Hermione, take the train together where they set out on a mission to find the perfect place to sit. Rose has decided this is a pivotal moment in their Hogwarts journey as it is the very same place where their parents met. Enter Scorpius Malfoy, son of Draco.

“Thank you for being my light in the darkness”

Scorpius and Albus become fast friends and before long the two are inseparable. Cut to a few years later when they are in their third year at Hogwarts, they both have strained relationships with their fathers and Albus feels he is living in the shadow of Harry’s legacy. This is where the real adventure begins.

Before I say anything else, I just want to mention that I was totally on board with Scorpius and Albus becoming a couple. I originally only saw them as friends but before I knew it I was shipping them hard and waiting for those sweet moments to turn into something more – slightly disappointed it never did. Whether it is a bromance or a romance, I am all in with these two. Especially Scorpius, he is the best and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Stick it out just for him.

“The world changes and we change with it. I am better off in this world. But the world is not better. And I don’t want that.”

Through a series of events, Albus and Scorpius meet a mysterious young woman named Delphi, get their hands on a time turner, and decide to embark on a journey to the past to save a young Cedric Diggory from his untimely demise. This of course changes many things in the future and offers up several alternate realities in which many of our beloved characters from the original series return to the page. Some of these realities see Voldermort as ruler, Dolores Umbridge as Headmistress of Hogwarts, Ron married to Padwa and Neville Longbottom six feet under (R.I.P Neville’s glorious cardigans).

If you’ve read this book or any of the spoilers, then you will know that sweet Delphi, the girl who is aiding the two young Wizards in their task to save Cedric is none other than The Dark Lord’s daughter. Yup, that happened – with Bellatrix to be exact. I hadn’t read anything about this before hand and managed to figure it out just before the reveal and I have to be honest with you, I’m not mad at it. Sure it is probably one of the more far-fetched things in this story, but with people riding around on brooms, travelling through time and using words to murder one another, why couldn’t Voldermort have put on some Michael Bublé and gotten down with Bellatrix after one too many butter beers?

“Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”

For me, this is a story of family. Harry and his son Albus have grown distant and don’t know how to communicate with one another. Harry, in an attempt to protect his children, does not share with them his true heart’s desires, his worst fears and his own challenges that made him into the hero the world loves and the man who became their father. Albus, a young and misunderstood boy, sees his father’s fame and his namesakes (Dumbledore and Snape) as a burden, for he can never see himself living up to their reputations.

It was really cool to see the trio and Draco as parents and see how far they have come in their personal and professional lives. I will say though that I wish there had been more action from their side. The whole story basically sees the two boys embarking on an adventure and for nostalgia’s stake, I would’ve loved to have seen some big spells and intense action from the original Hogwarts crew.

I was surprised at how easy I found reading this book. The pacing was fast and the direction of the story was clear from the outset and while it took me a little while to get used to the script format, by the time I hit the 50 page mark I was fully engrossed in this world. It is such an interesting  read because I found a lot of the cues to be written stylistically in line with a normal narrative and therefore it was easy to let my mind travel right back to particular settings from the previous books; I could picture so vividly the Triwizard Tournament, Godric’s Hollow, Privet Drive and more. I also give props to the writers for being able to bring to life the continuous time jumps and those alternative realities.

Things I would’ve loved to be included:

  • More badassery from the trio
  • More Rose Granger-Weasley. She was such a fiery little character when she first stepped on the page so it would’ve been great to get to see her relationship with Albus grow a little more
  • More of the train witch – who knew that sweet old lady was such a force of nature
  • Um, my ship coming to life – yeah I wanted it, and I’m going to keep wanting it until someone writes a story where it happens
  • To see the Weasley twins back in action

At the end of the day, I loved this. I enjoyed going on an adventure with Albus and Scorpius, I enjoyed rediscovering some of my favourite characters and I appreciated the attempt at throwing the audience a massive curveball. I can see why this wouldn’t be for everyone and maybe die-hard fans of Harry Potter would be able to pick out what I’m sure are many flaws, but I can in no way fault a book that had me glued to the pages and made me feel all kind of emotions.

Happy to add this to my shelf.

Ramble over.

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10 thoughts on “[Review] The Cursed Child

    • mrenee says:

      Ugh, I still want it to happen so bad haha.

      I think if I had thought of it that way before I read it I would’ve been disappointed too. I’m sorry you didn’t like it as much as you’d hoped!

      Liked by 1 person

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