Book Reviews

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child By Jack Thorne & John Tiffany


Published: July 31st 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books

Source: Local Library

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

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.


 Like majority of the Harry Potter fandom, I was eagerly anticipating the “eighth book” in the Harry Potter series after so many years. Of course after I discovered that J.K. Rowling didn’t actually write the play, I was pretty skeptical. I decided I would try and read after the hype died down. Did I enjoy this story? Some of it, but not all. Is it the worst story in the world? Not in the least, but I can agree with most of the complaints people had about it. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this play, though. There were definitely times where I wanted to chuck the book out the window. There were very few redeeming qualities, to say the least. For now, I deem this book as just okay.

Starting with the format of the book, it’s in play format. Which could be the norm for some people who are used to the format. I’ve read a few plays, but I found the format to be very disconcerting. There were so many lines that appeared awkward or confusing. There were times where I honestly had no clue what was going. I think part of that has to do with the both the plot and format. I think if the actual story was released, rather than the rehearsal edition script, I would have found it be a lot less confusing. 

I’m sure this goes for so many reviewers, but the plot was just…terrible. Honestly, it was absolutely ridiculous. I can’t say much without spoiling anything, but I found the plot to be ridiculous to the point of laughter. Highlight for spoiler: I mean, going back in time to save Cedric Diggory? How stupid can Albus get? Cedric’s death was completely unnecessary, but why is the plot revolved around it? Also, why didn’t Amos come to Harry much earlier about the bringing back Cedric? Things did not add up at all. In addition, Voldemort reproducing a child with Bellatrix revolts me so much. That aspect was definitely felt like fanfiction. But to be completely honest, fanfiction writers would have done a much better job. There were so many inconsistencies with the Time Turner and far too many plot holes. If it were up to me, I would scrapped the entire Voldemort idea. I mean, why bring up Voldemort at all? Couldn’t they have written an entirely different plot? There is so much to this world, it’s not that hard. The plot was definitely the worst part of the story. Sorry to those who loved but I could not get past the inconsistency of it.

 As for the characters, I’ll start off on the positive side of the spectrum. Scorpius is ray of a sunshine and a precious cinnamon roll. I absolutely loved him. One of the only redeemable qualities of this book. I could read a whole book on him. He’s not just the voice of reason, but what really held the story together. I also loved his friendship with Albus. The two were friends through everything and it was so sweet and adorable. As for Albus, he is literally the epitome of an angsty teenager. Like 5th book Harry to the max. I really felt like going through the book and slapping some sense into him. I can see why he didn’t want to be Harry’s son, but at least be grateful for all he’s done for you.  Highlight for spoiler: I don’t care what anyone says, but their relationship was total queer baiting. It was so clear to me that they liked each other. Wouldn’t it great if they were actual LGBTQ+ aspects to the story? But of course Scorpius had to like Rose, even though she’s terrible to him. Because she is such a wonderful character. I hated Rose as a character. I expected their to be another Golden Trio with Albus, Scorpius and Rose. Sadly, she literally appeared for a few seconds and she was jerk. I mean, I’m sure Ron and Hermione taught her better. Lily and James were also absent as well. I would have loved to see some sibling bonding. Also, where is Teddy Lupin? The Granger-Weasley-Potter family dinners? There was none of that. 😦

As for the Golden Trio, I really couldn’t come to like any of them. Hermione was okay, I did like she was the Minister of Magic. Harry’s character really disappointed me, though. The things he said to Albus were terrible and I couldn’t get past it. I know for a fact that the Harry Potter I know would never say something so terrible to his son. However, Ron was the biggest disappointment. What was even the point of his character? He was just their for comical relief with his stupid, lame jokes. Ron contributed so much to the series, but he was just an idiot in this book. I did like Ginny, I think it’s cool she works for The Daily Prophet. Surprisingly, I also thought Draco was hilarious. 

DRACO: “Keep up, old man.”

HARRY: “We’re the same age, Draco.”

DRACO: “I wear it better.”

I guess he got the redemption arc everyone was waiting for. Though, I think it could have been done much better. 

Overall, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child had very little redeemable qualities to me. The plot was ridiculous, most of the characters I wanted to be present were absent or present for two seconds and a few were just terrible or unnecessary. Like I’ve said, Scorpius is the biggest reason I enjoyed parts of this book. Do I consider this the eighth book? Not at all. I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed since I went in with low expectations. But I am really sad about how the story turned out. I really wish I could have liked it. It did have me craving to reread Harry Potter which is always a good thing. 🙂

Rating: 2.25/5


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