Chelsea slytherink's Reviews > Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany
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did not like it
bookshelves: read-in-2016

review also posted on Wordpress!

Warning: This review contains major spoilers! Don’t read this if you haven’t read the Harry Potter series and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet!
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If you loved Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I wouldn’t recommend reading my review. This is going to be a rant! You’ve been warned!
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This is the very first time I have rated a book one stars! Believe me, I don’t want to do this, but I really didn’t enjoy reading Cursed Child. Before I get started, I want you to know the following:

1. A couple of weeks ago, I read some spoilers from people who had watched the play. Those immediately lowered my expectations. I knew going into this I wasn’t going to like it.
2. I knew this was not written by J.K. Rowling.
3. I knew this wasn’t the eight book, but the script for the play.

I love the Harry Potter series so much. And I always will. It means a lot to me and when I heard about this, I immediately pre-ordered it. I’ve seen some people say ‘it’s Harry Potter so obviously I love this’, but I can’t say the same. Call me critical but I spent money on this. People spend money on tickets to go see the play. I expect something decent in return then.

To call this fanfiction is an insult to all the people who try to bring more joy to a fandom. The Cursed Child was just plain bad writing. I will get into detail later, but I refuse to accept what happened as canon. I don’t care what J.K. Rowling says. This is a disgrace to the characters and the people who loved the original book series. You might think that I’m taking this too seriously, but they shouldn’t ask money for this if it were ‘just for fun’. This is literally being promoted as ‘the eight story’ in the Harry Potter series. I knew before I started it that it wasn’t, but the marketing team pretends it is.

So no, I won’t apologise for being critical. Just because this isn’t a book, but a play, doesn’t mean that the story shouldn’t be as good. In fact, that is such an insult to plays! It’s just another form of media. I’ve seen some people say: “You can’t judge this if you haven’t seen the play”. Well, if that’s the case, they shouldn’t have published it as a book. I can’t afford going to London and paying a lot of money in order for some people to validate my opinion.

Let’s start of with the things I did like:

This felt as if I was reading a book. It didn’t take time to adjust to the format. I’m also curious to see what everything is going to look like in the actual play. But, since I really don’t like the actual story and what they did to the characters, I’m not sure yet whether I’d be willing to pay money for that.

Out of all the characters, Hermione was the only one who still resembled who she used to be. I’m proud that she has become Minister for Magic! I also really liked Minerva! And Draco proved he was a good parent (much better than Harry…).

I enjoyed the interactions between Albus and Scorpius! They’re such good ‘friends’ (A.K.A. boyfriends).

That was it. Those were the only thing I like. My list of dislikes is much longer! I had six full pages of notes. When I read a book that’s over a thousand pages long, I don’t even have that many notes! Let’s get started:

The plot is basically 90% about trying to bring back Cedric Diggory. I don’t understand why Albus is so obsessed with Cedric. So many people died for Harry, why does it have to be Cedric? Obviously because Amos asked, but to have almost the entire plot of this play resolve around that…

I’d rather read every single second of a class taught at Hogwarts! Because this wasn’t magical enough. Sure, it features the characters we know and love and Hogwarts, but we rarely get to see actual magic. When Albus, Delphi and Scorpius are searching for the Time Turner in Hermione’s office, they don’t even try ‘accio’! Instead, they search the entire bookcase! Whenever we do get some magic, it isn’t explained enough. Why couldn’t Delphi use ‘imperio’ on Albus? She said: “to fulfil the prophecy […] Imperio just won’t do”. Why not? Or when Harry transfigured into Voldemort… Is that even possible? Why would wizards go through the trouble of brewing polyjuice potion then? All of this is just very convenient, but didn’t make enough sense.

One of the things that bothered me most, was Ron Weasley’s characterisation. He has become a caricature of the person he used to be. The only reason he’s there, is for comic relief. All he does is eat and make stupid jokes. They act as if he’s so dumb and doesn’t take anything serious. Did Thorne actually read the original series before he wrote this? Because this is not the Ron I know! I refuse to believe that he was so drunk at his own wedding he doesn’t remember anything. And why would Ron give someone love potion? He had a terrible experience with it when he was a teenager, why in the world would he do that? It doesn’t make any sense!

