I love the Harry Potter books. I love the Harry Potter audiobooks. I really like the Harry Potter movies (although how anyone who hasn't read the books can have any idea what is going on- they leave out so much information!- is beyond me). When Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released, I was really excited to reenter the world of Harry Potter. Then I heard from fellow Potterheads that it wasn't very good and my disappointment allowed it to fall far lower on my TBR list. Last week, while wandering through the library, I saw it sitting on a shelf just waiting to be read and I thought it was time I gave it a chance.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picks up right where we left off at the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It is nineteen years since the Battle of Hogwarts and Harry's second son Albus is going off to Hogwarts for the first time. When the Cursed Child picks up the story, we race through Albus' first few difficult years at school and see how his relationship with his father has deteriorated as he has grown into a teenager. Soon a dark cloud begins to swirl around him and he is pulled into a Harry Potter-esque adventure of his own.
Firstly, I did not care for the format of this book. It is the script of a play and so the reading is quite different from Rowling's other books. With this new format, the reader loses so much of what made the Harry Potter series so wonderful- the descriptions, the narrative, the atmosphere. Secondly, I simply could not stop the feeling that I was reading fan fiction. This didn't sound like Rowling's writing at all and the storyline was just not up to her standards. Her name is on the cover, but I wonder how much of it she wrote and how much was written by the playwrights also credited: John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. What we wanted was more Harry Potter. What we got was, well, not. The Harry Potter series is the one set of books I wish I could read again for the first time, enjoying the wonder of the world Rowling created. This book did not satisfy that craving. I suppose I will just have to reread (or relisten) to them again and hope to recall those early days.