by JB Gutierrez
It’s been quite some time since I last went to a bookstore to buy a Harry Potter book, and good gracious, the thrill I felt when I queued up to get a copy of the book and the sense of anticipation I got when I finally reached home and opened the book for the first time were all too real and nostalgic.
I could almost hear “Hedwig’s Theme” play in my head as the familiar sensation of devoting a night to finish the book began to dawn upon me.
THE STORY (bloody hell, not that Tom Riddle diary, mind you)
“The eighth story. Nineteen years later.”
It is yet another year in the Wizarding World. Two decades have passed since the Dark Lord Voldemort was vanquished at the Battle of Hogwarts and we now find the original trio trying (yes, Harry and Ron) their utmost to be responsible (read: Her-mi-o-ne) parents to their children.
Married to Ginny Weasley, with three kids named after some of the most memorable characters from the series, and save for a pretty dragging job as a Ministry employee, Harry is living quite a normal life, one could say. After all, his scar has not hurt for ages…until now.
Albus Severus Potter, or Al, Harry and Ginny’s youngest son, just has a little too much on his plate. Being the son of The Chosen One and having been named after two of the greatest—and bravest—Hogwarts headmasters certainly do not ease off the pressure as he boards the Hogwarts Express, gets a newfound friend in the form of little Scorpius (the son of the Draco Malfoy, mind you), walks through the halls of Hogwarts for the first time and gets sorted into Slytherin. So much for his father’s pep talk at King’s Cross, huh?
Fast forward to his fourth year, Al’s life is about to take a turn as the family legacy finally takes its toll on him. Having overheard a conversation between his dad and someone who has lost a loved one to Voldemort, Al (together with his BFF Scorpius) takes it upon himself to try to change the course of things and to correct the mistakes he thinks Harry had been indirectly involved in, all with the help of a Time-Turner.
But we all know what happens when wizards meddle with time, right? You don’t? Oops. Muggle spotted.
WHAT I LIKED (are brooms, Golden Snitches, flying cars and the occasional Death Eaters)
Unforgivable Curses and Dark Arts aside, there are plenty of unexplored enchantments between the magical pages of the book for Potterheads to dabble into and to charm their imagination with faster than you can say “Confundo!”
Fans who were left hanging at the end of The Deathly Hallows, especially those who subscribed to Pottermore for more wizarding madness, would appreciate this newest addition to the HP canon universe. Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the gang (those who did not die in the war, anyway) growing up to be accomplished witches and wizards is something we have been really looking forward to hear about.
Readers who think they know it all are also in for a kick as the book delivers something wickedly unexpected, even by HP standards.
HOWEVER… (you sure that’s not Alastor Moody’s eye you have?)
It’s a Harry Potter book, alright. However, while it still has that “Potter magic” that makes conjuring up images of the Wizarding World in your mind as easy as a swish-and-flick of a wand, the fact that it lacks the depth of the seven-book series we grew up reading remains. Unlike the previous novels, The Cursed Child was not able to build that “reader-character connection,” ergo somewhat failing to elicit emotional responses from the audience (not from me, anyway).
Nonetheless, let’s admit it: It’s a script book and not the close-to-a-thousand-page book we all engrossed ourselves in for hours straight as soon as we got home from the nearest bookstore.
(Oh, and by the way, are you quite sure this is not a fanfic?)
tl;dr (Hermione is gonna be real mad at you, though)
Go grab a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child if you are a certified Potterhead who could not resist reliving memories of your childhood, or if you just could not sleep peacefully until you have learned about what has become of our beloved trio and their offspring several years later.
Also: for proper closure. J.K. Rowling has announced that this will be the last book she will write for the Potter-verse. So if you want a fitting end to that magical story that has spanned through the years of your—our—childhood and early adulthood, then you are among those whom this book was written for.