So, I’m going to be a proper internet blogger and post a review online… How exciting! I just read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I had such strong conflicting reactions to it that I just had to write about it. This will not contain any spoilers at all. Also, these are MY views. If you think something else then I’ll welcome your opinion but that’s all there is here: my opinion. Not fact.
First of all, I’d like to say that if I was writing this review just after reading the first half, I’d have told you that I was elated, hooked, over the moon and couldn’t wait to devour the next half. And although I had a very hard time getting used to different people writing it, it met my high expectations and that’s all I had hoped for. I understood and sympathised with the characters and felt that I could be friends with them. I was also really impressed with the story and the underlining meaning behind it. I enjoyed getting to know the next generation and was pleased with how they turned out. It was unexpected, unknown and that made it exciting and a real page-turner. The only criticism I had with it so far was that it read a little like fan-fiction. But I put that down to the foreign writing style and dealt with it.
Now having read it all, I am confused and frustrated but most of all, disappointed. I felt like the people who wrote it both had read Harry Potter but completely ignored all of the finer details. As if they had read it but thought “but wouldn’t it be better if this would happen” and wrote The Cursed Child just so they could do that for themselves. These finer details that are explained in the Harry Potter books make some of the situations in The Cursed Child completely and utterly impossible. I actually said out loud whilst reading it at one point “well that’s just ridiculous”.
The reason why I loved Harry Potter was how believable it was, you know it’s not true but there’s that little bit in your brain that thinks “but it could be though”. The Cursed Child smooshed that into the ground simply by being a little too silly. And I know what you’re thinking, Harry Potter is full of witches and wizards and talking hats and giants but it all made sense. It all fit. However, The Cursed Child didn’t make sense to me. Maybe that’s just me being stupid and missing something but I know those books inside and out and so I thought I would at least have been able to understand it.
I also loved Potter because JK Rowling wrote them for herself. All the things she wrote were for her own reasons. She wrote to escape and she poured her heart and soul into those books and you can feel it when you read them. They’re painfully beautiful in that aspect. You escape with her and Harry. The Cursed Child felt like it was written by fans, for the fans. They make a lot of references that you wouldn’t get if you weren’t familiar with the Potter universe before hand. And a lot of the situations- even though they were new, felt recycled and stale. As I said before, it read like fan-fiction. I would’ve loved to have been able to read it completely separately from the legendary seven, as if it were the start of a new series but Cursed Child simply didn’t allow that. It didn’t let you move on. I didn’t enjoy the nostalgia, mainly because I found it very difficult to say goodbye to Harry and now it’s like being forced to do that again but with a strange, warped version of it. It felt… Desperate to me.
I did love one of the main things people are deliberating over at the moment though and that’s “who is the Cursed Child?”. Me? I think it’s everyone. I think the book is trying to say that everyone has flaws, everyone has their moments, everyone is cursed. I really like that they allow for you to come up with your own theory and any of them work. And I always appreciate a book that presents the whole world as equals and Cursed Child did do that very well. I also enjoyed the repetition and magic in it. I would love to see how they manage all of it on stage.
So to summarise, I think if they write another one that’s completely and utterly about Harry and co’s kids- the next generation- and about new plots, new adventures and new schemes, then it will do really well. Because that’s what Cursed Child should’ve been. It should’ve felt like coming home to find everything’s changed apart from the glow in your heart that tells you that you’re home. If JK Rowling was more involved, that should’ve been easy. Because the books are a part of her. The Cursed Child wasn’t. It was the distant relative at best. It set itself up in the first half so, so well and just when it was a lovely big balloon, it deflated. I’m so sorry I feel this way. I wish I could’ve enjoyed it and I wish I could be happy with it but I’m just not. But as I always say, that’s just me, feel free to comment with your feelings and whether you disagree or not. I will read it again and just make sure I’m not missing anything but right now, all I’m missing is a creation by JK Rowling.