“Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child was billed the official eighth book in the Harry Potter series. It’s set 19 years post-Battle of Hogwarts and released nearly a decade after The Deathly Hallows. The Cursed Child is a two-part play written by playwright Jack Thorne and based on the original story by J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.
The Cursed Child begins at King’s Cross station on platform 9 and 3 three quarters where Albus Severus Potter (son of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley) and Rose Granger-Weasley (daughter of Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger) board the Hogwarts Express to begin their first year at Hogwarts. While Harry juggles being a husband, raising three children and an exceedingly demanding job as Head of Magical Law Enforcement, his youngest son, Albus struggles with the presuppositions that came with being the son of the Chosen One. Not being able to live up to his father’s legacy, Albus develops an abhorrence for Hogwarts as well as a resentment toward his father. A resentment so blinding, causing him to make a series of careless, slipshod decisions which could affect their present and future.
As an avid fan of the Harry Potter series, I must be honest by saying that I was immensely disappointed. With bated breath, I waited for the release of this book, only to read it and then find myself confused by the storyline and questioning whether an eighth book was necessary. I didn’t feel the child-like sense of wonder and endearment I felt when I first read the books or watched the movies. There was a complete disconnect between the preceding seven books and this one. It lacked the essence of J.K Rowling and her wondrous, spellbinding imagination. It read like fan-fiction, as I found myself questioning why certain characters did things which were far beyond their character.
In the first seven books, we explore a mystical, magical world where anything is possible. This book, however, was more character-driven and focused on the relationship between Harry and his son. Ron’s character was painted as insignificant and only featured him as comic relief. Hermione was the Minister for Magic which I found extremely odd as I could never picture her being part of the ministry. In fact, taking her extensive value of education into account, I thought she’d become a professor at Hogwarts.
I have to say that if I hadn’t read the previous books, I probably would have pictured Hogwarts as a sombre, lugubrious place. It left me wishing I had a Time-Turner, in order to use it to unread this book.
- JK Rowling – The Harry Potter series 1 – 7 (MUST READ)
- JK Rowling – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child explores the power of time.” – New York Times
“The big problem is The Cursed Child is less an original story than a remix of Potter mythology. The been there, done that feeling to the whole thing is its greatest weakness.” – The Hollywood Reporter