It’s been over a week since the newest Harry Potter story has graced shelves, and many of us had devoured it instantly. However, many others hesitate to give this unexpected sequel to J.K. Rowling’s beloved wizarding world series a chance. Given its new form, a play written by Jack Thorne, but based on a story by Rowling and the play’s director John Tiffany, Cursed Child is a very different experience when compared to the previous books.
We spoke to The Young Folks staff, who gave us their two cents on the new Harry Potter book, and whether it lives up to expectations.
Beware of spoilers. This is the only warning you will get.
Lauren Wengrovitz writes:
This is a *very* different experience from reading a novel. That being said, there was a lot of new information about both new and old characters. It’s really heartwarming to see Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione as adults and parents. It adds a new dimension to what we already know and love. I can understand how this story is made better by visual elements. I hope that sooner or later, the play becomes accessible to more people through film or touring.
To sum it up: I enjoyed Cursed Child, but as a script alone, it probably won’t be for everyone. In my opinion, it’s worth it for the new information and the new characters. I definitely recommend picking up Harry Potter and the Cursed Child if for no other reason than to revisit this beautifully magical world.
Also, Scorpius Malfoy is absolutely my favorite new character. I want a whole spin-off story about him.
Hannah Atkins writes:
While I hadn’t been that excited about this new venture into Harry’s world, overall I really enjoyed this new installment! It felt like there was a lot of fan-service here, and certainly one of the major plot spoilers seemed out of character, but the father-son issues felt completely realistic and dear Scorpius utterly stole the show. Nerdy, witty and charming, Malfoy junior is a delight and provides both comic relief and moments of heartache. The friendship between Scorpius and Albus is also another highlight of the play – they quite literally go to the ends of the earth for each other. I only wish I had the chance to see this performed on stage, because I think we’d get so much more out of it than we do reading it in script-format.
Caryn Welby-Solomon writes:
I tried not to get my hopes up too much going into Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I kind of anticipated that it would not be like the original series because it was not physically written by J.K. Rowling. I knew that as a play it would not read as well as a novel, but I was excited nonetheless when I picked up my copy.
Unlike many other critics, I enjoyed the play. Immersing myself into the world of Harry Potter again was definitely emotional; I had missed these characters so much, and even though so much time had past and it was more like outlines of the characters I knew from childhood, it felt a bit like coming home and catching up with my favorites.
But also it felt refreshing; it felt like a new story. Learning to get to know Albus and Scorpius did not feel like a pale comparison to the original trio; it was a nice new dynamic. I also loved the badass portrayal of Hermione. She was excellently done, as well as the call-backs to the other characters that we loved and lost.
I was not a fan of the twist, mainly because I feel there needed to be more explanation as to why Voldemort saw the reason to reproduce when he had horcruxes already and intended to be immortal (also the mechanics around this). And I took offence to the fact that Cedric, love of my life, would ever become a Death Eater. Other than that, it was a fun ride and lovely extra bit of addition to the Harry Potter canon.
Katey Stoetzel writes:
It’s a different format, but J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world is just as familiar and welcoming as the previous seven books as it is in the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. All of our favorite characters are here, but one of the best things Cursed Child does is show the growth of these characters. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are the same, and yet, they aren’t, simply because of life experience. But none is so changed and a pleasant surprise than Draco Malfoy, who’s maturity and almost levelheadedness (him and Harry do get in a fist fight at some point — it’s fine) is perhaps the best example of how much more we can get from these characters. So, maybe the plot is a little over the top. Maybe the villain here is a little easy to spot. There are big ideas here. There are profound character moments that I didn’t realize I wanted until I had them. It’s only 308 pages. You’ll finish it in a night, probably. But this little extra slice of Harry Potter is a great addition to what came before.
Camille Espiritu writes:
*This is a reaction to only Part 1.
The nostalgia of going back to Hogwarts was definitely there, but of course, it just wasn’t the same. What I liked a lot from the Harry Potter books were the scenery descriptions. I understand that written as a play, scripts are typically more dialogue-heavy, but if there was a little bit more on the set design that would have been nice. Also, I feel like the relationship between Albus and Scorpius could have been a little more developed. It was hard to really get attached to the unique bond between them. But I will say that the script added a different dimension and layer of perspective. Now, we get to see Harry Potter in the father figure role. Though Harry Potter was once THE wizard that everyone looked up to, reading about the aftermath it had on his son, Albus, was interesting. Overall, it felt like a huge epilogue of what happened to Harry Potter after the seventh book. I still thoroughly enjoyed it, just in a different way I did with the novels. It’s nice to get to travel back to Hogwarts one more time.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script edition is now available wherever books are sold. Click here to read our formal (SPOILER filled) review of the story.