Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
31st July 2016, Little, Brown
340 pages, 5/5 stars
A new Harry Potter will always be a cause for celebration. Nine years ago, when I closed the last book, I experienced a deep, deep sorrow that Harry’s story was over. But he is BACK! I was lucky enough to be working in a bookshop this morning – it wasn’t as busy as I expected, but there was a pretty constant flow of people! I got to open the boxes, but I only worked until midday, so there was still plenty of time to read the book!
First off, it is essential to highlight that this book is a SCRIPT. I thought that it would be difficult to read, but I was really pleasantly surprised. Although I can only imagine it has nothing on the stage play, the script was easy to read, and enjoyable too! Except for this particular stage direction on page 8, which is laughably awkward:
His hand is empty. It’s a lame trick. Everyone enjoys its lameness.
However, only a few pages later (page 16), there is a joke about Voldemort’s nose!
The rumour is that he’s Voldemort’s son, Albus.
It’s probably rubbish. I mean … look, you’ve got a nose.
Now, I will be divulging tidbits of information in the next paragraph which are discovered in the first twenty pages: if you don’t want to know ANYTHING about the play, please skip ahead.
WARNING: SKIP THIS SECTION IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OF THE PLOT!
The main characters in the play are Albus Severus and his greatest friend, Scorpius Malfoy. Albus has a pretty awful relationship with his dad, the famous Harry Potter. He is sorted into Slytherin, which makes things even more awkward. When he finds an opportunity to prove himself to his father, he makes his move, and drags Scorpius along with him – even though much of what they get up to is stupid, and even a bit illegal!
These elements reminded me very strongly of a lot of fanfiction I have read over the years. I love it, but I’m also a bit perturbed that the story isn’t wholly new and original – it feels like I have been there before; not in quite the same manner, but the same general story arc. But, it is now canon, and I suppose that is the most important thing.
IT IS SAFE AGAIN NOW!!!
It was still totally wonderful revisiting Harry Potter’s world though. While I don’t believe this story had quite the same magic as the originals (which is practically impossible!), I still adored every word, and will be trying my hardest to score a seat in the Palace Theatre when I visit London in December.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised – the script was easy to read and the story was a lot more engaging than I had expected it to be after Googling spoilers (because I’m awful, I’m sorry!). Some old characters make reappearances, which was great fun, and it is very funny seeing our old favourites as middle-aged stressed-out parents.
It’s definitely a must-read for any Harry Potter fan, young or old. Buy your copy from Booktopia right now!
THE EIGHTH STORY. NINETEEN YEARS LATER…
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.
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 30 July 2016.
The stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.