164. Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

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Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author: J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne

Rating: ★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Young Adult/ Fantasy

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

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 (Goodreads 2017)

I spent my teenage years devouring Harry Potter novels. I lived and breathed the world of Hogwarts and Wizardry and Spells. It was my very first fandom. I loved Harry, Ron and Hermione like my own friends. I knew the spells by heart. I laughed with them, and sobbed like a baby at the final book. I’ve been sorted time and again (go, go Gryffindor!) and used to spend hours staying up until 3am on a school night reading fanfiction. So when I saw they were releasing an adaption of the stage play Cursed Child in book format, I pretty much nearly started hyperventilating.

I waited, and waited…and then it was released. And honestly? I was underwhelmed. I felt like this was another fanfiction. It’s the only way I can describe it. While I’d anticipated the characters changing a fair bit due to the leap forward in time, and it focussing more on their children at the school rather than the original canon characters, I really struggled to feel attachment to any of them. I felt like the story was farfetched and forced. I felt like it was grasping at strings. And sadly, all I could think of was the fact that for over ten years, I have wanted and wanted a new Rowling book focussing on the “Marauder Era” at Hogwarts (aka the time of Harry’s parents and their friends whilst at Hogwarts, and how James and Lilly got together etc)…I somehow got this instead. I didn’t connect with any of the kids, in fact they annoyed me at just how irrational and selfish they are.

But no matter how much I tried to explain to myself why so much was different in this book, it didn’t make me enjoy it.

No matter how I tried, I really couldn’t work up a feeling of caring towards Albus Severus who basically spends the whole book throwing a tantrum. If anything, I wanted to slap some sense into him.

It’s worth reading if you are a fan of the series, and by all means, most other people probably loved it. But this one is a let down for me, and it will likely just sit on my shelf only because it is part of the Harry Potter book series…but it doesn’t truly feel like it to me.

Have you ever been disappointed in a sequel to a series? Can you think of any books which you anticipated for a long time and then felt they let you down somehow? Feel free to discuss!

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