Riker Rants: Spoiler-Free Review of HP and the Cursed Child

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            Note: This is a spoiler-free review. I repeat, a spoiler-free review.

            Hey guys! I’m not a Harry Potter fanatic, but I have to admit, those books are seriously good. At this point in my life, I’ve read the series three times. I don’t even know if I’ve read any other book more than once. I was even a certified member of Dumbledore’s Army! The final book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, came out in 2007, mere months before I started reading the novels, so it’s been awhile since Pottermania last struck.

            So when I heard earlier this year that there would be another installment in the Harry Potter franchise, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I couldn’t believe it, as there hadn’t been any Harry Potter books in forever and I thought that the Wizarding World was a thing of the past. On the other hand, Harry Potter books have always been some of my favorites and a new one had the potential to recapture the magic. Pun intended.

            Last July, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released to the public. Unlike the other seven books, the Cursed Child, as I’ll refer to it, is in script form and is actually a play. Also, J.K. Rowling isn’t the only author- in fact, two other dudes, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, helped her write the story and Thorne actually wrote the play. Before I turned the first page, I knew this story would be different.

            Boy, this story is extremely different. The play follows Albus Potter, one of Harry Potter’s three sons, and his best friend Scorpius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy’s son, in their third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Albus is really rebellious and feels burdened by being Harry Potter’s son and Harry, the Minister of Magic, thinks something is wrong with his son.

            The original Harry Potter books followed a pretty linear formula- some background at the beginning, ascending action at Hogwarts throughout the book, and an epic battle at the end where Harry would take on his greatest enemies and fears. Not the Cursed Child. The Cursed Child whips the audience around, to the point that it is totally confusing. Oh, and did I mention that the Time Turner from Prisoner of Azkaban is involved? They mess with the fabric of time and everything! For part one of this play, the plot is SO confusing.

            I kept reading because I held onto the hope that the play would redeem itself, and it did. The new style takes a while of getting used to, but the book is epic and, like its predecessors, it ties everything together in a knot at the end. The best part of the play is how it brings back the major characters (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny) while introducing new characters (their children) into the Harry Potter world. There’s a ton of Harry Potter references and many of the concepts of the original books are important.

            The Cursed Child was a quick read for me, probably because it is half the size of a Harry Potter novel and only fits about ten lines on a page, but also because it is as delicious as a Chocolate Frog. The writing style and format is vastly different, but as long as you can hang on, the play is enjoyable and must read material that offers insight and a return to the enchanting world of Harry Potter.

            As far as comparisons go, The Cursed Child is so unique that comparing it to the Harry Potter novels is like comparing apples to oranges. It just doesn’t fit. By the measure of how much I enjoyed each story, I’d put The Cursed Child behind books 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7, because those books are practically untouchable, ahead of the Half-Blood Prince, and about even with the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’d definitely recommend the Cursed Child and hope that I’ll be able to see a play or film adaptation of the story in the future. Makes me wish I could time travel back and start the play over again.

            That wraps it up for today! What is your opinion of the Cursed Child? Did it live up to your expectations? How does it feel to be back in Harry Potter mania. Comment below and make sure to subscribe. See you round!

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