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.
I just have to say that this is really hard to review because there is so much going on and I don’t want to give anything away. However, I really wanted to review The Cursed Child because, duh, it’s Harry Potter.
So it’s 19 years later and Albus, Harry and Ginny’s second child, starts Hogwarts and becomes friends with Scorpius Malfoy, Draco’s son. Albus is very much like his father, in that he jumps to conclusions, has a short fuse, and makes horrible decisions. Scorpius is nothing like Draco, including the fact that Draco seems to be a really great dad, which was so satisfying. This book is an adventure, of sorts, for Albus & Scorpius, which involves time travel, resentment, revenge, and older, smarter people cleaning up their mess.
I liked the time travel aspect, which lead to the reader getting to see different sides of our favorite characters and maybe redeeming some of them, as well. It was also a way for the readers to delve deeper into characters and knowing them in a way that we didn’t get to in the rest of the series. Draco, I’m looking at you.
It wasn’t perfect, but it really felt like coming home. I don’t really know this Harry or Hermione or Ron, but I could still see the kids that I do know, who changed the world. This final story, this story that showed us how Harry and the others turned out, it was awful and wonderful and thrilling. It wasn’t what I necessarily would have wanted, because I would have wanted Harry to be free from all worry and pain now that he’s defeated Voldemort, but I know that getting over some past painful experiences doesn’t necessarily give you a free ride for the rest of your life. There were some painful times, like Harry’s relationship with his Albus, that broke my heart. But there were also some wonderful parts with Albus and Scorpius that were really reminded me of the trio. I seriously loved Scorpius.
Yes, it did read a bit like fanfiction and this will always be Harry Potter cannon, which is unfortunate because a large part of it is unbelievable and strange. BUT! I do recommend it if you’re a Potter fan. I’m dying to see the actual play. I think you can tell that Rowling didn’t do the actual writing, but maybe just contributed to the plot, and that is probably what is most disappointing. Given that it’s the script for a play, it doesn’t allow for much room for the wonderful descriptive prose that Rowling does so well. I would actually LOVE a real book about Albus & Scorpius & Rose & all of them, going in depth with their day to day, getting insight into Albus’ thinking, and seeing the relationships between all of these and the better known characters fully realized, rather than getting a Cliff Notes version that ultimately isn’t satisfying. I think these characters deserve better, and we, the obsessives, the readers, the fans, do as well.
Having said all that, I did enjoy the book. I think the fact that it was actually sanctioned by Rowling and has her name on the book lessens its appeal because we’ve come to expect more and better. This is watered down Potter, but at the same time it wasn’t long enough to really satisfy my obsession. So, it appears that I loved it and I hated it. But The Cursed Child introduced me to Scorpius, who is now one of my absolute favorite characters, so it can’t be that bad.