Before we dive right into this book/play, let’s get one thing straight: the cursed child is me. Yes, you heard right. „Why, oh Majesty, tell us why?“ Well, I ordered the book as soon as it was possible. Then I found out that the week it’ll be published I’d have to be on a business trip. Since that business trip is close to where I used to live, a friend invited me to stay over for the weekend after the business part was done. I agreed. And once my copy was delivered (which I know thanks to the email confirmation), another friend calls and wants to chat about it assuming I read it faster than her (I finished HP 7 in 7 hours… plus half an hour crying because of Snape who was my absolute favourite since book 1). And then, while shopping on Saturday, all the piled-up books mocked me whenever I entered a book store… That’s what you have to suffer through when ordering an actual book instead of the ebook…
Since JKR asked her fans not to spoiler others, I’ll behave and just let you know that the story takes place 19 years after the events of HP 7, and the last chapter of HP 7 is part of it.
In the beginning, it was great to read a book with familiar characters and a few scenes were fun, however, after a while, the adult versions of Harry, Hermione and Ron seemed a little off, even OOC. People change over time, fine, but Ron was portrayed in a way that made it seem like he had suffered a severe head injury. I liked the plot line of the next generation of Hogwarts students in general, though it got huddled and hectic in the last quarter and it was noticeable that the play had been written by someone else, not JKR. The suspense that made you read the original books as fast as possible and forget everything else around you just wasn’t there.
As a person who studied and teaches literature, I’d have loved to have an actual play with all the stage directions – instead we got descriptive annotations that kind of make it seem like a movie adaptation in which all the magic will be animated anyway is waiting right behind the horizon. Meh. I’d have preferred to learn more about the look of the stage, the lighting, whether or not screen should be used etc.
It was nice to be back in the Potterverse but, all in all, Cursed Child left me unsatisfied and wanting more. Sadly, the magic is gone.