It is finally time for to review a new Harry Potter story and that feel amazing. What doesn’t feel amazing is that my thoughts are so conflicted, I finished reading this play and immediately stamped 5.5 on my Goodreads review. It wasn’t that I loved the story, it was that I loved being transported back to a world I love, to characters I adore so much and to experience that magic once again. I had tears in my eyes whilst finishing this book because it brought back all those nostalgic feelings. The problem was that the story wasn’t good as I had hoped and the more I think about the book, the less happy with it I get. It’s currently on a 3/5 with the potential to go lower if I dwell on it anymore. So, no more dwelling, time for reviewing. And don’t worry, if you haven’t read the book yet then I won’t spoil it, I will keep this part completely non-spoilery and have the spoilers after a massive warning, for all those who have read it.
This was never going to be the story that most Harry Potter fans wanted. It is a script of a play, and not a novel. We all knew this before buying so it’s not a shock, but it does mean it’s a weird new way to experience the Harry Potter world. This is something that is supposed to be experienced and watched, not read.The other main issue is that, no matter how largely they write her name on the cover, this was not written by J.K. Rowling. And that is a terrible thing to me as it meant that I felt the characters were just lacking in a way they wouldn’t have been if she had wrote it. The characters always just felt a little off and not like the characters we spent seven books getting to know.
The story itself was not all what I was expecting, but I am not mentioning nothing about it here. I think it is better to go blind for other people. We all know this book took place 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, and follows Harry’s son Albus rather than Harry. We meet some brilliant characters in this, but also some bad ones. My main issue with the story was that it felt all a bit ridiculous and that alot of it didn’t make sense. I, quite honestly, can never view this play as canon because it all just feels ridiculous and as if it would never happen. Another major issue is the gaping plot holes that book leaves us with, and I hate gaping holes!
So yes, overall I was disappointed. I loved some aspects of this but was really pissed about other. I need to go into spoilery detail to explain that. If you haven’t read this yet or seen the play, then now is the time to skip out.
I am actually excited to review this and go into all my spoilery thoughts. I have to, I won’t be able to contain myself otherwise. I need to lay it all out on the table. First, I need to get this out of the way: I LOVE HARRY POTTER! If you know me in real life or from my (previous) blog, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, then you already know this. Harry Potter is my life and has been since I was a teenager. And because of my grandmother, I was able to buy the whole set of books. Harry Potter was basically my childhood and I love every minute of it. It was a childhood of midnight releases of books and films. Harry Potter is life and forever will be. But I am never going to be one of those people who is blinded by my love for something. I wanted to love this play. I really did, but I didn’t in the end., and that is because it has alot of flaws and problems and things I didn’t like. Plus I feel that this is important, it a script for a play and I feel it is better to experience as a movie.
I will do a very quick summary for anyone reading the spoilery side even if they haven’t watched the play. Basically the story focuses on Harry’s son Albus as he begins attending Hogwarts and gets placed in Slytherin. This is a huge deal and Albus ends up sucking at magic and forever living in his fathers shadow, which he resents, and their relationship is basically strained. Harry is a terrible father for some reason. Scorpius Malfoy is the most adorable bean of all time, and him and Albus become best friends, who are totally in love with each other – we’ll get to that later. Amos Diggory shows up out of the blue with his niece Delphi, wanting Harry to go back in time and save Cedric’s life. Harry even though the one last surviving time-turner has been found, lies and says he can’t. Albus then decided to it himself with the help of good ol’ Scorpius. Of course going back in time and changing one tiny detail changes everything. So they keep having to go back, changing things until we eventually figured out that Delphi is the love child of Voldemort and Bellatrix and she wants to back in time to prevent him from ever killing Harry, so that he would never have been defeated. And, yeah, the simplified version of this messy plot.
The first things I have mention is probably what anyone who has read it wanted to discuss the most… Voldemort had a love child with Bellatrix Lestrange! REALLY?!?! I got to that point in the book and suddenly I understood why I heard people saying that they felt this read like a fan fiction. My mouth dropped open and disappointment set in. It just makes zero sense to me, and the explanation of it and timeline of those events also makes no sense to me. I just don’t see Voldemort as someone concerned with having a child. His plan was to get the Deathly Hallows and become master of death, so he wasn’t looking for an heir. And, come on, it’s like the guy has even one tiny paternal bone in his body. The only thing that does make sense is that if Voldemort had a kid with anyone, it would be with Bellatrix, you can totally see her wanting to have his baby. I still don’t get how this all happened and no one knew. And that it was never alluded to in the final book. She apparently gave birth in the Malfoy Manor before the Battle of Hogwarts. So where was the baby whilst she was off fighting? Why did Draco not know about it? Or did he and just never felt like he should mention it? Come on, this is the most ridiculous story line in the history of ever and I am going to pretend that this a fan fiction and not canon because otherwise I’d have to rate this a 1/5 and I just can’t deal with that right now.
