The Eighth Story: A Spoiler Free Review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Summary of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

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.



Review

I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. I read all of the books growing up, and it remains one of my favorite series to this day. When I heard that J. K. Rowling was writing a play which would basically be the eighth story of the series, I'll admit, I had mixed reactions. On the one hand, I love the Harry Potter books so what could be better than even more Harry Potter? On the other hand, what if it doesn't live up to the rest of the series? Well, I can safely say that I loved Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and my only real complaint is that I wanted more! 

I went into reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with an open mind, which I think is the main reason why I enjoyed it so much. Unlike the rest of the series, this is a play, not a book. You read a play differently than you read a book. For the most part, you're essentially reading dialogue with stage directions occasionally sprinkled throughout. I've heard J. K. Rowling say that a play was the best format for the story she wanted to tell, and, after reading it, I understand why she wrote it as a play. The play format allows her to give fans a taste of what they want without having to write another seven books (which I totally understand, but at the same time I know myself and countless other people would devour them if she did choose to write them). Rowling does a good job of incorporating different fan theories, and I loved getting to know the next generation characters better. Were there characters left out? Of course there were. It's a play. It would be way too long if she included everyone. Though there were some characters I would've liked to see, I still enjoyed reading the play. After going eight years without any more Harry Potter books, I'll take what I can get.

I did predict a few things before they happened while I was reading, but I still enjoyed reading the script. There are nods to the classic Harry Potter books but some new territory is explored as well. The themes of the power of friendship, what true bravery is, and what it means to be a father permeate throughout the script.

I know there are going to be people who don't like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. They're going to say that they've read better fan fiction written about next generation characters or that it doesn't match with the rest of the books in the series. I, however, am choosing to stand by J. K. Rowling. She wrote this play after other people had years and years to write what they think should happen to the characters after the seventh book. She can't please all of the fans, but I think she did the best she could. The Harry Potter books are far from perfect. There are plot holes, pacing issues, and let's not even get started on whiny Harry in the fifth book. Do these problems keep me from loving the books? Absolutely not. So, I'm not going to let the problems in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child keep me from enjoying it either. 

I stayed up past midnight reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and read it in one sitting. If that doesn't show you how much I enjoyed it, maybe my 5 out of 5 stars goodreads rating will. 

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