Harry Potter And The Cursed Child (Parts One and Two) is the eighth installment in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. The first seven books in the series were a refreshing, good old-fashioned bedtime story. Wonderfully creative, artfully descriptive of settings and personalities, a fine example of good vs evil, all set in a boarding school. Book by book the reader made the acquaintance of Harry, and the people who inhabited his two worlds (Hogwarts and England). Together we watched him grow up into a young man and make everlasting friends. The final chapter gave away a part of his future, as he and wife Ginny brought their son to Hogwarts school for the first time.
Having been spoilt by the evenly paced storyline over seven books, this latest instalment is somewhat of an abrupt new beginning. It’s a script, written with J. K. Rowling by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, not a novel, with bare directions between dialogue so the reader must work harder to glue the sentences together. It has also leapt forward 19 years from when Harry last appeared. He is now a middle aged Ministry of Magic department head, married with three children and beset by the usual problems of work overload and insufficient parenting time. Whilst the plot within this instalment is quite captivating (does Voldemort return to cause havoc?), this reviewer mourned the loss of the missing 19 years of Harry Potter character development. It would have been a pleasure to follow Harry’s adventures in magical College, or his early years of marriage before his sons and daughter came along. This reviewer missed the large Weasley family, and is curious as to how Harry ended up working for the Ministry.
Being the first new instalment since 2007 was perhaps always going to be controversial – this reviewer would have preferred to receive another good, well thought out book than a stage play script. However, it’s the only instalment in town – best to just get on and read it!