Who knew that in times of darkness all I needed was a little Harry Potter? I sat down on Easter Sunday and burned my way through this in the space of a few hours, feeling happier on the other side. It’s a quick but compelling read, true enough to the Harry Potter format to scratch that nostalgic itch.
Firstly, it should be noted that this is a play script, not a novel, and it wasn’t written by J.K. Rowling although it did involve her (it was based on her story idea) and has her blessing. Set 20 years into the future, it features Harry, Hermione and Ron as grown-ups although the main characters are Harry and Ginny’s youngest child, Albus, and Draco Malfoy’s only child, Scorpius. The two boys are placed in Slytherin together and we watch them grow up to their early teenage years, becoming good friends but also outcasts at Hogwarts. The plot is a lot of family drama, friend drama and time travel.
The Good Reads reviews show a lot of polarization, skewing on the hate side- a lot of die hard fans hate everything about it (the play format, the lack of magic, the new characters, etc.). I didn’t love it as much as the original series, but I also didn’t feel like it was trying to fit there- the play format, plus the focus on different characters, made it feel more like its own thing, albeit set in the Harry Potter world. Additionally, on the plus side, the ways the characters spoke to each other actually seemed more honest and realistic than the original novels. The things that took away from it for me were a) some plot holes (not too hard to overlook in the moment, but more bothersome if you think about them afterward) and b) the incredible number of scene changes. While a novel can flip around in time and space, I kept wondering how this would be staged when every 2 pages there was a new setting- good luck to the crew and stage manager!