Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by J.K. Rowling, et al
It’s good, and I’m glad I read it, but I don’t think you need to rush out to grab this book and drop everything to read it immediately. If you are a massive HP fan, or you know a massive HP fan, then that person will definitely want to read this script. Our daughter definitely falls into the massive HP fan category, and--like me-- she’s happy to have read it, but she didn’t love it.

I liked reading about all the characters being back together again and returning to the halls of Hogwarts. It was interesting to see Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and Draco as adults dealing with adult problems, such as how to connect with their kids. However, as adults, they had to say and do things that sort of stole away from the magically wonderful personalities they each had as kids.

The book certainly couldn’t be all adults though, that would have been too boring. Which mean we are introduced to Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy. These two young wizards drive the story, for the most part, and they are fairly enjoyable young characters. Sometimes Albus was a little too “woe is me I’m worthless and will never amount to anything”, however this was probably overdone a bit since this is the script of a play, after all. I liked Scorpius better.

Speaking of this being a script, it does read that way: a list of actors’ lines interspersed with scene information and instructions. This was mildly distracting, but after a while you just sort of breeze past most of the script-specific stuff and read it as a story.

And as a story, it’s...well...good but not great. This is kind of the theme here I guess. The whole plot is about time travel and Voldemort (of course!) plus a lot about family, friendship, loyalty, and love. Just like the whole HP series. The time travel gets a little bit overdone. OK, way overdone if I’m being honest. However, it does allow us to revisit the Triwizard Tournament from the Goblet of Fire book, which was my favorite, my daughter’s favorite, and I’d presume a lot of people’s fave HP novel.

I’m certain that this story obviously works much better as a true play with acting, sets, special effects, etc. Hopefully there will be a US tour of the stage production sometime soon to amaze us all. And there will undoubtedly be a movie someday, they’d be foolish not to make one since it would be enormously successful.

Overall, I’d say leave The Cursed Child to members of the devoted HP crew. It’s cleanly written, with only a kiss or two here and there, and good for both boys and girls. Though the plot is a little confusing with the time travel and how it affects different versions of the future, so unless you are reading it aloud to someone, they probably need to be 8-10 or older, depending on their comprehension level.

Happy Reading!