Series: Harry Potter #8
Published by Little Brown UK on July 31st 2016
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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.
A new Harry Potter book. The five words that cast a spell over Harry Potter fans a few months ago. Excitement, joy, and a little apprehension…after all, we weren’t going to be diving into another detailed 600-page novel, but reading the script of a play. Could it live up to our expectations? I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I was giddy at the thought of visiting these old friends again.
This book release became an entire weekend event for me. My son’s stepmom (seen above as Molly Weasley) offered me a ticket to a midnight release party at a local bookstore. One last chance at a midnight HP book adventure? I was definitely in! There were live owls and snakes, as well as several interactive stations, including one where you could be sorted into your North American House. There were also singers, and of course, a costume contest. The YA winner was a young woman in some amazing Voldemort makeup, and the adult winner was a stag patronus – both really creative!
Finally, it was midnight, and the books were ours! I love the excitement and camaraderie of an event like this one, and it sets the tone for a fun reading experience. I had already determined that I was going into this book with zero expectations. It was different, and I couldn’t expect it to be another epic novel. I also knew it would take some adjusting to read a script, as it has been a long while since I have done so. That actually turned out to be really easy, so don’t let that deter you from picking up the book.
We finished up the weekend by celebrating Harry’s birthday at a wine & painting night, complete with Butterbeer. It wasn’t quite as good as it is at the Wizarding World in Orlando, but it was close.
So, let’s get to it! How was the book? As always, I’m keeping this spoiler-free. Like I said before, I went in with zero expectations. And…I ended up loving it! For me, it was very nostalgic – a glimpse into characters that I have loved for years. Was it perfect? No. There were a couple of things that I didn’t love – specifically, that Ron didn’t get a bigger role. There were some new characters (Scorpius!) that I really liked. There was humor, friendship, and messy family dynamics. This story was much more about the relationships than about the magic or the school. There were some great moments, and even one or two that made me cry. As much as I wish this had been another 600+ page novel, I was happy for another story with these old friends. I hope that eventually the show will come to the U.S.; it would be absolutely amazing on stage.
I know that not all of the fans were happy with this book. The stakes are always high when you’re dealing with something as beloved as the Harry Potter series. Will this book become a classic part of the series? Probably not. But for me, it was an enjoyable read and one that I will no doubt visit again.