Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch” – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by: Jack Thorne, J.K Rowling, John Tiffany
Yes, it is finally here! The 8th Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released on July 31st, 2016 at midnight. After waiting for months, it is finally here, and I gobbled this book up in one swift gulp.
How I discovered the book: I grew up reading the Harry Potter books. Since I was a child Harry Potter has played a large role in my life. Those books were the beginning of my becoming an avid reader.
About the Book
Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: Jack Thorne, J.K Rowling, John Tiffany
Series: Harry Potter (book #8)
Year Published: 2016
Genre: play, fiction, fantasy, magic, adventure
First of all, this book cannot and should not be compared to the other Harry Potter books written by J.K Rowling. This is not a novel, I repeat, this is not a novel. It is a play written by Jack Thorne based off of a story by J.K Rowling. Therefore, in order to review this play properly, please keep these two factors in mind. If I were to compare this book on par with all seven of the Harry Potter novels, I would have automatically given this book a mediocre review.
When J.K Rowling writes a novel, she embeds her scenes with a rich description that will make you feel as if you are a part of her magical world. The play, in comparison, is lacking the eloquence of Rowling’s prose. Thorne uses minute stage direction to give an idea of the tone and scene. The dialogue not only vocalizes the characters’ thoughts, feelings, and motivations, it also tells the story. With such sparse description apart from the dialogue, there is very little to go on when it comes to picturing the scenes in your mind. For that reason, in certain places, I found myself wishing I could see the play just so that I could fully picture what I was reading. Although I feel fortunate to have the script in my hands, it just feels as if there was something missing. Then again, scripts are not novels.
The play begins where the seventh book leaves off. Coincidentally, the dialogue from the last Harry Potter film (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2) as well as the book is featured in the first few scenes of the play. Fans of the novels and movies will be overcome with nostalgia, as if revisiting friends they have not seen in a while. Then, the play begins its own course by following Albus’ journey to Hogwarts, his burgeoning friendship with Scorpius Malfoy, his placement in Slytherin house (much to his father’s dismay), and his ultimate pressure of being Harry Potter’s son. Unlike Harry, Albus Potter is an ordinary young man. He has no tale of mystery or celebrity surrounding his birth. Neither does he have a scar in the shape of a lightning bolt on his forehead. Instead, Albus is doomed to be continuously compared to his father’s legacy only to come up short.
Harry Potter, now a nearly forty-year-old overworked wizard, must face the consequences of his past. When illegal time turners begin to show up on the black market, Harry must try to prevent the possibility of Voldemort returning to power by facing his past.
As for the dialogue itself, I must say that I found it cheesy in some places. The story is a “good” story, but it never progresses from there into an excellent story. The storyline seems to be a little exhausted. In comparison to the other seven novels, there isn’t much excitement or mystery involved. Every angle has been explored already. The redeeming feature of the story is the relationships between all the characters including Harry Potter’s relationship with Albus, which demonstrates the all too human struggle of accepting and moving on from a traumatic past.
Although the play is rooted in fantasy and magic, the dialogue presents real-world issues that apply to many, if not all relations between parents and their children. Even though I personally found the dialogue too “cheesy” in parts, the sentimental nature of the dialogue is heartwarming and worth the read.
Final Rating: A- (Very Good)
Until next time,