About the Author:
Jack Thorne writes for theatre, film, television and radio. His work has won him several BAFTAs.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
3 out of 5
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child: Parts One And Two
First off let's address the elephant in the room because I can hear outraged fanboys (and fangirls, but sadly my gender always seems in the majority when it comes to vitriolic internet rants) questioning why this book isn't on J. K. Rowling's page. So, to be clear, whilst Rowling was involved in creating the story for '...the Cursed Child', she did not write this book. The text here is Thorne's work. I should also make it clear to any avid Potter readers who are under the impression that this is the eighth novel in the series, it's not. This is the script of the stage play (mine's the 'special' rehearsal edition but there's an updated version available too). If you don't like reading plays, then this is not the book for you (and my sixteen year old schoolboy self would also asure you that neither is Henrik Ibsen's 'The Doll's House').
So we're clear? It's not a novel and it's not by J. K. Rowling. Okay then. Onwards.
The story follows young Albus Potter who is burdened by his father Harry's legacy and, in rebelling against it, starts by befriending Draco Malfoy's son Scorpius and then gets Sorted into Slytherin. However, as a mysterious figure begins to reunite dark allies, Albus and Scorpius are thrown into danger by their plan to use a stolen Time Turner to 'fix' Harry's mistakes in the past.
Although the plot devolves for a long time into a fairly unoriginal Wizarding World take on 'Back to the Future', I have to say that I enjoyed Albus and Scorpius as protagonists. Don't get me wrong, Albus is a jerk a lot of the time, but then, so was Harry and, like his father, it is the support and understanding of his closest friend that steers him right.
In fact, this book is filled with good things balanced by not-so-good things. For instance, it's great to catch up with the familiar characters from the novels, but at the same time it's uncomfortable to see our child/teen heroes grown into middle age. And another example is the reveal of who the dark figure behind all these events is, which I certainly enjoyed (particularly their reaction to learning of their ascendancy in the alternate timeline Scorpius visits) but it's probably guaranteed to give nightmares to anyone should they ever try to visualise Lord Voldemort having sex with Bellatrix Lestrange.
The truth is that, whilst not on a par with Rowling's Potter novels, this book was enjoyable enough that it made me want to see the stage version, which, let's be honest, is what this cash-in is all about.
One final negative thought is that I was baffled by importance given to Cedric Diggory. Of all the influencial characters in Harry's adventures, he is not the one I would've picked as the lynchpin upon which all else hinged.
3 out of 5