Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

This is the script that millions of people around the world have waited for – What Harry Potter Did Next. The world of Potter fandom went wild last year when the first tickets went on sale for the next (and possibly) final story to come out of the Potterverse. Following a few months later, this is the script for both parts of the 4-hour play.

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19 years after the events of The Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter is married to Ginny; they have three children. Hermione Grainger is married to Ron; they have one child. Voldemort is dead and all is seemingly right with the world. It loosely follows on from the moment right at the very end of The Deathly Hallows where Harry’s young son Albus Severus Potter tells his father he is worried about being put in Slytherin upon his arrival at Hogwarts. This is the story of what happens next.

Albus Severus Potter is a troubled child compared to his two siblings. He’s strong-minded and willful, and perhaps a little resentful at being Harry Potter’s son. His mood swings and erratic behaviour soon lead him to clash with the school, his father and all but one of his friends – a Malfoy. Meanwhile, something is stirring – rumours that Voldemort had a child will not die down and Harry’s scar starts to hurt.

Firstly, it really needs pointing out that this is not a novel, it is a script. I’m in a Facebook book group and was surprised to learn that many people did not realise this one small yet significant fact. J.K. Rowling did not write it and no novel is expected to follow. The thing with scripts is that because you can’t see the set you must use your imagination. Not a problem for a writer, I must admit!

This is a gripping story. It gripped me much more than I thought and although I figured out what was going to happen, the revelation was no less disappointing. Also, credit to the writers for getting the essence of the characters right. The story also took a few unexpected twists and turns that really added depth to the story. I was particularly pleased to see the change in Draco Malfoy. I won’t give too much away, but he is different enough from the books but you can still “feel” that it is him.

My only complaint is that some of the dialogue didn’t feel quite right. There were a few instances of being unable to imagine certain characters saying that or saying it in that way. Sometimes, it just didn’t feel quite right. That said, this is a great but a short read (scripts are much quicker to read than novels because of next to no description). A must for Potter completists. Also, if you’ve not read the books or seen the films, it is unwise to start here. There are too many references to the back story for it to make sense.

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