DNF: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne

cover for harry potter and the cursed child
© Arthur A. Levine Books, 2016.


“Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.” (Source: Goodreads)


I clearly remember the I discovered Harry Potter. I don’t remember my age, but I do recall the place. My Dad took us to Barnes & Noble in Little Rock, AR. I couldn’t find a book I wanted to read. Seeing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on a cardboard display, Dad pointed to it. That night, I discovered never-ending magic.

Or so I thought. Let’s be frank, shall we? I pride myself on my ability to remain unbiased when writing a review about a book. Sometimes I’m friends with the author, sometimes I’m asked to cover it, sometimes I choose to. No matter what manner brings this book to me, I’m honest. I will remain the same with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. That said, this book sucks.

To put into perspective how much this book sucks, let me put it this way: I dropped it. The only other book I haven’t finished is Outlander. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is based on work by Rowling, but it is not a Harry Potter book. Not in the sense that those of us who grew up with it see it, anyways. When Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out, I felt as much excitement as the next fan. After attempting to read it, I chose to leave the series where it ended in Deathly Hollows.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not so much a continuation of the series as it is a fan-fiction. And while there is good fan-fiction out there, this is not an example of it. This book (or screenplay) is a desperate attempt to continue a completed series. Not only does it fail to breathe life back into the friends of our childhood, but it does so with a timeline restrained by rules of the theater.

Even worse, the friendship that blossoms between Albus and Scorpio seems too farfetched. It’s as if the screenwriters sought yet another retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. A retelling that doesn’t do the pair justice, from what others that forced themselves to finish the book have told me. The only thing I find worse than romance in a story is a romance that falls short of its potential.

Rating: 💀

Liked it? Take a second to support Acanthea Grimscythe on Patreon!