I know, I know. I’m a little late to the game in terms of overall reviews for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
I received it for my birthday and tore through it in a matter of days. This in itself was shocking as I was the kid (like many members of the Harry Potter Generation) who read the book in a matter of hours when the newest one came out.
I’m chalking this time discrepancy up to the fact that I now go to bed way earlier than I would ever care to admit to the general public, and to the fact that I needed to re-evaluate about 70 pages in.
If you have read it, I’d love to know your thoughts! If you haven’t, here’s what I think of it. (And I promise there are no spoilers!)
Overall, I’d give it almost 4 out of 5 stars. At the beginning, I was closer to 2 of 5.
What I didn’t do the first time I started reading it was level set my expectations. Regardless of what the cover says, it isn’t an 8th Harry Potter novel. The overall story itself lacks JKR’s signature prose and flowing descriptions – as it should. For starters the “book” is actually a screen play turned novel. Second of all, JKR didn’t write it.
If you’re looking for an 8th Harry Potter book, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re wanting an different twist on a one of your favorites, then you’ll appreciate it.
The story – an unusual one but not completely unimaginable, follows the traditional set up of a play although each part is broken into much shorter scenes.
What I liked:
It was super easy to read and the pace of the book was what would be expected for a play. Having spent a semester studying theatre, I really do appreciate a well timed and delivered play. If not done well, a play crawls and is comparable to watching paint dry. Or worse, watching the rainbow wheel of death spin on your Mac.
I also loved having it arrive at my desk.( Shout-out to my mama for inducing a joy-filled squeal that had everyone in our open-concept office giving me strange looks.) It took me back to my childhood when I went to the midnight book previews and made the experience that much better.
What I didn’t like:
There wasn’t enough detail. If it going to be a book they ( directors, actors, someone) needed to add more descriptions in order to give the reader a real sense of what’s going on. I was able to dream up some of it, but I think it would have been interesting to see thoughts, stage directions, etc. and would have allowed for a better overall screenplay/book translation.
Would I recommend it?
Yes. For everyone that loves Harry Potter I would say it’s a must read. It’s a phenomenal testament to the power of JKRs story and how it has literally defined a generation and the way that we create art.
It’s also way cheaper than flying to London to see the play.
Love it? Hate it? Let me know!