Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Type: Fiction, Script
Genre: Children’s, Young Adult, Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Date published: July 31, 2016
Format: Hardcover, Special Rehearsal Edition
Page Count: 336
Source: Personal purchase.
Summary: The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.
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.
Before I get to my thoughts about the book itself, I need to make some points:
- I am very pleased that this script was published, because I did not have the means to go and see this play where it was being performed. I understand why they published it—in order for those of us unable to go see the play not to be left out, and for us to be able to enjoy this story too. Although there are hopes of the play being performed internationally, this would be in years to come (if at all).
- There was indication that this would be a script and not a novel from the very beginning, and this was made specifically clear in all advertisements and discussions of the book.
- What was also made clear, is that while J.K. Rowling did have a hand in the creating of the story behind this script, she was a co-author all in all, and there were 2 other individuals who also put work into this script. The writing will therefore not sound or feel like the writing of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and it should not even be expected.
- While I really did enjoy reading this book (the story, dialogue, character development, etc.) I do not consider it canon, but rather more of a spin-off created to entertain fans of the Harry Potter characters and world.
***these comments were made in response to the issues discussed in this article, as well as the negative response to the book on Amazon.***
Now, for my review! As you can tell…
I really enjoyed reading this book.
I went in, knowing that this would be a script for a play, and knowing that 2 of my friends had already read it and really enjoyed it. Before opening this book, I was also aware that the script itself was not written by Rowling, but that she had a hand in creating the story behind it.
These were not obstacles for me, nor do I consider them to be aspects which will make me view the book in a negative light. Yes, I would have loved another Harry Potter novel, and yes, I would have liked if Rowling had written the script herself, but I am also happy with what I was given, because they could have chosen NOT to publish the script, and let the rest of us wonder about the story and play, and/or hear about it from those lucky enough to be able to attend the performance in London.
The writing was not Rowling’s (I mean, her writing has a specific style and tone, and is also amazing and on a whole other level), but that being said…the writing was good. The descriptions inserted between some of the dialogue were creative and helped me formed the images in my head which are to accompany the dialogue. I also found that I would switch between imagining the story playing out as a film, and between it playing out as a play.
There was not much world building necessary, as we already know most of the things about Rowling’s magical world. But for locations which did need world building because they had not yet appeared, or because the place’s description was important to the story, were described pretty well considering the small amount of writing allotted to this.
I found the characters to be rather enjoyable to read about, and they were mostly true to the original characters in the books. There was some dialogue, as well as some actions which felt a little “out of character,” but I reminded myself that these are not Rowling’s words, and this was bound to happen. There was definitely some good character development which took place, and the characters also did stay true to themselves as they were meant to be for this particular story (if that makes sense).
The plot as well thought-out, and it definitely pulled me in almost immediately. There were twists and turns which I could not predict, and I simply enjoyed being immersed into the world of Harry Potter once more. There were some parts of the plot which used what I’ll just term as “piggybacking,” by which I mean that this story used parts of the original Harry Potter stories to help itself, or the fill parts of itself. But the more I thought of it, I saw these bits more of a tribute to the original stories, rather than theft or anything extreme like that. I would advise that readers simply view those parts as tributes, or flashbacks.
Despite the few negative aspects I’ve encountered while reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I really enjoyed it overall, and I look forward to reading it again. If I had not already purchased the book, I definitely would after reading it (and I don’t do that very often).
I highly recommend this book to lovers of Harry Potter, and those who can look past the fact that this book is a script rather than a novel, and that it is not entirely the world of J.K.Rowling.
And I would like to thank Rowling and all of those responsible for bringing this book to those who are unable to see the play in England, for the time being! ❤❤
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Thank you for reading my review! Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ? And if so, what did you think? And if you haven’t read it yet, do you want to? Or no? Howcome?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!