Another character who was completely butchered was Cedric Diggory. In the alternate universe where he lost the Triwizard Tournament, he becomes a death-eater and kills Neville. Cedric was one of the kindest characters. It’s absurd to assume that he would become a racist murderer just because he got humiliated!

Scorpius said: “Cedric was a different person entirely – dark, dangerous”. We only found out that he killed Neville, but Scorpius didn’t interact with him. I don’t understand where this observation comes from. And I had that feeling quite a few times while reading this; as if I had skipped a couple of pages without realising it.

Harry Potter is a terrible father. I didn’t like him once in this ‘book’. Granted, Albus is a whiny teenager: he has no idea how privileged he is. Don’t tell me he doesn’t get special treatment because he’s a Potter. A lot of people have it worse than him. Still, Harry had no right to say the things he did. And his excuse? He didn’t have a father figure growing up. He had plenty! What about Arthur, Sirius, Remus, Hagrid and even Dumbledore, Harry?! Harry had no right to attack Minerva either. Just because a woman doesn’t have children, doesn’t mean she isn’t able to take care of them. She’d be a much better parent than he ever was.

And when did he become a psychic? His scar hurts, he actually hears Voldemort’s voice and can speak Parseltongue again, but Delphi hadn’t even saved Voldemort yet (actually, she never does). How is he able to do that if nothing has changed? Voldemort wasn’t back, yet he acted as if he was? Once again, I just don’t understand…

Also, what is up with Lily’s blanket? I don’t remember him ever talking about it in the books, yet now Harry pretends as if it’s his most precious possession in the entire world. I know he didn’t possess it in the other books, but it’s still strange that he’s so obsessed with it now.

Oh, and the special privileges? Harry is at Hogwarts all the damn time! I don’t remember parents being allowed there. I guess being a Potter does mean you’re allowed to do more than others.

A lot of people hate Severus Snape and don’t see him as a brave person. While I don’t feel as strongly about that as them, I completely understand why they feel that was. He was horrible to his pupils, particularly Hermione, Harry and Neville. But, in the alternative universe, Hermione and Ron secretly work together with him. He used to be so mean to them, it seems highly unlikely to me they would forgive him! Just because he didn’t turn out to be a death-eater, doesn’t mean it justifies his behaviour. Snape’s interactions with Scorpius were so cringe-worthy. He isn’t a nice guy who makes one or two jokes and he’d never talk that openly about Lily.

Because so many characters felt differently, I didn’t care about them anymore. When Hermione and Ron sacrificed themselves and received the dementor’s kiss, I felt nothing. On the one hand, I’m sad we didn’t get to see Sirius, Remus, Tonks an Teddy. But on the other hand, I’m very glad, since their characters would have been butchered as well!

This book almost pretends as if the other Potter and Granger-Weasley kids don’t exist. Ever heard of Hugo???

The timeline is so strange. Page 22 and a year has past. Page 27 and they’re already starting their third year at Hogwarts. Seven pages later, another year has past! Surely, they could have given us a glimpse at their lives at Hogwarts without having to do it like this. Later on, Scorpius and Albus are in Scotland, without any brooms or wands. Yet the very next page, they’re already in Godric’s Hollow! How is that even possible? Again, this is not explained.

And how did Albus and Scorpius know every single detail from what went down over twenty years ago at the Triwizard Tournament and Battle of Hogwarts? Did their parents tell them literally everything? Were very detailed books written? I need to know this!

In the alternate universe, they kept mentioning an ‘Augurey’ and I had no idea what it meant. It’s only explained many scenes later. I cannot stress enough how underdeveloped some plots were. Sometimes, I had no idea what was going on because things weren’t explained well enough. And that causes plot holes.

