Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review
Written by Justin Fleming
It’s finally here Potterheads! It’s been almost 10 years since J.K. Rowling has blessed us with more shenanigans from the Wizarding World but the wait is finally over. The eighth story in the Harry Potter saga was released to the public this weekend as well as premiered as a play in London. Reactions to the play have been positive but those of us stuck reading the book have had mixed reactions. A common theme amongst readers is that it reads like fan fiction and in a way, they are correct.
This is not a novel. This is a script for the play in London. It is missing the detailed descriptions that Rowling has given us in the past for simplified settings and staging for the actors. It’s not a bad thing, but if you’re expecting a full on novel, you will be disappointed.
The book begins where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left off. The new generation of Potters, Weasleys, and Malfoys are on Platform 9¾ awaiting their trip on the Hogwarts Express. Instead of this story focusing on one year, it time jumps in the first act and several years are summarized. Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy are both sorted into Slytherin. Albus feels like he has let his father down because he hasn’t lived up to his older brother James, who was in Gryffindor.
The overall plot of the book revolves around Time Turners and their existence. There is a nasty rumor that Scorpius Malfoy is actually the son of Voldemort, a rumor Draco Malfoy wants to dispel and put a stop to by using a Time Turner. The Ministry of Magic insists all Time Turners have been destroyed but obviously that is not the case and chaos begins.
At the same time, Amos Diggory, father of Cedric Diggory who was murdered following the Tri Wizard Tournament, wants Harry to use a Time Turner to go back and save his son. Albus and Scorpius eavesdrop of this conversation and are introduced to Delphi, Amos’ nurse and niece.
Albus, Scorpius, and Delphi steal the Time Turner and go back in time to stop Cedric from winning. Of course things get messy. There are several things I could spoil here but I won’t because it’s a very fascinating read and it caught me off guard. Things get really, really bad for our heroes.
Overall, the story is well done. It does come across as a little as fan fiction but it kept me engaged and entertained throughout. It was nice seeing Harry as a father (even though he’s not a very good one) and it was nice having our original heroes back, even if Ron was a little underused. There are several callbacks to the original seven stories that I won’t spoil but they’re great.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, chances are you’ve read this already. If by chance you haven’t, I highly recommend it. After reading it, it makes me want to see the play even more.