Ranch Reviews – New Harry Potter book isn’t so magical

Brittney Downing – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The main Harry Potter series might have ended years ago, but author J.K. Rowling’s world is far from dead. This summer alone saw the release of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child“, a two-part play written by Jack Thorne that was released both on stage and in print.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” follows Harry Potter’s son, Albus Potter, as he navigates his first few years in Hogwarts and deals with the effects of his father’s legacy. The play is set nearly 19 years after the end of the Harry Potter series and features much of the original cast of characters.

Perhaps seeing it on stage as it was intended would produce different results but as a written work “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is an absolute trainwreck. The writing style isn’t necessarily terrible; it would certainly be a hard thing to mess up while writing such a short, dialogue-based screenplay. To say the plot is bad, however, would be an understatement. Pacing is nonexistent and the entire thing feels silly and inconsequential. Elements like time travel feel distinctly like something that doesn’t belong in Rowling’s already established world and the conflict of the story is simply cheesy and ridiculous. The resolution of the story somehow manages to be even more outrageous and cringe-worthy, relying on cheap tropes and an incredibly predictable plot twist.

Probably the only redeeming quality of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” are the characters, which are just as charming as one might expect characters in a Harry Potter story to be. This can’t be praised too much, however, as these characters were already defined by Rowling in the original Harry Potter series. If anything, Thorne proves his incompetence as a writer by giving the characters little development or room to grow, a bad decision in a book that involves characters who are quite literally still growing. An attempt is made while showcasing the strained relationship between Albus and Harry, but the joke that is the plot of the book takes away from anything serious that might have been gained. The characters seem to constantly remind the reader of all of the potential that the story somehow managed to slam-dunk into the trash.

As a whole, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” reads like glorified fanfiction. Not even good fanfiction, too.