Albus Severus Potter has just started at Hogwarts and is really feeling the length of Harry Potter’s shadow. Faced with never living up to his father’s legacy, he ignores his cousin’s advice and befriends Scorpius Malfoy, around whom many rumors swirl.
Harry James Potter, 19 years after the battle of Hogwarts, is still adjusting to his job at the Ministry of Magic, and learning through trial and error how to be a good father to James, Albus, and Lily when he has few father figures to look up to.
After much magical mayhem, it is up to our heroes to return the world to rights and hopefully live to see another day.
From the beginning, I was extremely scared to read this book. I know J.K. Rowling helped idealize the original story, and was on hand to keep things from getting crazy, but this play was not really built by Jo, and therefore, I was scared. It happens. I actually made my brother read it when I first got it just so I could make sure it wouldn’t ruin my life forever. He read it in two days and assured me I wasn’t walking into a trap. So I read it, even though I felt as if I was going to have a heart attack just thinking about it. I just want you to know, I was wrong, and it’s great. But let me start at the beginning.
It’s been a long journey here. I just finished rereading the original seven books for the first time since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out in 2007. It was rough, and I relived all of the deaths and the hopes and dreams of the millions of people who’ve read and loved this series. When I closed the last book, I picked up this one almost immediately. I’ve had it on standby since it came out.
The first act was rough. Extremely rough. It picks up at the same place the epilogue to Deathly Hallows does, but it changes some of the wording, which rather annoyed me. Beyond that, in the first act, no one felt like themselves. It was all a bit uncomfortable, as if new people were stepping into the skins of our beloved characters and had to stretch them out to make them fit more comfortably. Thankfully everyone became much more themselves in the following three acts. A bit of warning, though, don’t stop reading at the end of the first act. I was actually so pissed off at what was happening that I put the book down for nearly a MONTH, and I almost didn’t pick it back up again. But I am so glad that I did.
Act two was much better, and everyone started acting normally again. Huzzah! I started to see where the storyline was going, and everything became significantly less cringe-worthy. Also, the cliffhanger is pretty marvelous. I did not expect this play to get that colorful, but this…this is some great stuff right here. And the fact that Part One ends there, and if you didn’t buy tickets for Part Two you are just screwed is just bloody brilliant on Jack’s part. (Can I get a round of applause for Jack Thorne please?)
Act three. We pick up a few days after the end of act two, and it’s still pretty awesome. The plot twists! SO FREAKING AMAZING. Somehow, I did not see it coming. I’m an idiot sometimes. I had to stop at the end of act three because I was babysitting and the baby woke up, but I was dying to read act four.
Seriously, act four was super action packed, and super heartfelt, and just ALL OF THE FEELINGS. So, SO good. Did I mention how glad I am that I picked this up again? I was so beyond worried that everyone was going to stay wonky that I didn’t want to finish it and then they all went and became awesome and saved the world again. However, I’m still not 100% sure who the cursed child is supposed to be, nor do I completely understand how the cover art plays into the storyline. But who cares, it’s magical and intriguing and exactly what I should have expected from J.K. Rowling. I am sorry I ever doubted you, Joanne. It won’t happen again.
If act one hadn’t been so weird, I would probably give this book 4 stars, but alas, act one kind of, well, it sucked. The other three acts more than make up for it, though, so I tried not to penalize it too badly. Also, and I understand it would have been way too much work to include them all, but I really missed many of my favorite secondary characters, and I wanted to know more about Ginny’s life outside of being a wife and mother. So, no five stars for you. Sorry.
HHC Rating: 3 Stars
Other reviews in this series:
Book #1 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Book #2 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Book #3 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Book #4 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Book #5 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Book #6 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Book #7 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Fantastic Beasts #1 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay