Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Book Review with Spoilers

I was in first grade when my mother bought me as a gift the book “Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.” I can’t say that it was love from the first sight but amazement and appreciation, for this particular universe, that gradually developed through the years. 19 years later it is time to review the “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Missing a key element

The book was released while I was doing my mandatory military service in Greece and I wasn’t keen on reading it (at least for a while) because of the lack of descriptions. The fundamental component of Rowling’s writing style (in my opinion) was the descriptions. I was always fascinated by the fact that the author never gave the reader, too much or too little information, but still succeeded to convey the story perfectly.

You have to trust the readers. Give them the basic elements of the story, and they construct the rest, themselves. ~Paulo Coelho, book “Tools of Titans.”

I wonder why Rowling would decide to leave one of her best “weapons” behind.

The main story of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter’s son, Albus, uses a time machine and travels several times back to the past, with the aid of his friend Scorpius so that they can save Cedric Diggory from certain death.

The unspoiled spoiler

When I started reading the book, I was 99% sure that the 3rd child of Harry Potter, Albus, would be somehow the son or a Horcrux of Vol..you know who. Rest assured I was wrong. The book does a good job and fixes your attention to how good and simultaneously accused of being the cursed child Scorpius Malfoy is and how frustrated and angry Albus Potter is.

Albus Potter: Hates Hogwarts, resents his father and doesn’t like most of the people he meets.
Scorpius Malfoy: Has a sense of humor, he is not afraid to express his feelings and makes new friends.

I think it’s safe to assume that the probability of Scorpius being adopted is higher than being the cursed child.

While I was reading the book, on one hand, I was thinking “Scorpius couldn’t be the cursed child, it would be too obvious,” and on the other hand, I was considering, that Albus has numerous characteristics that coincide with the Dark Lord. None of them were the cursed child.

Nevertheless, the cursed child is with you several times in the book. Either that or I am not that smart.

Traveling back to different worlds

Using a time machine Albus and Scorpius go back and experience different realities. Staying committed to their original goal (saving Cedrik) they accidentally changed the course of the story of Harry Potter as we know it, several times.

My favorite “parallel universe” was the version of the Dark Lord’s victory at the battle of Hogwarts. Not because I am a deatheater but because I always wondered “How could it be if things went in a different course?”.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will enjoy that part of the book.

The last scene

I assumed that the “bad guy” in this book would change. I thought that it would be a smooth transition between the old characters to the new ones.

Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley –> Albus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy.

Voldemort–> Cursed Child

I guessed wrong (we are 2/2). The purpose of the cursed child is to bring back Voldemort. Nevertheless, the last scene was pretty creepy because the reader realizes that the smallest wrong move could bring back Voldemort, thus erasing the course of events as we know them.

Can you enjoy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child if you are not a fan?

If you want to start reading the Harry Potter series, I wouldn’t suggest that you start with the Cursed Child. The book doesn’t invite the newcomers since it’s a play. So there are no descriptions to set the world.

For example, you don’t have a clue about Cedrik Diggory and what happened the night he was murdered. As a result, you can not relate to the frustration and anger that Albus feels when he sees his father unwilling to go back to the past and save Cedrik.

How can you follow a hero (Albus) of a story when you don’t understand his motives?

Summary

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed child is great if you are an enthusiast of Harry Potter
  • The book is hard to understand if you are a newcomer.
  • The book flows smoothly.

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