Book Review: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" by Jack Thorne, J.K Rowling and John Tiffany
It is a fact: Everyone knows Harry Potter. Many of us have grown up reading or watching his adventures. In my case, I remember watching the movies when I was younger but I do not know the first time I heard about them. It feels as if I had always known that the story existed, even though when the first movie came out I was far too young to know.
My real story with Harry started when I was ten years old. I remember that the sixth movie, “The half-blood prince” had come out some months ago, and I decided that before watching it, I wanted to read the book. I had some money saved, so my parents took me to the bookshop one afternoon. There was only one copy of “The half-blood prince” left on a high shelf, and that one I bought. I started to read it immediately, and by the time I had to go to bed I had only reached chapter six or so, but I was already absolutely fascinated.
The next two years were what I call “my Harry Potter period”, a time during which I could not read other books or watch other movies that were not about Harry Potter. I admit I was a little bit obsessed. That obsession passed, but the fascination remained forever.
In spite of all that, when I first knew that a new book was going to be published, I could not bring myself to read it. I wanted the story to continue, I was genuinely happy that it actually has, but I was also mortally scared of another thing: being disappointed. The books had been a big piece of my childhood, and if the new one was not good I had the feeling that everything would be ruined. It would not have been the first time; a writer that tries to prolong the story as much as possible and ends up relinquishing quality. Fortunately, “Harry Potter and the cursed child” was not the case at all.
The book continues the story exactly where we had left it at the end of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”: Nineteen years after the battle of Hogwarts, Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione accompany their children to take the Hogwarts Express. It is the first year of Albus, Harry and Ginny’s middle son, who is extremely nervous about the prospect of being sorted into a house.
We have glimpses of Albus life through his firsts years in Hogwarts, years that are not at all what he had expected: Unlike his older brother, James, and her younger sister Lily, who are sorted into Gryffindor, Albus goes straight to Slytherin. He does not stand out as a student, he is not a good Quidditch player, and he only has one friend: Scorpius, son of Draco Malfoy, which whom his father has never get on well. His relationship with his father is not a success either, because the boy feels that he is a disappointment to Harry.
One night, just before going back to school, he overhears a conversation between his father and Amos Diggory, father of the famous Cedric, and his niece Delphini. Amos has somehow found out that the Ministry of Magic is in possession of a time-turner and as Harry is head of the Magical Law Enforcement department, Diggory tries to convince him to use the said time-turner to go back in time and save his son’s life.
Harry, aware of the dangers of playing with time, denies the existence of such an object and refuses to help him. Albus knows pretty well that his father has lied to Amos, so he decided to take the matter into his own hands. Along with his friend Scorpius, he will get on a dangerous adventure through time. Soon they will discover that every change made in the past, even the slightest one, can have huge consequences in the present.
At the same time, we get to see some of the most well-known characters of the previous books, now adults, and how they deal with the actions of the youngest while being threatened by their dark past; a past that might be coming back.
Why should you be reading it?
Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to actually see the play, as many other people, but I enjoyed the script a great deal. The format is a little bit strange to read when you have been into the novels for such a long time, but I do not think it to reduce the charm of the story in the least.
The continuation did not seem at all forced or difficult; it felt quite natural to read, which helped me to relax and allowed me to proceed, putting aside my initial restlessness.
Even though when I started I was quite missing Harry, Ron and Hermione being the center of the plot, after reading a few scenes I started to get fond of the new children. Scorpius was my favorite, no doubt: He was smart, kind and a little bit weird in such a hilarious way! The exact opposite of his father when he was his age. And I admired very much his loyalty to Albus.
I must also admit I felt really emotional when it came to some of my dearest characters from the books preceding this one. The scene that takes place in a different future, where Ron and Hermione are rebels and Snape is protecting them was just wonderful. Snape is, in my opinion, the best character of the “Harry Potter” books and the biggest surprise of the whole story. I liked to see him stay true to the ones against Voldemort, even in a reality when the darkness has triumphed.
Harry and Draco being able to work together and leave the past behind in order to save their children from the danger was something I enjoyed reading as well. We had had some clues that Draco Malfoy was not as bad and heartless as we thought, so a closer look at this character was a pending issue.
The last thing I found absolutely moving is the fact that Ron and Hermione are in love with each other in each and every one of the realities we get to see. It has always been my favorite couple, even though some people find their marriage a little unrealistic. The very same J.K Rowling said she must had brought Harry and Hermione together! I do not like this last idea at all, and I have only forgiven the author that comment because she did not write it down. I think Ron and Hermione’s love story had such a slow development that it ended up being the most captivating, much more than Harry and Ginny’s.
The most accurate word to define this work, I believe, is respectful. I have already said that I have my doubts, but when I read it I felt that the authors were aware that it meant a lot to me, and that they made an effort accordingly. They were respectful of the characters I love and with the story I already knew. All of this, more than enough to get my approval. J.K Rowling is one of the only writers that have never disappointed me, and this is one of the reasons I have her in great esteem.
So, to all the Potterheads that have not yet read it, do not fear! “Harry Potter and the cursed child” is worth the try.
If you liked my review on this book and are interested in purchasing it, you can do so at the link below.
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