Book Reviews

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry_Potter_and_the_Cursed_Child_Special_Rehearsal_Edition_Book_CoverAs soon as I got my hands on the book I just sat there, staring at it, amazed that I was actually holding it in my hands. A new Harry Potter book. The car ride from the bookstore to my house seemed to take forever because I was so impatient to start reading it.

I knew that this would probably be the last time I’d read a Harry Potter book for the first time so I wanted to get the most out of it. I got comfortable in my big reading chair, I found a playlist with all the Harry Potter movie soundtracks and put in my headphones – I often listen to movie soundtracks or instrumental music when reading. Then I started reading and it was amazing.

I had my concerns after reading some of the early reviews but the fact that it was only a script and not a full-fledged novel never bothered me, I’d always known what it was and I don’t understand how people can have missed the part about the book containing a script, I mean it’s written in big letters at the top, “special rehearsal edition SCRIPT”.

A lot of the reviews said the story was difficult to get into because it was written as a script, the story was too much like fan fiction, that the characters didn’t act like themselves and that there were too many inconsistencies. Some were angry because they felt that this story didn’t deserve to be considered canon. Those were just some of the complaints people had about it.

After finishing the book I find that I disagree with about 90 percent of the criticism given by other reviewers. The fact that it was a script didn’t make it difficult to enjoy the story, and while I understand how the plot might remind some people of fan fiction I don’t think that makes it a bad plot. Harry Potter is the most popular book series among fan fiction writers these days so some of the fan fiction out there is bound to be a bit similar to this script. While I was shocked by some of the things said and done by some of the characters none of them seemed really out of character in my opinion. I know a lot of people disagree but not everyone sees the characters the same way. I honestly don’t think anyone besides J. K. Rowling herself can really say whether or not Harry and co. are out of character since she as their creator knows them better than anyone. People change a lot between the age of 17 and 40, and when judging the characters’ behavior we have to take into account that we don’t know everything they’ve been through and we know even less when these characters are introduced in alternate realities where everything has changed. There were a few things here and there that shouldn’t be possible according to what we’ve learned in the previous books but they didn’t make me enjoy the story any less.

Now I really see what Rowling meant when she said that the era of the Hufflepuff was approaching. Not only is Newt Scamander, the main character in the new spinoff movie trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a Hufflepuff, but Harry Potter and the Cursed Child also revisited one of the most iconic and beloved Hufflepuffs who hasn’t been mentioned in a while – Cedric Diggory.

I can’t remember ever being so moved by a Harry Potter book before. It had everything I wanted and more. It was heartbreaking, scary, exciting and hilarious. I actually think reading the script instead of watching the actual play made everything better because it allowed me to visualize everything in my head. I actually had to put the book down for a bit because it got so scary near the ending. Sometimes a vivid imagination is terrifying. Also I cannot imagine how annoying the wait must have been between watching part 1 and 2 because DAMN THAT WAS SOME TWIST at the end of act 2.

Yes it might have been a bit more interesting if it was written as a novel and yes there was a handful of tiny mistakes and yes some of the characters didn’t act the way we expected them to but so what? Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was a damn great story and it was refreshing to see Harry and his friends as adults with real adult problems. This was a far cry from fan fiction, this was a real story that showed us that even heroes aren’t perfect and that life isn’t easy after the big bad is defeated. This was a fantastic conclusion to the story of Harry Potter, and if this truly is the last we’ll ever hear from the boy who lived I’ll be satisfied.





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