Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
Page Count/Review Word Count: 344
First of all, no matter how many times people call this ‘the eighth Harry Potter book’, I’m not going to do that. That implies that this is a new novel, but I rank it alongside books like Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. It’s more like a bonus book, and it’s written in the style of a play because… well, because it’s a play. But you can’t reproduce it without prior written consent from the Rowling estate.
The story itself follows the tale of what happens twenty years or so after the end of the original series, with the next generation interacting seamlessly with the characters that you know and love. We have the sons of Potters, Weasleys and Malfoys, and a story which uses time turners to show us alternative realities. It works, and it’s very self-referential, but it doesn’t have the same spark as the main series. At times, I even felt there were lines that the characters were saying that just didn’t sit quite right.
But other than that, it’s hard to fault it. It feels a little bit like a byproduct rather than a work in its own right – like it was created because the market demanded it, not because of its own merit. There’s also the fact that, as a stage play, it was occasionally difficult to picture how it would be acted out – in the back, there’s a list of all of the crew that worked on the original performance, and there are people doing all sorts of things, like working with wires.
Still, it was a new installment in the Harry Potter series, so of course I still enjoyed it. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone unless they were a massive Potterhead, though. If you read the books and merely thought they were ‘okay’, this one isn’t for you.