Author : J.K.Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Genre : Fantasy
My Rating : 2.5/5
To begin with, I am so glad that the first book I’ll be reviewing is a book of the single most celebrated series of my era. Hogwarts is a huge part of our childhood. So It was natural that I had huge expectations from the eighth instalment of my favourite series. Even when I was hearing lots of negative reviews and complaints about it, my excitement for it couldn’t be deterred.
I received the book only recently and I started reading it the instant I laid my hands on it and finished it in three hours straight. (What? I am an hardcore Potterhead, okay)
I know by now pretty much every Potterhead in the world must’ve read the book but just in case this review contains some spoilers.
Even though I knew that the book was written in script format, it felt odd and different reading it. But after a few pages I surprisingly got used to it. Mainly because of rowling’s fantastic & descriptive writing in the last seven books. The familiar scenes and settings of the wizarding world were easy for me to imagine. (Thank you Rowling)
The book starts where the last one left off. Nineteen years later after the Great battle of Hogwarts. We meet the next generation of Hogwarts. Though the title reads ‘Harry Potter’ and the Cursed Child, it is centered around Harry’s son Albus and Draco’s son Scorpius.
Though the focus was on the new generation, we do meet the Golden Trio. I liked that Hermoine is the Minister of Magic. A muggle born holding the highest office, ahh how the wizarding world has changed in the last 20 years!
Albus and Scorpius meeting in the Hogwarts Express for the first time and going on to become the best of friends is remiscient to how Harry and Ron met. But that’s where the similarities end. Albus and Scorpius hold their own ground, have their own individual personalities. Thank you Merlin! I personally would have hated if Albus is shown as the Next Harry or Scorpius the Junior Malfoy. Where Harry Potter was hero worshipped and celebrated, Albus Potter is laughed and mocked at. Where Draco Malfoy was proud and popular, Scorpius is anything but.
In fact, the book largely focuses on Scorpius and Albus’s troubled relationship with their fathers. Albus and Harry’s more so. Harry, though having had a lot of father figures to look upto while growing up (Dumbledore, Lupin, Sirius, Hagrid, Arthur Weasley!) is shown as a confused and a clueless father. But only to Albus. James and lily are ‘supposedly’ the happier children though nothing much about them is mentioned. They are completely left out from the book.If you didn’t know any better, one would think Albus is an only child. Would have been nice if they had thrown some light into Albus’s relationship with his siblings. Or Harry’s relationship with them.
The Harry in this book sometimes seemed incompatible with the Harry in the previous seven books. I can’t imagine Harry ever saying something like “I sometimes wish you are not my son” or “The thing that scares me the most is being a dad to you” to his son. Or use his Ministry connections and threaten the deputy headmistress and his former professor Minerva Mcgonagall into agreeing to his demands.
I also didn’t like how they had dealt with the character of Ron. He is more of a joke in this book than the key important character that we are accustomed with.
Though they seemed to have messed up the old characters, the new ones seemed well placed to me though sometimes poorly written. Never thought I would say this but I actually liked a Malfoy more than a Potter. Scorpius Malfoy was delightful. His friendship with Albus is one of the highlights of the book. Though I wish we had more of Rose Granger Weasley. She is only shown bossing and reprimanding Albus. The new character Delphi though intriguing seems under explored.
The tried and tested theme of time turners and alternative realities is explored some more taking the readers for a thrilling ride. The book even with its loose ends and loopholes, was a fast paced and an engaging read. Like the previous potter books, it couldn’t be put down.
The Cursed child twists, turns and takes us down the memory lane in a literal way. It has something for everyone. Though one can’t help wanting more.
Read it to go back to Hogwarts , read it for a quick paced fun and thrill but without expecting any great character development or detailed well written plots and subplots. Like Dumbledore, I too agree perfection is elusive and unreachable.
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 to breathe. ~ Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child