Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-cursed-childWritten in script form because it is a stage play, the latest installment of the Harry Potter series picks up when Harry is in his late thirties, and his child, Albus, is entering Hogwarts for the first time. Albus is at the center of this play, which chronicles his attempt to alter the course of time and prevent Cedric Diggory (played in the film by sparkly vampire Robert Pattinson) from being killed by Lord Voldemort at the Triwizard Tournament. Albus, along with his bestie, Scorpius Malfoy (yep, THAT Malfoy), try to help one of Diggory’s relatives, Delphi, by time traveling back to the tournament to change the events of that day. Of course, what they end up doing is creating a ripple effect in time that changes their present day very significantly.

Because of the visits to the past, many of the beloved characters from the original novels make an appearance. Others, such as Professor McGonagall, are still at Hogwarts in the present day. Even Neville Longbottom is a professor at the school!

So, here’s the thing about this. Because it’s written as a play, the words themselves are rather flat. The dialogue is pretty lame and lacks substance. I can imagine that told on a stage, with the actors’ expressions, movements and special effects, the story comes alive. As a standalone, it’s incredibly disappointing. The story itself is well-imagined, as you would come to expect with J.K. Rowling. As a book I’m sure it would be phenomenal.

I read this in a 24-hour period. It’s not the usual thick tome that Rowling puts out with this series, and it’s also comprised of short acts, so the pages go very quickly. For a fan of the series, it’s worth reading, even though it’s not in the format or up to the standards that you would expect. I could see Albus and Scorpius having a series of their own. It would be interesting to follow their exploits through the rest of their time at Hogwarts. Hint, hint, Ms. Rowling!

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