Book Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

Last edited on March 10, 2022 by Sarah Pereira

This is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first of the stories to be played on stage. When initially released on July 31, 2016, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child got many mixed reviews. The theory that Rita Skeeter wrote this is my favorite. If you don’t want spoilers in this Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Book Review, skip to Should You Read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child below!

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Summary

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.

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Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review

Did I love it? Did I hate it?

Well, it was fine.

Honestly speaking, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child felt like a cash grab. For one, JK Rowling has proved that she is a prolific writer, there is no need to collaborate with two other people on the play. They didn’t help write the first seven books, why would she need them to help write an eighth?

The play formatting was unnecessary (this applies to the Fantastic Beasts books too!) and took a lot away from the original story. I would’ve also loved to see this as a movie with the original actors from the first eight movies. With a movie, the director could also try and salvage some of the awkward writing and plot holes.

The sole reason my twelve-year-old self devoured the book was because I just wanted more from the series. For me, the nostalgia of it all might be one of the biggest redeeming qualities of the book.

The transition between the seventh and eighth book was also nicely written. The Cursed Child picked up write where the Deathly Hallows left off, to which I was very grateful about. Considering the years between seventh and eighth books in the series, it’s convenient for people who read the book closer to the Deathly Hallows release date.

The characters in this book were dull and forced. While I liked seeing the characters grown, the majority of them just acted awkward. Additionally, the epilogue of book seven featured Ron and Hermione’s two kids, Rose and Hugo. In the epilogue, Hugo is supposed to be at the Kings Cross Station, which never happened in the Cursed Child. In the Cursed Child, Hugo is not even mentioned or shown once. It wasn’t just Hugo though, an abundant of characters such as Hagrid, Teddy, Rose, James, Lily, and Neville were barely or not at all mentioned. For a screenplay of 300+ pages, you’d expect more characters.

It’s disappointing that Delphi, Scorpius and Albus could enter the Minister of Magic’s office with a simple Alohomora. There should’ve been more protection on the time turner especially if it was rare and the last of its kind. This convenient plot depleted my enjoyment of the screenplay. I could honestly list many reasons why Delphi and her backstory don’t add up, but I won’t for the sake of time. In short, many readers, myself included, couldn’t quite imagine Voldemort having a kid with anyone, even Bellatrix. He was technically conceived by a love potion. That being said, Voldemort shouldn’t be able to have a kid but, who knows? I would have preferred that Delphi was the child of Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange who happened to be constantly bullied at school, making her want to bring back Voldemort as a means of comfort.

Should You Read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child?

The Cursed Child has many flaws, a mediocre storyline and I’ve read better fan-fictions to say the least. While the Cursed Child had the charm the originals series, the play was too ambitious with its goals and ultimately failed in being anything but good nostalgia. Let’s just all pretend that this book doesn’t count in the Harry Potter series. In the Harry Potter and The Cursed Child book review, I’d rate this 2.5 stars.

Page Count: 320 | Publisher: Scholastic | Genre: Children’s Adventure and Fantasy | Publication Date: July 31, 2016

About Author

Lover of all things books, cats, and art, Sarah is currently a student in high school. When she is not reading, Sarah is usually writing and can be found in libraries and bookstores. Sarah is always looking for new adventures to write about (her Hogwarts letter didn't come so she's waiting to turn 50 for her adventure to the middle earth).

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