I’m so thankful they didn’t use the Time Turner often in the Harry Potter series. I can already imagine how how things would have ended otherwise: Harry would have gone back in time and kill Voldemort and save James and Lily. Whenever a universe has the ability to time travel, that’s the kind of things that happen. It’s predictable. Yet that’s exactly what Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is about. They go back in time over FOUR TIMES just to go back to how things were at the beginning of the play. It’s such a waste of time. I can think of so many plots that would have been more interesting. Imagine there’s ever going to be a F.R.I.E.N.D.S movie and it turns out Monica has left Chandler and never wants to see her children again. That wouldn’t make any sense at all. But that is how Cursed Child feels like to me.

Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favourite books an films, so I obviously have no problems with time travelling. But this was just too much.

As I’ve mentioned before, I really missed the magic. And of course the characters, because Cursed Child completely butchered them. Think of how much better this would be if it was about one school year at Hogwarts, without Voldemort trying to kill everyone. Just one year of the adventures Scorpius and Albus encounter. There didn’t need to be this much family drama. Honestly, I’m pretty sure this was the script of a Days of Our Lives or The Bold and the Beautiful episode instead! Just think how they could have explored the other houses, besides Gryffindor! But no, in Cursed Child, everyone is still prejudiced towards Slytherins and they pretend Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff don’t even exist!

This is only about three hundred pages long, yet it was so repetitive. Scorpius and Albus do something stupid; Draco, Harry and Ginny run after them and need Hermione because “their children are missing!” AGAIN!

I also had some problems with the writing itself:

Voldemort Day? ‘Oh Potter’ instead of ‘Oh Shit’? Mudbloods in the dungeons? The Blood Ball? WE GET IT, VOLDEMORT IS BACK!

“A Malfoy who may be a Voldemort” Euhm, that’s just awful writing. ‘Voldemort’ isn’t a last name; it’s not as if ‘Lord’ was his first name. It should have been ‘Riddle’ instead.

‘Thank Dumbledore’ instead of ‘Thank God’ is not only cheesy, it is also incredibly arrogant. I’m not the most religious person but to say that Dumbledore is a God…

It’s so sexist that at the Triwizard Tournament, every school got a lot of cheers besides Beauxbatons! I know boys also attend it, but it’s still more ‘feminine’ than Durmstrang or Hogwarts.

Almost everyone who has read this, can’t deny there is something going on between Albus and Scorpius. They are so gay! But of course, this book is heteronormative to the max! I can already hear J.K. Rowling in a couple of years: “Actually, they were dating, but it wasn’t important to the story”. Please don’t give this woman any praise when it comes to diversity, she doesn’t deserve it. The Cursed Child could have meant a great deal more if they weren’t so afraid to include characters who aren’t straight for a change. And don’t even get me started on Albus’ crush on Delphi. He’s like fourteen and she was twenty? That’s disgusting.

Which brings me to Delphi, the daughter of Voldemort and Bellatrix. Do you really expect me to believe that Voldemort was capable of love and lust? Why do they feel the need to establish that every character is ‘oh so straight’?! Supposedly, Bellatrix gave birth to Delphi before the Battle of Hogwarts in Malfoy Manor. WHAT?! In Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, we actually see her there! Don’t you think anyone would have noticed? DRACO ACTUALLY LIVED THERE! How oblivious is he supposed to be then? This doesn’t make any sense!

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. There were so many things that bothered me and I don’t ever want to read this again. I regret paying this much money for it. I refuse to accept this as canon. I will pretend this doesn’t exist.
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Reading Progress

February 10, 2016 – Shelved
February 10, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
August 2, 2016 – Started Reading
August 2, 2016 –
0.0% "It has finally arrived! I pre-ordered this back in February, I should have bought it in a bookstore instead ... My expectations are really low, so if I end up disliking it, don't blame me ;)"
August 2, 2016 –
page 73
21.28% "I feel personally offended by the way they're butchering Ron's character. Well, almost every is acting OOC but seriously (or should I say siriusly) THAT IS NOT RON WEASLEY!"
August 2, 2016 –
page 134
39.07% "I already wrote three full pages of complaints and I'm not even halfway yet. When I read a book that's over a thousand pages, I don't even have this many notes! I just can't handle this: everyone's acting OOC and the plot is more dramatic than a Days of Our Lives episode!"
August 2, 2016 –
page 215
62.68% "Minerva: "It's almost laughable." That's how I feel about this..."
August 3, 2016 – Shelved as: read-in-2016
August 3, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)

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ACCOUNT NO LONGER ACTIVE I know! I am so so so so so excited!


