You know that great feeling when you get together with a group of old friends who you haven’t seen for ages? It’s wonderful to see everyone again and reminisce about old times. Well, this is one of the best parts of reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the first Harry Potter ‘book’ after a 19 year gap. It is exciting to relive the magic of the earlier books by spending time once again with these characters who we all know so well.
I won’t provide too many details on the plot. As one might guess, the first generation is grown up now and they have kids, and the kids attend Hogwarts (of course). After the introduction where we meet known and new characters, there is one main adventure which occurs, along with some smaller side stories, and in the end all is resolved. I know, the same as all Harry Potter books – but the key point here is that the plot overall is good. It is somewhat creative, consistent with earlier books, and moves along at a good pace. And, considering that the primary author was not J. K. Rowling (she was one of three), it does a reasonably good job of having a similar ‘feel’ to the earlier books.
The other highlight is the relationship between Harry and his son Albus. This is sensitively handled, and adds a touching human dimension separate from all of the magic and spells that we expect in a Harry Potter book. This theme is carried out well throughout the book from start to finish, and this in itself makes this book worth reading.
What doesn’t work is the play script format. Understood that this was written to be a play – but WHY?! Why not just write a book based on the play script? The reason that this doesn’t work is that this book is completely missing the depth of characters and storyline that was part of the brilliance of the earlier books. It is very ‘lightweight’ and at the surface level, without the depth that we expect in these books.
Thus, while I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend this for Harry Potter fans, I was left a little disappointed at the end due to the lack of character and plot depth. But that was a minor concern compared to the excitement of once again being back in the Harry Potter universe!