I made the mistake of thinking Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was written by J.K. Rowling. It is not. And even though it’s supposed to have been based off a short story by Rowling, and it appears she has sanctioned this play, I was very disappointed in this book.
My husband and I are both HUGE Harry Potter fans. We read the series out loud together early in our dating life (and then later when the last book came out), and we’ve listened to the audiobooks numerous times since then – together and apart. (I’d previously read the first 3 books in the series in college and re-read them all as each new book came out.)
When this play was announced, I originally wanted to go to London this summer for one of the early shows. Knowing that was a little crazy, I instead pre-ordered the script when it was announced. I knew we’d have to read this play together – just like old times.
The play itself isn’t hard to read. It’s mostly dialog which is my favorite part of many books anyway. It was a little tricky to read aloud because unless my husband was looking over my shoulder, I had to read the character names before reading their lines. I don’t do voices.
There’s very little I liked about the play. In fact, I’d like to pretend I never read it. I am going to treat it the same way I treat the one fan fiction book I read a couple of years ago, like just that – fan fiction. Even though Rowling gave the idea for this story, I am not going to treat it as canon.
That being said, I was happy with the jobs that Harry, Hermione, and Ginny ended up with. Ron, not so much. One of the additional things I wanted from the epilogue at the end of book 7 was to know what careers the main characters ended up in.
And Albus and Scorpius were really cute. I liked this new generation friendship. Their banter reminded me of Ron and Hermione in the earlier books.
And that’s about it.
Without giving anything away, I will say the following:
- The original characters seemed really out of character. Draco was about the most believable.
- I hate time travel stories that mess with the original plot line. If it didn’t always happen that way, then it’s not possible. This book changed too many things, too many times.
- They messed with the way some magical things worked. Time turners don’t need to be touched; they need to be around the people’s necks. Polyjuice potion isn’t brewed overnight, and it requires a hair of the person you’re transforming into. For me, Harry Potter has always been about the details, and they messed with the details with this play.
- Harry is married to Ginny now. Hermione to Ron. Ron and Ginny should not have been on the outside of all of the action. Their marriages were too flat.
- And the big reveal about Delphi? No. Just no. I didn’t buy it.
This play probably makes a better play. If I’d seen it live first, I think I would have just loved seeing the characters brought to life – new and old. I wouldn’t have cared so much about the story (maybe). But reading it as “the eighth Harry Potter” book was just a mistake. Sadly, that’s what I did, and my opinions and rating reflect that misconception.
Rating: 2 Stars