CANCERFACE9000 wait wait wait…hold the ketchup
ITS A FECKING SCRIPT?!?!?

please tell me its not…
please…………


Chelsea slytherink I'm sorry but I'm pretty sure it's just the script of the play, definitely not an eight HP book! :/


Megan Is it literally printed like a script?


Chelsea slytherink Well, this 'book' isn't out yet so no one knows, but I think it's going to be printed as a script.


Chelsea slytherink @Addy I've heard the plot is really bad so I'm going to wait and see whether I actually accept it as a canon continuation of the HP series.


Nova Don't worry, it's good.


Clair The plot is not bad


Mizzio Batista I loved it...


Ashley Earley Mixed feels but I would never give a Harry Potter book (or play) only 1 star. It's disgraceful!


Chelsea slytherink Ashley wrote: "Mixed feels but I would never give a Harry Potter book (or play) only 1 star. It's disgraceful!"

Well, I think this book is disgraceful. I literally wrote in my review why I didn't give this 5 stars, even though it's Harry Potter. Maybe you should have bothered to read it first instead of insulting me based on only a rating.


message 12: by Carla (last edited Aug 03, 2016 06:30AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carla I'm with you, I gave it 2.5 stars just because when we reach the half it gets better, but I won't take this a canon, ever. I'm so mad and dissapointed.


Chelsea slytherink Carly wrote: "I feel you, sis! I won't take this as canon either, to me it's just an interesting fanfic."

Yes, it was entertaining :) But it didn't feel like Harry Potter to me at all. It just didn't feel right. And since they are marketing it as the eight story, I have to take that into account. I really wish I loved this, but I don't. I'm glad someone isn't attacking me for being honest for a change ;)


hillary I agree with everything you said! I'm so angry at JK Rowling, I can't even.


Chelsea slytherink Mari Yeung wrote: "I agree with everything you said! I'm so angry at JK Rowling, I can't even."

I just read your review and agree with everything you've said! Especially with what you've said about JK Rowling! I actually talk about her more in a book chat I posted on my Wordpress. She's so fake. Like she pretends she loves the idea of black Hermione but didn't even dare to make her canonly black in the books! She really needs to stop pretending as if she loves diversity because there is like none in the books.


Chelsea slytherink Anna wrote: "i read the spoilers before the book came out and i was so disappointed but then it just became a hilarious joke. it's so bad it's hilarious.

i can't believe Cedric joined a racist terrorist group ..."


I completely agree with you! I read the spoilers beforehand as well so I knew I wasn't going to like it, but I had already pre-ordered it... But yeah, it's so bad! I was laughing out loud at times at how bad it was!

Almost every characters gets butchered, but making Cedric a death eater is just wrong! It's so OOC and really, because he lost a competition?! It doesn't make any sense!


hillary Chelsea wrote: "Mari Yeung wrote: "I agree with everything you said! I'm so angry at JK Rowling, I can't even."

I just read your review and agree with everything you've said! Especially with what you've said abou..."


Exactly! She keeps blabbing and what she says doesn't make any sense at all. Like "Dumbledore is gay" or "I never said Hermione wasn't black". And now this thing with Albus and Scorpius.
Honestly, I wished she just stopped tweeting and revealing things with her books already published and read by the world (read at least 10 times by each person!). We are not stupid, and this is something that looks like she doesn't understand.


