Book Review: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"

By Dechanne Lane

It has been nearly a decade since we stuck our noses into “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” J.K. Rowling left us with a glimpse of Harry, now a father of three, nineteen years after the defeat of Voldemort. Us muggles were left with only our imaginations to fill in the gaps of what has truly become of our beloved Harry Potter. The end that we both longed and dreaded was here and sadly we said what we thought was our final goodbye to dear Harry.

Nine years later we have been given the eighth story. With the potential to tug on our heart strings by reliving the magical world of Harry Potter, what we are instead given is a story littered with bad writing and void of any real magic.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, a new play by Jack Thorne, is centered around Harry’s youngest son, Albus Potter, and his best friend, Scorpius Malfoy. The two quickly became close friends due to their state as outcasts; Albus for failing to live up to what people think a Potter should be and Scorpius for being rumored to be the son of Lord Voldemort.

Growing tired of living in his father’s shadow, young Albus travels back in time with Scorpius in an attempt to change the future.

The plot alludes to an exciting tale of traveling through time, meeting old characters and learning a lesson of dealing with life and death. For those that often questioned why time turners were not used in the wizarding world, HPCC sets the stage to delve into an elaborate plot outlining the grave consequences of time travel. Sadly, we are not given much to go on.

Thorne’s obsession with time travel causes him to completely miss his mark. Much like Albus not living up to the reputation of the Potters, the book does not live up to its predecessors. We are rushed through a timeline that we are not drawn into.

In an attempt to recreate a friendship similar to that of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s, Thorne forced a friendship between Albus and Scorpius. The tension between Albus and Harry lacks any real foundation and emotion. The readers are given the unwanted task of filling in the many gaps Thorne creates in the storyline.

HPCC is nothing more than a feeble attempt to continue the series and the reader is left feeling cheated. The characters are one dimensional and feel like imposters unlike the characters we have come to know. The story line is rushed and lacks a strong foundation.

Where Rowling gave us depth and creativity, Thorne lays all of his cards on the table face up. Every act and scene is full of cliché lines, with one of the worst coming from McGonagall: “Your solidarity is admirable, but it doesn’t make your negligence negligible.”

With the previous seven books we laughed and cried with the characters and spent countless nights dreaming of receiving a letter from Dumbledore, inviting us to Hogwarts. Rowling taught us lessons about life, love, and friendship, and as Harry grew, so did we. HPCC on the other hand delivers a lack luster story that should have been shelved. 

Sadly, HPCC is only selling out so well in stores because of the loyal fans that jumped at the idea of another chance to relive the brilliance Rowling created over the years. We are left with an unsettling taste in our mouths. The biggest message gained after reading HPCC is that sometimes, you have to know when to walk away.