Sixteen years ago, when I was 7 years old, I fell head over heels in love with reading. This was all thanks to the “Harry Potter” books that captured my attention like nothing else had back then. I even went through a lengthy witch phase – spell books and all – thanks to Harry Potter.
Needless to say, I was a die-hard fan.
So of course I was incredibly excited about “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” coming out. Sure, it’s a play, and it’s technically not even written by J.K. Rowling (that honor goes to Jack Thorne, but Rowling did have a hand in crafting and approving the story), but it is still a continuation of one of my favorite stories of all time.
However, after reading it, I’m going to have to go ahead and pretend this is just fan fiction because I just can’t accept what happens in this book as canon. Here are the book’s biggest issues:
All The Characters Grow Up To Kind Of Suck
Well, well, well, I was afraid this would happen, but here we have it: Harry Potter is the guy who peaked in high school. He, Ron, Hermione, and Malfoy have lost a lot of their charm in the last 19 years. Ron is just a personified dad joke, Hermione is pretty joyless and stern as the Minister of Magic, and Harry — yeah, he’s the high school quarterback who can’t let it go. When his son gets sorted into Slytherin and befriends a Malfoy (but still remains a fairly good kid), Harry does not take it well. In fact, he’s kind of a bad dad for most of the play. And while this might be true to character as they grow, it hurts to see Harry, who we all grew up loving, be kind of an asshole to his kid, and it hurts to see our kid heroes grow up to be fairly lame adults.
TOO. MUCH. TIME. TRAVEL.
This is “Harry Potter,” not “Back to the Future.” I know Hermione had a time-turner in “Prisoner of Azkaban,” and it was all well and fun, but time travel is the central concept at the heart of this book. That’s…a cop out. Time travel is ALWAYS confusing, especially without well-established rules, and “The Cursed Child” goes ahead and ruins our previously established time travel rules of the Harry Potter universe. It just doesn’t make any sense. And instead of getting a totally new adventure, we’re set back into ones we’ve already experienced. It’s kind of a waste of a new book, honestly.
There Is A Cursed Child, And The Twist Is Lame
I can’t spoil it for you, but yes there is hidden evil afoot, although probably not who you expect it to be. Who it ends up being was, to me, the dumbest surprise ever. It seems lifted from some of the worst Harry Potter fan fiction. It’s a twist straight up out of a telenovela. UGHHH.
Of course, maybe it works better as a play, but as a book, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” just couldn’t live up to its predecessors. Maybe it needed J.K. Rowling writing the whole thing. Maybe it’s simply time we all close the book on Harry Potter.