Genre: Fantasy, Drama/Stage Play
Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Release Date: 31 July 2016
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.
What I Liked:
I was actually kind of afraid going into this. I love the Harry Potter series, and I really didn’t know how to feel about an official sequel that’s not a novel written by J.K. Rowling. But, I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I actually really enjoyed the play format. I love dialogue and easily get annoyed at lengthy, descriptive paragraphs filled with imagery (like Tolkien, for instance). Reading a play feels very fast-paced. You’re given enough description of the set and actions to create a mental picture, but you’re not overloaded with information.
It was slow going in the beginning, with a retread of the book 7 epilogue and fast-forwarding through Albus’s first few years at Hogwarts. Once the actual story starts, this story is so much fun! I’m not going to say too much about the plot, because I don’t want to spoil it for people, so I’ll just say that I love a good time-travel story. This had elements that reminded me of Back to the Future and Doctor Who. Everything might not make complete sense, but it’s so much fun that it doesn’t really matter.
Also, Scropius Malfoy is adorable.
What I Didn’t:
Without being specific, there are definitely some plot holes. There’s one thing in particular that is…suspect when it comes to actually fitting in with continuity. I didn’t mind the format at all, but I can see how it might not be for everyone. The beginning felt a bit slow, and it took me while to get fully engrossed in the story. Part of this is probably because I was so frustrated with Albus, but he gets better as the story gets on.
I’m so glad that this play exists. Sure, it reminds me a bit more of Harry Potter fanfiction than the actual books, but I don’t really mind that. Some things in the original series read a bit like fanfiction too (like the Harry/Ginny stuff in book 6). The characters were in character, the relationships were interesting, and the time-travel plot was a ton of fun. I would absolutely LOVE to see this play on stage one day. I just can’t imagine how they pull off all of the magic that this story contains. It really must be incredible to see. Hopefully a USA tour will be put together at some point. I do recommend reading this play. Is it as good as the original series? No, but it is still a fun look at the future of the Wizarding World (or the present/future, seeing as the opening scene I set in 2016!).
My Rating: 4/5