Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

IMG_2141A GoodReads summary:

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.

My Review: 

I’m not sure what I would rate this book. So I won’t. However, I’ll still tell you what I thought.

The Cursed Child has been one of my most anticipated reads for ages (I preordered it in April (and totally missed the hint that my boyfriend wanted to preorder it for me but hey-ho)). I was super-duper excited. And although I really, really enjoyed it… I’m also kind of disappointed.

Let’s not get too hasty. I didn’t hate it. Calm your itching fingers and read on first.

Firstly, I loved being back in the magical world. It’s one of my mental safe havens. I’m having a bad day? MAGIC. BOOM. It was still magical and had lots of spells and witchcraft. So yay for that.

Let’s talk about the main characters: Albus Potter, Harry and Ginny’s second child, and Scorpius Malfoy, Draco and Astoria’s child. Scorpius was adorable. The scenes that made me tear up had him in. Albus… he seemed a bit like an arrogant sod at times (oh who does that remind me of, Mr I’ll-Just-Leave-This-Damn-Drowning-Egg-Challenge-To-The-Night-Before?). His and Harry’s interactions actually really reminded me of me and my mum at times: aka horrible misunderstandings that cause a lot of pain on both sides. I was surprised by this, mainly because in the epilogue of Deathly Hallows, Harry and Albus seem to be getting along. But I can see it!

That’s the main thing here: although some of this play seemed like bad fanfiction, I could see it happening.

The actual plot… well, as another review I saw said, there wasn’t much actually about living and about Hogwarts, unlike the HP books. I missed this: I liked the jokes, the day-to-day activities. But then again, it’s a play – there isn’t enough time and space to tell the plot otherwise. If it were a novel, I’d be a little more annoyed, but if it were a novel it’d probably be entirely different anyway. The main plot was fairly enjoyable, but a bit far-fetched. Delphi seemed like a bit of a fanfiction own character (OC) and a bad one at that (aka: CLICHÉ. To the C). I won’t go into too much here to avoid spoilers, but there were bits I was just sat there saying, “Whaaaaaaaaaaat???” (And, I think, with good dang reason.)

However, I still enjoyed reading it! (And that’s my conundrum – I can’t hate and love a book at the same time, can I?) There were bits that made me laugh out loud, there were bits that made me cry. Bits I loved, bits I hated. I spent a glorious hour and fifty minutes completely lost in a world I adore. Even if some of it is a bit cliché, what’s so wrong about that?

The format of a play isn’t new to me (as in, I’ve read others) so I didn’t find it hard to follow, however I felt like it wasn’t the same experience as if I had seen it performed. Reading HPATCC has just made me desperate to try and get to London to see it properly, because I feel like this would be such a rewarding experience and I would enjoy it a lot more than just reading the play because I’d feel more immersed. (On the other hand, chances of seeing the play are kinda slim and reading the play is the next best thing so here we are.)

I loved the return of some characters, like McGonagall, Hermione, Ron and Harry (who were in it a lot more than I expected to be honest…). I liked how the “ripples in time” created the alternate world everyone was curious about. (But no Lupins! HOW IS THIS?! Teddy where are you?)

I’m glad I read this, I really am. I’m disappointed, but I loved it. I feel like there could have been a little bit more variety than just leeching off the same band of villains, but at the same time? It was entertaining. It featured characters I love in one of my favourite fictional worlds. It introduced new, adorable characters. Most importantly, I don’t regret reading it.

And more importantly than that, I need tickets to the play. Now, please. *grabby hands*

And here’s the spoiler-y bit! These are all the spoiler things I really want to talk about. So don’t read if you haven’t read the play/don’t want spoilers! Just skip to the final bit J

  • TROLLEY WITCH WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU!?
  • Snape, still seen as a good guy. I’m sorry, I can stand him, but I will never forgive him.
  • Delphi, really? A child of Bellatrix and Voldemort… COME ON THORNE. I could be a little more inventive than that. For example: having a strong female character as her own villain instead of leeching off a more powerful male character. Even if he is her father.
  • Seriously though, if she had been her own powerful female villain, not related to dear old Voldy, I would’ve liked the play a lot more. THIS was the badly-written fanfiction OC I spoke about earlier.
  • Harry, mate. No arsehole-ness here please you cupcake. I could poke you with a stick and you’d apologise to (After hexing me, of course.)
  • Hermione is both a good and bad Minister for Magic? Like, the riddles were a great touch, but it seemed really irresponsible. I’d’ve thought she’d keep it on her person like everything else that was important throughout the whole seven books.
  • MORE GINNY NEEDED. She’s such a great character and was overlooked again.
  • DO YOU THINK DRACO AND HARRY ENDED UP FRIENDS?!
  • END OF SPOILERS.

And here’s my final word on the topic: I love the wizarding world, I really do. But, aside from JKR’s little shorts, I think it should be left alone, now. Why try to fix what ain’t broke?

Let me know your thoughts on the Cursed Child down below!

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One thought on “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

  1. I feel like we had a similar experience reading the Cursed Child – I had a love/hate thing going with it too. I mean, there were sections and moments I really loved, but others… I think it will be awesome to see on stage and I did, for the most part, enjoy the play, but I agree with you – there’s just not enough of the day-to-day. We’ve been spoilt with novels for years and to have a playscript instead seems somehow…lacking. That said, I still think it would be fabulous to see on stage.

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