Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “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 a 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. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne. It is the eighth Harry Potter story and the first to be officially presented on stage. This special rehearsal edition of the script brings the continued journey of Harry Potter and his friends and family to readers everywhere immediately following the play’s world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.”
Review: I’ll preface this review by saying that almost nothing I have to say about Cursed Child is new; I’ve read several reviews of the book, as well as a handful of Buzzfeed articles, and it seems like the general Harry Potter fandom seems to agree with me on several key points. Overall, I did not enjoy Cursed Child. It was a fast and easy read and I definitely enjoyed returning to the Hogwarts world, but the story itself certainly did not feel authentic. Even in the middle of reading I kept saying to myself, “No, that wouldn’t happen.” Like countless other fans have pointed out, Cursed Child felt very, very, VERY much like some Potterhead’s fan fiction account of what happened after the events of Deathly Hallows; it certainly did not feel like authentic J.K. Rowling storytelling. There were some bright spots in the novel; namely, Scorpius Malfoy, Dumbledore’s painting, and Snape’s brief return. But there were many more things that left me shaking my head in disbelief. For example, am I really supposed to believe that VOLDEMORT and Bellatrix had a child?! Aside from the obvious complaints (Voldemort barely has a nose, let alone a working penis), Voldemort always came off as very asexual to me. Sleeping with Bellatrix seems beneath him. And given that Delphi (“What an appropriately intimidating name for Voldemort’s daughter” said no one, ever) was supposedly delivered before the Battle of Hogwarts, how was it that no one knew Bellatrix was pregnant? And how was she able to fight in the battle so shortly after giving birth? Sure, you can always answer those questions by simply saying “magic.” But that seems like the cheap, easy way out. I also found it hard to believe that Albus, Scorpius, and Delphi were able to so easily break into Hermione’s office and steal the Time Turner, and that it took so long for the adults to realize that it was missing. And am I supposed to believe that noble, beloved Cedric Diggory could ever become a DEATH EATER just because he was humiliated during the Triwizard Tournament? These are just a few of the many moments that left me incredulous while reading Cursed Child. This book has in no way ruined or even impacted how I feel about the Harry Potter series in general because it does not feel like a legitimate continuation of the series. I would still love to see the play but I was not impressed with the script book.