Olivia I agree with you on so many things, and you just pointed out more that I hadn't even realized. And the fact that they market it as the eighth book really really agitates me as well, because by no means would this live up to be included as part of the series. I was so disappointed when I read this, it felt like I was reading a wattpad fanfic...


liquid soap "To call this fanfiction is an insult to all the people who try to bring more joy to a fandom. The Cursed Child was just plain bad writing." marry me


Chelsea slytherink Mari Yeung wrote: "Chelsea wrote: "Mari Yeung wrote: "I agree with everything you said! I'm so angry at JK Rowling, I can't even."

I just read your review and agree with everything you've said! Especially with what ..."


Exactly! She pretends she's cool with everything but didn't dare to include any diversity in her books. I read somewhere she said that Remus as a werewolf is a metaphor for people with aids. It's just so far-fetched! If she really wanted to support those people, she should have done it explicitly. Yes, this woman did create my favourite universe in the entire world but I can't stand her 90% of the time.


Chelsea slytherink Olivia wrote: "I agree with you on so many things, and you just pointed out more that I hadn't even realized. And the fact that they market it as the eighth book really really agitates me as well, because by no m..."

And then people who enjoyed it say: "People expect it to be the eight book, but it's not. Their expectations are too high." But it is literally marketed as such. And my expectations were very low and yet, it still managed to be even worse than I had expected.


Chelsea slytherink Ivanesca wrote: ""To call this fanfiction is an insult to all the people who try to bring more joy to a fandom. The Cursed Child was just plain bad writing." marry me"

Haha! I've seen a lot of people say that and I get why they call it fanfiction, but I love reading fics! And this was awful, I have never read anything like this.


Chelsea slytherink Youmi wrote: "That review was perfect :D And seriously, Albus and Scorpius are so into each other, I mean, I know they're best friends but you can't deny the sexual tension between them"

Thank you! And yes, I agree. It's insane they want us to pretend they're 'just friends'...


Nina (Every Word A Doorway) Ugh, I can't even. I was this close to buying it but then decided to wait for reviews - reviews like yours which have absolutely convinced me that I will not love this. Not because I'm a devoted Potterhead who awaited an 8th book (I didn't) but because this crap is just sensation-seeking… well, crap. Also Harry not being a good father is the dumbest shit I've ever heard. He's such a sensitive soul, he'd never be this way, I'm sure. I hope this was the last time JKR consented to such a play being published for the masses. It's fine if they show the plays in threatres, I guess? Idk. I just know that I will be steering clear ;)


message 25: by Holly (last edited Aug 04, 2016 03:45PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Holly I agree completely with your review! I know it is only based on an original idea by Jo, but I would really love to know how much she came up with and what Jo was thinking when Thorne (and Tiffany) gave her the complete script! It is more of a parody than a continuation.


Chelsea slytherink Nina wrote: "Ugh, I can't even. I was this close to buying it but then decided to wait for reviews - reviews like yours which have absolutely convinced me that I will not love this. Not because I'm a devoted Po..."

Great idea, I really wouldn't recommend reading this! Unfortunately, I am a devoted Potterhead who was looking forward to some new material. Not an eight book though, because I was satisfied with how things ended. Not that this qualifies as an eight book, because I refuse to accept what happened as canon. Like you've said, how could J.K. Rowling approve this?! It's an insult to her work.


Chelsea slytherink Emily wrote: "I agree completely with your review! I know it is only based on an original idea by Jo, but I would really love to know how much she came up with and what Jo was thinking when Thorne (and Tiffany) ..."

Exactly! This is nothing like her previous work. Just because this is meant to be a play, does not mean they had to reduce the quality. It's actually laughable how bad this is. I only finished it two days ago and I already can't remember 90% of what had happened.


message 28: by Puck (new) - rated it 3 stars

Puck Oh Chelsea, you're really nailing all the bad points of this book. I hated, HATED, how they butchered Cedric for the sack of 'plot', what they did to Ron, and Harry's excuse was especially pathetic. Lacking a father figure doesn't excuse shit; plenty of kids grew up to be amazing parents despite missing a parent. And you know why? BECAUSE THEY, LIKE HARRY, HAVE OTHER (GROWN-UP) PEOPLE TO SUPPORT THEM, a.k.a. the onces you mentioned.

