Said to be the last Harry Potter book, the eight story set 19 years after the battle at Hogwarts, is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Similar to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, this is a manuscript, not an actual book. I still wanted to read it though, curious as to how Harry and his friends are living now and what's happening with his children. You get a small glimpse of this in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but this story goes more in-depth.
We meet Albus Potter, Harry’s second son and the middle of three children Harry and Ginny have. He is living in the shadow of his father and makes the choice to befriend Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpious, rumoured to be the son of Voldemort, on that first trip to Hogwarts. During the Sorting Ceremony, Albus is sorted into Slytherin, to everyone’s surprise and it just goes downhill from there. Albus and Scorpious continue to be friends but they’re outcasts and considered losers. When Albus overhears a conversation between his father and Cedric Diggory’s father, Amos, and then meets Cedric’s cousin, Delphi, Albus starts to think. So many people had to die for The Boy Who Lived, what if Albus would try to save one of them? Together with Scorpious, Albus heads back in time, trying to save Cedric but only causing mayhem instead. And in the shadows waits a person who could destroy everything Harry Potter and his friends did nineteen years ago.
Now, you can’t really say anything about the writing since it was a manuscript. The characters, however, didn’t always seem quite like themselves. Of course, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Draco have grown up and it’s only logical that they’ve changed since their time at Hogwarts. But sometimes they did things or said things that seemed so out of character and Harry especially was quite different. Albus and Scorpious was fun to get to know, but they seemed two-dimensional and lacked depth. The story is basically about a boy who feels like he’s invisible and living in his father’s shadow and to solve this he must do something big to show everyone that he is capable as well. Sadly, the thing Albus choses to do have huge ramification. It seems like I have managed to pick out two books in a very short amount of time with two very different characters who choses to play with time travel without ever stopping to think about what that can do to the present. Albus rushes into everything and while he’s only fourteen he’s still very naïve. The whole story is pretty much just about him and his daddy-issues which was not quite what I had in mind when I picked it up. Scorpious, as well, lacks depth and is just Albus Hermione, really. That friend who knows everything and saves his life when there’s a need for it.
The actual plot of the story is about the possibility of Voldemort rising again and that there might be a child of his somewhere out there. I found it rather interesting, if a bit unnecessary. This all feels done, really, after seven books and eight movies about Harry defeating Voldemort again and again. An eight story is actually a bit too much and I think this proves that a series ends where it does for a reason. You keep going and you wreak the entire thing. I know it’s a play but I don’t think I would’ve liked it anyway. Albus and his attempts to “do what his dad didn’t” – save a life sacrificed for Harry’s – by going back in time is so stupid I don’t even know were to begin. The only good thing in this story is seeing Harry working so hard to get closer to Albus. His other children, James and Lily, barely appears in the story and neither does Hermione or Ron’s. Not one of Ron’s parents or his siblings, beside Ginny, pops up, which I thought was rather boring. Hagrid only makes a brief flashback appearance. It was sad to see so many great characters left out when the new ones were so empty and shallow.
I felt like so much more could’ve been done with this story and I really feel like they should’ve gone to those lengths when they decided to go back to Harry’s world. This story needed something big to be awoken and the story of Albus and Voldemort’s potential child was not it. It was pretty much all the Harry Potter-books pressed together into one, much shorter, story. Friendship, love, some weird kids, Dark Magic, Voldemort rising again and some inspiring words from Dumbledore. There’s certainly action but the culmination of the story is over in a blink and it’s not very exciting at all. I won’t say I would’ve been better off not having read this but I could easily have lived without it.