By Tqwana B.
4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
4 stars for nostalgia and 3 stars for story
First, some conditions of this review:
- It is spoiler free. I will #keepthesecrets.
- This is based solely on the words on the page. Plays are meant to be read aloud and performed. I’m sure it’s magical – pun intended – on stage. The stage directions have my mind spinning wondering how they pulled them off.
- If you read spoilers after the first previews, they are true. I wanted to not believe them b/c they seemed too on the nose as far as Albus’ Hogwarts House and such (Albus Severus Potter = ASP = Snake… just ugh!). But, then again, I though RAB being Regulus was too obvious to be true, and we see how that turned out.
- This is the rehearsal script, not the final one. I hear that comes out next year in a Definitive Edition. I hope that means Act III is shorter, cuz geez…
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is finally here! And I’m a little bit disappointed. This is probably the first Potter book I didn’t read in one sitting, and considering it’s a script and a very short read in relation, that’s saying something.
I loved being back in Harry’s world, but this read like fan fiction. Decent fan fiction, but fan fiction nonetheless. The story is in part created by Rowling, but you can tell right away, it’s not her writing. And while some of the characterizations were spot on, Harry and Hermione for example, there were others that seemed off. Ron leaned too much on the comic relief movie version than the more well-rounded but still funny version I loved in the book series. Two others from the past just didn’t feel quite right either.
The main plot involving a time-turner is pretty far-fetched and slightly ridiculous, even for a book series about witches, wizards, and magical creatures. The villain is also pretty obvious from the beginning. Again, very fan fiction-ish motivation. I’m sure I’ve read one with a similar villain.
Don’t expect a continuation of the Golden Trio’s adventures. This is firmly a story about the Potters (most of them anyway… I missed Lily and James Jrs. And where was Teddy???), which is the strength of the play and the part I loved the most. This is Harry’s story as a father and a husband, and Albus as the son who lives in his shadow and does some very stupid things because of it. Of course, Ron and Hermione are there and even have some very adorable Ron and Hermione moments. But, Harry turns to his wife (Ginny’s great. I adore Ginny. my H/G shipping heart was satisfied), as he should, and probably has more screen time with Draco Malfoy than Ron and Hermione combined, which is expected considering the nature of the story.
And then there’s Scorpius. I love Scorpius Malfoy! All the adoration that Draco undeservedly received from fans, Scorpius more than earns. He’s probably worth the price of the ticket alone. Funny how the Death Eater raised a great kid and the Golden Trio raised morons.
Still, this is a Potter story, a glimpse into adult Harry’s life, so I can’t dislike it. It’s what most of the fans have wanted since “all was well.” In fact, I want more. There’s still 19 years in between that we can explore. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne still confront many of the themes we’re used to from the books, with love, loneliness and acceptance at the forefront. I just wish it surrounded a plot that wasn’t so outlandish.