Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two, Harry Potter #8
Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Publication Date: 31 July 2016
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository
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.
So I borrowed this book from my friend Cindy at Stranger Things Have Happened and she had some really great advice for me which I’m going to share with you. Read this novel with the mindset that it’s fan fiction.
I must say, I’m extremely glad that she told me that. If I had gone into this thinking that it was meant to be a literal extension of the end of the Harry Potter series, I don’t think I would have liked it nearly as much. However, because I recognized the fact that it was like fan fiction and the passsage of a large chunk of time, I really enjoyed this novel.
I have to say, I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed reading this in a script format. I had expected to find it a bother but something about it created a lot of clarity throughout the novel. Furthermore, it helped with remembering that this isn’t a continuation of a story and rather it’s almost like a spin-off. It was definitely intriguing.
Another benefit of having a script like format was in creating the settings. Again this was surprising but I really enjoyed having the entire set laid out before me and then seeing how the characters interacted within it. Especially because the descriptions were both specific and vague so that readers could still imagine the world as it is.
Despite really enjoying this format, the script layout did it make it very difficult to have a cohesive plot. It felt extremely jumpy and disconnected which is typical of a play but not of a novel. It definitely detracted from the enjoyment of the story.
Inspite of that issue, the big thing that really got to me was the incorrect characterization of the original HP cast. This was when it was most obvious that JK Rowling hadn’t written this piece. The scriptwriters did not at all correctly characterize Hermione, Ginny, Harry, or Ron. It was infuriating to read the parts of the novel involving them because their responses, both in dialogue and action, were not accurate to them. And, as a result, there were plot holes that really shouldn’t have happened. Thankfully, there weren’t too many instances involving the original cast so it didn’t consume the novel.
I will say this. As fanfiction goes, I was very impressed with what happened here. It was good but not great. I wouldn’t say that it’s as good as the originals but I don’t think that was the intention. I think the intent was to show a possible outcome for the lives of Harry Potter and his children. In that respect, I have to say it did a really good job.
I would recommend that every Harry Potter fan read this and develop your own opinions. We can even discuss your opinions in the comments.