In case you have somehow missed it, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released on July 31st! While a tiny percentage of fans were able to get tickets to the play itself, the rest of us will have to make do with reading the book. There will be no spoilers in this review plot-wise, but there will be some discussion of writing style!
So, what exactly is this book? It is a two part play that takes place 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts (not the Epilogue of Deathly Hallows, like some thought). You are reading a script, and not a novel. I didn’t actually put two and two together on this one until about Wednesday, but now that I’ve read it, it wasn’t an issue for me. The stage directions set the scene as well as the prose in the novel, only in a different way. Once you get used to it, there isn’t that much of a difference, aside from when there are several cut scenes back to back to back. You can read the visual cues, but I found it slightly difficult to picture a few here and there.
The fact that it is a play and not a novel helps the plot line move. There is no lingering or slow builds, things happen. While I love the level of detail that J.K. Rowling built into Harry’s world, it’s nice to not drown in descriptors of a world we already know. I think for her sake, a shorter work (in comparison to the books) was a great way to dive back into the series. Harry Potter will always be her bread and butter, I should think, but it’s probably a nice feeling to not have to commit to 700 page book.
I loved getting to know Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron’s kids! We obviously ended Deathly Hallows with that short episode at King’s Cross, but we are finally delving into their lives. We never really got to see anyone’s parents in the first seven books; sure, the Weasley’s appear from time to time, but nothing substantial. The Cursed Child does actually include Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Harry (as well as other characters), which not only ties the original characters in but gives you more of an idea who their kids are. The original trio’s parents may have been at a distance but they are involved in their kids’ lives, and that affects who the kids are.
I’m going to leave it at that for now- I want to make sure this stays spoiler free, and I’ve written and deleted three or four paragraphs that have border on spoilers, oops! I’m dying to know what everyone thought of it! Did you enjoy reading it? Was it what you expected? Do you think that it was a good continuation of the Harry Potter saga? And, the big question, would you be willing to fly to London to see Parts I and II of the play in person? Please let me know in the comments below!