It’s every fan’s dream to have their favorite series live on (not just in their own head) as though the characters are real people with futures, jobs, and children. The Harry Potter fandom is no exception. Years and years’ worth of fanfiction has been written about what happened after the Battle of Hogwarts, but – other than the short stories on Pottermore – that world had not been properly revisited by the author herself. Now, nineteen years after the first book was published, we are invited back into the story of The Boy Who Lived.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is different from the original seven-book series in that it’s a play instead of a novel. Although the format would certainly be an adjustment, I counted the days to the release like everybody else (it was, after all, as close as I would get to receiving that Hogwarts letter I hoped for when I was eleven). I bought the book the day it was released and was thrilled to be holding it in my hands. I loved everything about it, especially the cover art.
The only problem was; I didn’t read it. Not that day or many days after. I know it seems like a foregone conclusion that someone like me who loves reading and Harry Potter – and has been awaiting the book release for months – would go home and read it right away, but I couldn’t. Why? Well, one part of me didn’t want to end the anticipation and the other was terrified that the story wouldn’t live up to my expectations; I wasn’t sure if I could handle the most dependable fantasy of my childhood letting me down now.
However, I’m writing a book review and to review a book one must have first read the book, so logically you, dear reader, must conclude that I did eventually open the box and determine the cat’s fate, so to speak. And the cat, in my official scientist’s opinion, is… alive!
In the end, I devoured the whole thing in less than twenty-four hours and was most certainly not disappointed. It had everything we Potterheads have been hoping for: awkward parenting, friendship, new characters mixed with old, a desperate mission to save the world, dark vs. light, and magic! Almost better than the story was the sense of renewed nostalgia for nights spent reading by flashlight when my parents thought I was sound asleep. My favorite thing about books has always been the safe-haven they offer from reality and immersing myself in this new addition to J.K. Rowling’s beloved world provided that. (Initially, I had been worried about the fact that Rowling wasn’t the sole author, but it truly doesn’t take away from any part of the experience.) So, if any of you are out there doing what I did, desperately avoiding spoilers and worrying about being disappointed, go ahead and read the book already! Let yourself go back to being a child for a little while and go on and adventure, the Hogwarts Express is waiting…