I’d been so very torn about reading Cursed Child. When I heard that it came out, it was on my To-Buy list immediately, but then I started to hesitate when I saw the reviews. I didn’t want to spoil the magical world that I grew up with, so I put it off. Mentioning this to a friend (shout out to Amber!), she said she had a copy that I could borrow if I decided I wanted to give it a chance.
I’ll say within the first 30 pages, I knew I didn’t like it. Part of the reason was because I don’t prefer to read scripts- I don’t think I have a strong enough imagination to fully create the scenes described with only dialogue provided- so I struggled in that aspect. The other part was the way the plot was pushed along. It felt very fast (almost too fast) and emotionally charged, to where I felt as a reader that I wasn’t getting depth in the characters. JK Rowling put so much complexity into her characters and her writing, but we’re following the children of these characters she created, and we get very little depth on their character development. I could only superficially understand the “cursed child” syndrome, and in script form, Albus comes off full of angst and dramatics- circa Harry fifth year- so it made me dislike him almost immediately, whereas I’d rather like the main character.
Despite all that I will say overall, the script got more exciting the further I read on and the story overall is an interesting concept. A brief summary for those who haven’t read: Harry’s middle-child son, Albus Severus, dislikes being the famous Harry Potter’s Syltherin son. Albus overhears Cedric Diggory’s father asking Harry to use a time turner to go back to the Triwizard Tournament and prevent Cedric from dying at Voldemort’s hands- a request Harry denies. Albus decided to fulfill the request instead, and with his best friend Scorpius Malfoy and Amos Diggory’s niece Delphini, they set out to change the course of history, each for their own personal gain.
To me, it felt like I was reading published fan fiction. It was entertaining, but I can’t quite accept it as canon (and as I’ve seen in other reviews, I’m not alone on this), and I really dislike that it’s considered the eight book in the Harry Potter series. It’s not a book, it’s a playscript, and there are so many little bits of information that do not correlate with the structures set by the preceding books.
So, answer the big question: to read or not to read? I say read, and take in the story with a grain of salt, as if you were reading any other fan fiction. It’s not going to ruin the world we know and love- it’s just going to give another alternative view.