Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 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. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
DISCLAIMER: NO SPOILERS. I have lots of mixed feelings about this play, so I held off a little on writing the review so I could “digest” a bit.
In the story, Albus is struggling through his years at Hogwarts and I have to say – he was pretty annoying at times and made some awful decisions. To some degree, I understand the motivations, in others it felt like aspects of his personality were very forced to drive the plot. I’ll backup and say that generally the plot was very forced and I didn’t “buy it” completely. Scorpius, thank goodness, was awesome and pulled things together. (I wish I had seen a lot more about the other kids!)
Even if I ignore the forced plot, there were a few other aspects about the story that didn’t quite line up with the timelines in the first seven books. As I have been re-reading the series in advance of this release, this was probably more annoying to me since everything is particularly fresh in my mind. Despite those shortcomings, there were aspects about the characters that were incredible to see. I loved seeing the return of characters and how they might have reacted differently if circumstances were changed. I can imagine that this seen in person would have been incredible.
All in all, while I can see how this would be fantastic as an “entertainment value” play, I’m not 100% convinced the story fits as canon. I enjoyed the read and enjoyed going back to the universe, but it feels more like fan fiction rather than the slow unravelling and reveal that we expect from J.K. Rowling.
Warning: Contains violence and some disturbing aspects to the Harry Potter universe.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Fans who HAVE to know what happened.
Want to read the whole series? I won’t consider this “Harry Potter #8”, but it is in the same world…
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)