Book review: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts 1 & 2” by Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany(spoiler free)

Hi all,

As promised in my previous post, here is my review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. To be completely honest with you, I wasn’t planning to read this play at all. I’d only heard pretty bad reviews from my friends whose opinions I trust. A few said that it kind of ruined Harry Potter for them and I wasn’t about to do the same. However, after I went to a launch event in France for the French version of the play, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the English version on my Kindle.

Long story short, I am really glad I did.

I’m not going to give you a synopsis of the story because it’s better to go into it not knowing. All you need to know is that the story centers around Harry’s son Albus.

harry_potter_and_the_cursed_child_special_rehearsal_edition_book_coverThis play is by no means comparable to the Harry Potter series. However, meeting your old favourite characters does bring a lot of good memories and a certain sense of comfort. It is familiar territory and you can get right into the story. In terms of the plot, one of my friend told me that she felt like this play was just bad fan fiction. To be completely honest, I haven’t read much fan fiction so I don’t really have a frame of reference. All I know is that, in my opinion, this story does the job of being entertaining and keeping you guessing.

I did have quite a few issue with this play. First, I thought that, at time, the stage directions read more like narration than stage directions. It didn’t ring right and kind of threw me off. I have read quite a few plays through my studies and stage directions are always straight to the point, with just enough details for the readers to understand the context. However, in this case, they sometimes referred to the feelings and thoughts of the characters and I thought it was a bit too much.

I also thought that some parts of the plot were a bit rushed whereas others dragged on for an unnecessary long time. I would have liked more balance. Moreover, because most of the other characters were already known, I thought the kids weren’t really introduced and lacked development. Although we knew who they were based on their parents, we didn’t get to know much about their characters. Of course, we get to learn about Albus and his best friend (I’m not going to tell you who it is) in length, but what about Emma and James for instance. Once again, I would have liked to see more balance.

Anyway, before this review gets too long and boring, I want to conclude by saying that, although Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is by no means the book of the year in my opinion, I did enjoy the story. It brought me back to the series that has influenced me in many ways and I loved reconnecting with some of my favourite characters (Ron ftw!).

Moral of the story: it’s always better to make your own opinion of a book. Even if I had ended up not liking it, it still would have been worth reading to understand why other people might have liked it or not.

I wish I could go see the play live. I’m sure it’s a completely different experience and I’ve only heard great things. Unfortunately, I’m no longer in London so it might be a bit tricky. Here’s to hoping I get the chance one of these days.

If you’ve read this play, I would love for you to let me know what you thought in the comments.

Rating: 4 stars (I suck at this rating thing. I think I’m always too generous. Oh well, don’t trust anything I say then.)

On that note, it’s well into December 1st and I still haven’t opened my advent calendar so,

Toodles,

Pow.

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