The next thing we have to discuss is the main plot device here: Time Travel. Why? Do not mess with the time travel, it’s far too overused and just results in endless plot holes and problems. This book is not an exception to that rule. Especially when we take into account that the main plot here is that Albus and Scorpius want to use the time turner to go back in time and save Cedric Diggory’s life. They have a time-turner that can take back years and they are going to use to save Cedric Diggory. Can we all take a moment to appreciate how utterly pointless and stupid that act would be if we think about the fact they could go back in time and strangle tiny, evil baby Voldemort and save thousands of people?! Oh no, let’s just go back in time and save one boy.
That is like someone giving you a time-turner in our world and going back in time to save Anne Frank, rather than killing Hitler. If you kill the evil overlord then you would save all the people that died at their hands. So the whole time I am just sitting here wanting to slap everyone for just being so stupid. But it is obvious why they can’t suddenly realise that they have the power to murder Voldemort and prevent everything. It would mean that everything came after that would completely change and the first seven Harry Potter books would never have happened. So of course, we can’t have that, so we will just have this plot hole instead.
The next biggest problem with this book is the characterisation and how wrong it is in the play. Ron is suddenly reduced to just a little bit of comedic relief. He just eats food and pranks and apparently got drunk at his wedding and that he forgot most of it. Why has Ron suddenly turn into a Weasley twin too? I know he likes pranks and found them but before he was no Fred or George. And why is he giving a small boy a love potion as a joke gift? He was put under the influence of love potion and it wasn’t an experience he particularly enjoyed, so I can’t see him then being stupid enough to give one to a child. I hated seeing what Jack Thorne reduced his character to here, it was not fun to read.
Harry was even worse, I hated him being the world’s worst father who would be horrible to tell his son that sometimes he wished he wasn’t his son. I just don’t see Harry ever saying that. I feel he would love his children, no matter how difficult they could be and appreciate being able to be there for them, as he never had that as a child. And watching him treat Professor McGonagall made for even more unpleasant reading. Am I supposed to believe that Harry, the guy who flipped out when a Death Eater spat on her, would then go and treat her with so little respect? Nope, I am not buying that.
Hermione was just as hard to read, especially in the timeline where she and Ron never got together. She basically becomes a female version of Snape. She’s the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts who treats the children horribly. She’s nasty and bitter, and apparently all because she didn’t wind up with Ron?! No. Are we really reducing Hermione down to this?! She is strong, brave, kind person, and I don’t see her ever turning that bitter because of a guy. She is so much better than that. Why did J.K. Rowling give this her stamp of approval?
And I am still sold on the fact that getting humiliated one time would suddenly turn Cedric Diggory into an evil Death Eater situation but it is just awful. I don’t believe for one second that Cedric would allow that one moment in his life change him so completely that he suddenly goes to the Harry Potter dark side and start working for Voldemort. No.
I have another big issue and that is, Scorpius and Albus are blatantly in love with each other, the issue is that it seems super obvious to 90% of people reading and yet it is never addressed. Come on, they totally love each other and I ship it endlessly. I just get so sad to see the potential to have our first openly gay couple in the Harry Potter universe squandered. These two were just utterly adorable. Not just watch them fill a play with so much homoerotic subtext and then just brush it all aside at the end. In my mind they become the most adorably squishy couple ever, get married and join the Potter and the Malfoy households.
It wasn’t bad though and there were aspects that I really liked. The biggest one thing Scorpius Malfoy. He is adorable and I just loved his character. He is so sweet and kind, and I was just happy with his character. I also loved that Albus and Scorpius were both Slytherins, and both kind, wonderful Slytherins. I have a big spot for Slytherin house so I was happy that this plays shows that Slytherins are just as awesome. I also loved when Ron told Hermione he wanted to renew their wedding vows.
Writing this review actually felt therapeutic, but I must admit that the more I think about the story the more upset I get. I just wanted this to be amazing and everything I was hoping for, and it wasn’t. I feel this was definitely missing J.K. Rowling’s touch and I wish she been the one to write the script, as I feel the characters would have felt more real if she had. It wasn’t all bad and I enjoyed the story whilst reading it. It blew my mind reading it, as I tried to figure out how they were going to pull this off on stage. I can’t even consider this as canon because it is just had too many plot holes and makes little sense when you think back on the Harry Potter books.