Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Posted September 9, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 7 Comments

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
on July 31, 2016
Pages: 301
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Cuckoo's Calling

Eighth in the Harry Potter fantasy series and revolving, eighteen years later, around young Albus Potter.

I would like to note that while the Harry Potter books are aimed at young adult readers (and are one of the standards to which I hold writers for that age group), I doubt that the kids would appreciate the screenplay style. I found it dulling.

My Take

The cover claims that this is “based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling”, and I wish there had been an actual new story that had been adapted into a screenplay. I suspect that Rowling merely gave them the outline with which to write this screenplay.

That said, the basis of the story is that of the son having to follow in his father’s footsteps…and feeling totally inadequate. And poor Harry, well, he’s a typical dad who doesn’t know how to cope. As for that Act Four, Scene Four bit, I can understand Harry’s thoughts, but it’s not written very well.

The basics of this screenplay run along the Harry Potter lines, but it lacks the emotionally descriptive writing of the Rowling style. If you must read it, I suggest borrowing the book and deciding if you want to spend the money. I appreciate having read it, if only to see how Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and the rest are doing these eighteen years later, but I did not enjoy the formatting style.

I did enjoy the joking about. There’s one instance with Ron bragging about having passed his Muggle driving test that took me right back. As for St. Oswald’s, it does sound like a lot of fun, lol. I also appreciated the praise Harry heaps on Professor Snape. As for Scorpius’ idea of love “growing”, oh, boy…*she says in laughter*…

I do not like the sound of Rose. I’d’ve thought Ron and Hermione would have raised her better. As for Harry, I’d would’ve thought he’d be more empathetic about Scorpius’ problems. Instead he’s become the Establishment. Thankfully, it’s a façade that crumbles at the end.

There’s some back history such as what Aunt Petunia tells Harry about his parents and a reprise of Lily, James, and Harry’s encounter with Voldemort.

The story races, and I do mean races, as we’re already up to year two at Hogwarts by page 22 with the previous pages having set up Albus’ initial conflict and issues and by page 26 we’re in year three in which the kick-off, the turning point of the whole story, begins with Albus angry with his father’s dismissal of Amos Diggory’s plea.

A minor conflict in the story, well, minor to Albus anyway, is the stirrings in the Dark, as Voldemort’s allies are stirring, writhing, threatening.

The moral of the story is DON’T mess about with time and is a terrifying look at what the alternatives could have been.

“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.”

The Story

Young Albus can’t decide if he’s excited or terrified about going off to Hogwarts for the first time, for in the time-honored tradition of siblings, young James has been filling his head with terrifying possibilities. Especially with the possibility that Albus will end up in Slytherin!!

“…the unseen child who will kill his father…”

The Characters

The thirty-seven-year-old Harry Potter, the head of Magical Law Enforcement, is married to Ginny Weasley (she edits the Daily Prophet sports page), and they have three children: James, Albus Severus, and Lily. James and Lily Potter were our Harry’s parents.

Ron Weasley (he runs the Weasley joke shop) and Hermione Granger, the current Minister for Magic, are married with a daughter, Rose Granger-Weasley. Ethel is Hermione’s secretary.

Draco Malfoy, a Death Eater, is married to Astoria. Their son is Scorpius who lives under a dread cloud.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is…

…a boarding school for young wizards and witches with four Houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. Students travel to the school aboard the Hogwarts Express, the special wizarding train which leaves from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. The Trolley Witch is there selling her tasties — and it turns out she’s quite a bit more than we’d ever believed. Ottaline Gambol had something to do with the beginning of the Hogwarts Express.

I think Professor McGonagall is the current headmistress. Madam Hooch is still teaching flying. Neville Longbottom is the botany professor. Madam Pomfrey still reigns in the medical wing. Rubeus Hagrid had been the Keeper of Keys and Grounds. Albus Dumbledore had been the headmaster.

Slytherin House is…
…a house of Dark wizards with a snake as its mascot. The one from which Voldemort rose and into which Albus and Scorpius are sorted.

Gryffindor House is…
…a house of champions and had been Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s own house and into which James was placed. Its mascot is a lion. Rose will become the new Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

Other students include Polly Chapman who is a right berk, Karl Jenkins, Yann Fredericks, and the fated Craig Bowker, Jr., who is intimidated in alternate timelines.

Hogsmeade is…
…a village the students may visit once they’re in their third year. Honeydukes is the sweet shop in the village for which I need to win the lottery.

Bane is a centaur in the forest around Hogwarts. Moaning Myrtle, a.k.a., Myrtle Elizabeth Warren, is the ghost in the bathroom. Bathilda Bagshot still lives in Godric’s Hollow.

Amos Diggory is now wheelchair-bound and living at St. Oswald’s Home for Old Witches and Wizards. His son, Cedric, was killed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 4. Delphini “The Auguery” Diggory is Amos’ niece who works as a nurse at the Home. Ludo Bagman had been in charge of the Triwizard Tournament in which Viktor “Krazy Krum” had represented Durmstrang, another school for magic. Cornelius Fudge had been the Minister for Magic back in the day.

In Alternate Timelines…
…as Albus pursues his goal…Aunt Padma is married to Ron, and their son is Padmu. Albus is in Gryffindor. The mean Professor Hermione Granger suffers her choices. Professor Dolores Umbridge is headmistress (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 5). Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom are dead. Scorpius is quite popular as the Scorpion King, and his dad is the head of Magical Law Enforcement. Professor Snape is still alive. Cedric is still alive, but not in a good way.

Voldemort, the Dark Lord, a.k.a., Tom Riddle, was the evil wizard who was finally defeated in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 7. Nagini had been Voldemort’s snake. Theodore Nott and Euphemia Rowle and her family had been Death Eaters, some of Voldemort’s followers. Dumbledore’s Army had been the group of students and adults who had fought against Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

The Dursleys were a Muggle family who had to take Harry in when he was orphaned. Aunt Petunia had been sister to Lily Potter (Harry’s mum) and married to Uncle Vernon. Cousin Dudley seems to have turned into a nicer guy.

A Time-Turner allows you to travel through time. Professor Croaker’s law is all about time, and sounds as if it operates in a manner similar to Moore’s Law combined with the butterfly effect. Mudbloods is a pejorative for Muggles, regular humans. An Augurey is a sinister-looking black bird that is believed to foretell death.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a linear gradation of golden yellows with a below-middle graphic of young Albus in his winged nest, flying off into his own adventures. All the text is embossed in a deep brown, and the three-dimensional title is at the top with the authors listed below along with the “warnings” about “based” and being “a new play”.

The title is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but the question is which child is the cursed one?

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7 responses to “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

  1. Hmm well I pre-ordered it and have it on my shelf waiting to be read, so hopefully I enjoy the style a bit more than you. Bummer! Sounds like there’s still a good story in there so that’s a relief.

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