**WARNING: MAY CONTAIN MINOR SPOILERS ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. READ AHEAD AT YOUR OWN RISK**
As I’m writing this (late on a Tuesday night) I have, quite literally, just finished reading the newest book addition to the great world of Harry Potter. That is to say, I’ve just finished reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the unofficial 8th book. Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past year or so, I’m sure you all have heard the hype surrounding the play. Honestly, when I first heard that JK Rowling had written another storyline for the series, I’ll admit I was both intrigued and a little wary. When I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I hadn’t been overly impressed by the epilogue set 19 years into the future as, in my opinion, it seemed like an unnecessary add-on, added as an afterthought if you will or simply something to please the masses. Because of this opinion, I was both curious and skeptical of how well this new book—also set around 20 years into the future from Deathly Hallows—would capture the aura and grasp the characters’ natures that we’d all become familiar with. I needn’t have worried.
While the characters that we have become well-acquainted with over the last decade or so (and, if you’re like me, essentially grew up with them) retain their individual personalities, we also have a chance to see too how they’ve changed as they’ve become adults and parents to children of their own. I think the characters of Albus and Scorpius were interesting personality-wise, Scorpius in particular. Some of the traits Albus has reminded me of a mix of Harry, James, and Ron. Like Harry and Harry’s father, James, Albus appears to be a natural leader and a bit of a troublemaker while, like Ron, he also seems to take some time before he blossoms as a wizard. Some of his emotional turmoil and loneliness reminded me of Ginny as she is first properly introduced in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The reason I found Scorpius’s personality so fascinating is because he is really nothing like his father at all. In fact, to be perfectly honest, his traits seemed to me to be a perfect blend of Hermione and Ron despite the fact that Draco Malfoy is his father. Almost as if Rowling was attempting to make the trio that was Harry, Ron, and Hermione and pack it into a duo. Scorpius is intelligent, mindful of rules, extremely loyal, and a bit of a misfit himself. His bravery may be that of his father’s but altogether he is a much gentler soul than Draco ever was at that age.
Because this book was written originally as a script for the stage, it is written as a play would be with cues, brief scene descriptions, and directions in italicized font and the characters’ dialogue separated by line with each new line starting with the name of the character who’s speaking. Anyone who has had to read Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet in school should have an idea as to what I’m talking about. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this format did nothing to detract from how the reader is pulled into the story. While it is true that with a traditional manuscript there is much more room to go into detail about surroundings, actions, and expressions, I didn’t feel that the level of detail was lacking while reading this. In fact, really, it felt just like the other books, as if I’d stepped right back into the world Rowling created.
Now, as for the actual plot of the book, I don’t want to give that away in case anyone reading this has not yet had a chance to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I would hate to be the one to ruin that for someone. I will however say that it’s an interesting and complex timeline wherein everybody realizes that sometimes things happen for a reason and that love can make blind fools of us all.