Book Review: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

by Emma Sewell
by Emma Sewell

31st July 2016. Harry Potter’s birthday, and publication day for Harry Potter & the Cursed Child. Needless to say, lots of us in the office were keen to get our hands on it and do some good old-fashioned binge reading. *Warning: Spoilers*

The Story

Harry Potter & the Cursed ChildAt the end of the series we were left with victory in the Battle of Hogwarts and a glimpse of what the future held for our favourite characters… and this point is where Cursed Child takes off. Nineteen years later (actually, technically it’s twenty-two years later) we meet Albus Severus Potter, the awkward second son of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley.

Much like his father, Albus’ first experience on the Hogwarts Express leads him to meet his closest friend, Scorpius Malfoy, yup, Malfoy. From there on in, apart from the obvious “adventure”, his Hogwarts isn’t quite the same sort of life that his father knew. This Slytherin wizard (yes that’s not a mistake) isn’t popular at school and after three years of trudging along with everything, his life and relationship with his father is somewhat tattered.

Things in the wizarding world never quite change though. A time-turner has been confiscated from an ex-Death Eater. In the muggle and wizarding world alike, nothing stays a secret for long. The rumour of the time-turner spreads. Amos Diggory, accompanied by Delphini Diggory his niece, comes to the Potter house to demand that they use it to save his son, Cedric. Harry denies there is a time-turner and sends Amos away.

As they make their departure from Platform 9 3/4 for their fourth year at Hogwarts, Rose Granger-Weasley confirms that the time-turner does exist, and Albus convinces Scorpius that they need to get off the train and rescue Cedric the only way they can… in time.

The Review

One thing I would say from the start is that you really need to stick with it. The beginning is quite challenging, especially if you aren’t familiar with how scripts work.

Before I started reading, I knew that this wasn’t going to be a continuation of the story. And that’s something you need to remember as you read. We’ve taken a massive jump in the timeline, things in the wizarding world aren’t going to be like we remember them.

When you’ve become so enthralled with a fictional world, it’s hard to let go. This world has just enough similarities to still ring some bells. But it isn’t quite what we grew up on.

I honestly didn’t think I’d be liking a Malfoy over a Potter. How is that right?! The Malfoys come into their element in this story though. I came away from Cursed Child with a new favourite character in Scorpius. Draco also suited his new role as a concerned parent.

So, is the script worth it? I’m going to say yes, probably to the dismay of some other readers. Remember that a script is meant to be performed, not just read. The actors will bring a level to the words that don’t come off the page.

Keep in mind also, that by its nature a script will have less description than you’re used to. This is not a novel, it’s a script… it says so on the cover. But that is the beauty of a script, you get to use your imagination a lot more.

For now, I’m going to enjoy Cursed Child as it was intended. It might have messed with a little canon, but where would the fun be if there wasn’t debate?

Happy reading!

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