Review: Harry Potter & the Cursed Child Parts I and II by JK Rowling

Posted October 14, 2016 by Lillian in Reviews / 4 Comments

Review: Harry Potter & the Cursed Child Parts I and II by JK RowlingHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #8
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on 2016-07-31
Length: 320 pages
Reviewing Hardcover from My Book Shelf
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

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.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling is the long-awaited 8th installment of the Harry Potter series that takes place 19 years after the fall of Voldemort. Unlike the other books, this one isn’t a novel, it’s a screenplay for those (like me) who couldn’t attend the play in London this past Summer. Unlike most, I loved having this screenplay. I knew it wasn’t going to be a novel, that most likely it would fall short of my expectations but I was still excited. Can I just say that it met my expectations and then some 😀

I think the novel of this book is getting to see my favorite characters as adults, my own age, dealing with their kids and the hassle of every day life. Harry and Hermione work for the Ministry of Magic, Ron’s taken over the joke shop, Ginny is her mom….I seriously loved this! Harry after 19 years still has nightmares about the battle of Hogwarts, his role in it and his connection to Voldemort. It’s interesting to see the aftereffects, seeing the post-traumatic stress that surrounds these characters, the fear of Voldemort somehow returning, and the grief they still feel 19 years later for those they lost.

The real draw though is reading about their children and their adventures at Hogwarts. I loved Albus, like absolutely adored him. He’s a miniature Harry through and through. He’s constantly in trouble, an outcast and even in his own family has a hard time relating to his dad. It’s interesting to see how similar and different the story is to Harry’s own story. My favorite character of the book though is Draco’s son Scorpius. He’s misunderstood, an outcast like Albus, and somehow he understands Albus better than anyone. The two strike up a friendship very similar to Ron and Harry and I just love them. Scorpius is the exact opposite of his dad, but at the same time I believe he is who Draco could have been without the pressure to follow Voldemort.

The plot of the play revolves around an outlawed, not-supposed-to-exist time-turner. Albus gets his hands on one and well that’s the story, a misguided attempt to save a boy killed by Voldemort which results in big changes. I didn’t care for the use of the time turner in the story. I felt like it was too familiar for fans of the series as we’ve been there and done that when Sirius was saved. However I still found myself engrossed. I read the play in one sitting, about 4 hours. Remember even though it’s 300+ pages, it’s a screenplay. It does not take long to read dialogue. If you’re a fan of the series, I highly recommend you read it. It’s a fun, nostalgic romp with your best friends…erhm I mean favorite characters 😉

About J.K. Rowling

J K (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in the summer of 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, and where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London to work at Amnesty International, doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King's Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to her daughter Jessica in 1993. When her marriage ended, she returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where "Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone" was eventually completed and in 1996 she received an offer of publication. The following summer the world was introduced to Harry Potter."Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in June 1997 and was published as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in America by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in September 1998.The second title in the series, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", was published in July 1998 (June 2, 1999 in America) and was No. 1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts for a month after publication. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" was published on 8th July 1999 (September 8, 1999 in America) to worldwide acclaim and massive press attention. The book spent four weeks at No.1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts, while "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" simultaneously topped the paperback charts. In the US the first three Harry Potter books occupied the top three spots on numerous adult bestseller lists.The fourth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia 8th July 2000 with a record first print run of 1 million copies for the UK and 3.8 million for the US. It quickly broke all records for the greatest number of books sold on the first weekend of publication. The fifth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia on 21st June 2003. Published in paperback on 10th July 2004, it is the longest in the series - 766 pages - and broke the records set by "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" as the fastest selling book in history. The sixth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", was published in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries on 16th July 2005 and also achieved record sales.The seventh and final book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was published in the UK, US and other English speaking countries on 21st July 2007. The book is the fastest selling book in the UK and USA and sales have contributed to breaking the 375 million copies mark worldwide.J K Rowling has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry's school books within the novels. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through The Ages" were published by Bloomsbury Children's Books and Scholastic in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. The Harry Potter books have sold 400 million copies worldwide. They are distributed in over 200 territories and are translated into 67 languages.


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4 responses to “Review: Harry Potter & the Cursed Child Parts I and II by JK Rowling

  1. I have to say, despite my husband buying this – I have given it a miss… I didn’t want to read the screenplay version, for starters and I thought that if I didn’t enjoy the characters it would also spoil my memories of reading the original series, which are also bound up with my children when they were a certain age and all at home together. They are special, happy recollections and I feel protective of them:)

    • I don’t blame you. My husband decided to pass on it as well for the same reason. It’s a nice, quick read and focuses more on the kids then the original main characters.