I don't know how to rate the book yet, but you made some very valuable points. Thank you for describing them so clearly.


Chelsea slytherink Puck wrote: "Oh Chelsea, you're really nailing all the bad points of this book. I hated, HATED, how they butchered Cedric for the sack of 'plot', what they did to Ron, and Harry's excuse was especially pathetic..."

I'm glad you liked my review :) I could have added tons of other things that bothered me, but this review is already very long, lol!


Vanessa Completely agree with everything you said! Great review!


Chelsea slytherink Vanessa wrote: "Completely agree with everything you said! Great review!"

Thank you!


message 32: by Claudia (new)

Claudia I bloody hated it as well and I'm glad to find someone else who sees shoddy writing for what it is bc I was starting to go mad with all the people who couldn't see past 'oooh Scorbus! !' I've ended up with an 8 page doc run down on everything wrong with it and I just don't know where to publish it...


liquid soap Claudia wrote: "I've ended up with an 8 page doc run down on everything wrong with it and I just don't know where to publish it"
on my grave please


Andrés Very nice review. You touched on everything I noticed while reading it. At the very least this made me want to read the books again.


message 35: by Jeanine (new) - added it

Jeanine Touché, I'm glad to find a honest review like yours Chelsea. I did pre-order the book but after all rumors I cancelled it ... and I'm glad I did. How could JK ever approve the HP story to become so butchered? She could've gone in every direction with this story yet failed to present another gem to the series. I blame the co-writers for this as well.


message 36: by Lucy (new) - rated it 1 star

Lucy Yeah totally agreed. hilarious to suggest giving it a pass because it is a play. If anything the standards are higher for plays. Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde say hi.


prag ♻ Tbh, I more or less liked it, but I agree with a lot of things you said. I'm probably one of the people who liked it just because it was HP, because when it comes to JKR, yes, I am biased. But right now, I'm really reconsidering the 3 stars I gave it.


Taasia ✨ Not only did you get it right, you clearly described everything I felt. But what about the trolley lady? Completely agreed with the review.


Smiley I absolutely agree with you 100%. You've literally said everything I've thought of when I read it! I'm so disappointed.. Why spoil it so much! It was unfortunately a disaster :(


Marielle Magaña avila I agree with you. I cant believe JK did this to us... because she did! she allowed this script to happen insulting us... harry potter fans and expectations should mean something (im sorry for my grammar, english isnt my first language)


Justyna I couldn't agree more with you, especially with your comments on J. K. Rowling. She's such a disappointment for me (There's nothing wrong in admitting that she wrote Hermione as a black girl and now she's changed her mind. That would be a stronger message that even she is not free from such issues as lack of diversity in literature). I can only add to this that she made a clear division between good and bad characters in her books emphasizing that those evil ones are not pretty or worse they are ugly, fat and dull. It's quite normal for fairy tales that bad characters are revolting but we are speaking about the author who pretends to be a spokesperson for diversity and tolerance. Not everyone has to be slim, bright and pretty. The fact the someone isnt't, doesn't make him/her evil. But it's a clear connection in Rowling's books.

I was do excited about Cursed Child that I couldn't wait and I read the story on Wikipedia. Then I tried to read the synopsis but after Rose's comments in Hogwart's Express about how privileged kids they are, I gave up. The whole story is build on many nonsensical ideas.


Stella I thought the Beauxbatons thing was more against the French than against females. But that's a personal thing.


Ashwin Dongre Chelsea wrote: "I could have added tons of other things that bothered me, but this review is already very long, lol!.."

Please write the remaining things Chelsea and let me know, I do want to read them, they are more interesting than this book itself. I was never so engrossed in the book as I was in your review, now even 10%! :D


Elton Menezes Totally agreed


Emma Marie For me it was good and bad. JK Rowling was still part of the whole thing, but the book could have been way better. You know, I think you should read the book first, because always (even if what people say sounds convincing) the books to every movie is the original, the thing you should see first. I don't want to insult whoever is reading this if I have, that's just my opinion.


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