Cairo’s Bibliomane: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Written by Menna Fahmi

It has been nine years since the last time Potter-heads around the world waited impatiently for the release of the last book and five years since we stood in line to catch the first screening of the last movie. Nine years since we finally knew “All was well”. 

“All was well”
“All was well”

To many of us this series was more than just some books, it represented a huge chunk of our childhood. I, for one, read the first book in the 3rd grade and the last in the 9th. I watched the first movie in 2nd grade and the last as a 2nd year college student.

We’ve missed the magical world so much and have been trying to get back bits and pieces of it through spending hours reading fan fiction or whatever is on Pottermore or even reading “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Tales of Beedle the Bard”. So picture the excitement of knowing that a play is on the way and the script is coming out in print as the eighth book. July 31st of this year brought back so many memories and was a good day to all of us, nostalgic Potterheads. We had to wait around a week till the books were available in Cairo but better late than never.

Let me clarify first, contrary to popular beliefs, “The Cursed Child” is not the 8th novel and it is not even written by JK Rowling. The book is the script for the play carrying the same title that was played in London this spring. So basically, it is just based on the 7 books and script is written by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne.

For those who haven’t read or watched the play SPOILER ALERT!

The cast of the play: Ron, Hermione, Rose, Harry, Albus, Ginny, Draco and Scorpious.
The cast of the play: Ron, Hermione, Rose, Harry, Albus, Ginny, Draco and Scorpious.

The play begins where “The Deathly Hallows” ends. It begins nineteen years later as Harry and Ginny Potter were dropping off their sons, James Serius and Albus Severus, at Platform 9¾; Ron and Hermione were also dropping off their daughter Rose; and Draco Malfoy, his son Scorpius, who is rumored to be Voldermort’s son.

The play is focused on the next generation as they join Hogwarts. Albus and Rose are about to start their first year of school. Determined to be on top from the beginning, Rose, a mini version of her mother, starts browsing the train with Albus for the lifetime friends just like their parents did. Their luck put them in the same cart as Scorpius Malfoy, who clicked instantly with Albus while Rose hated his guts, then left them.

Remember in Deathly Hallows how scared Albus was to be sorted in Slytherin? Surprise, surprise, he became the first Potter in Slytherin and even became best friends with Scorpius Malfoy. Ironic, isn’t it?

Time flies and Albus and Harry’s relationship deteriorates leading to a clashes before Albus has to return to Hogwarts for his fourth year. During this time, Harry receives a surprise guest, Amos Diggory along with his niece Delphi, begging Harry to turn time and bring Cedric back after hearing that the ministry has found a time turner that goes back years. Little did they know that Albus was there.

Angry at his father and determined to correct the past, Albus takes off from the Hogwarts express with Scorpius and to the ministry to find this time-turner in Hermione’s office, who’s now the minister of magic now.

SPOILER ALERT!!

Along with Delphi, the kids disappear, making multiple travels to the time of the Triwizard Tournament to save Cedric. But you can’t mess with the past without causing a ripple and every time they went back, they screwed to the extent that in one alternate universe Voldemort was in control, until finally deciding to destroy the time-turner but Delphi doesn’t let them. She has been playing them all along and, Another Spoiler Alert, she actually is not a Diggory at all.

I don’t want to get into further details, because you deserve to enjoy the book without knowing what happens next…

But if you’ve already read it, let me ask you something. Have you seen the off-spring of Voldemort and Bellatrix?!!

To be honest, if I hadn’t prepared myself before reading the book that I am not about to read the eighth novel and that this will be different, I would have been extremely disappointed and I would have hated it.

This is by far the most difficult review I have ever written. I have so many mixed feelings about this book. It was amazing to go back to Hogwarts and the Wizarding World, but I was still slightly disappointed. I found the going back and forth in time very unoriginal. And what is up with the Bellatrix/Voldemort girl? They were in war for God’s sake! Why make a baby now? I mean do not ruin the previous books’ legacy with something as stupid!

If we learned one thing from this book, it is that “spin-offs” or “next generation” books are always of way less quality than the originals. But they can always sell well to nostalgic fans, who will still be disappointed by the way! The Harry Potter series is awesome the way it is and it ended perfectly so just let it go, Joan. Don’t ruin it for us!

I kept putting off reading the book because I wanted the feeling of excitement to last. But once I decided to sit and read it, it took 2 hours. So it’s more of a light read. I’d give it 3.5/5.

The book is available in Alef and Diwan Bookstores, but hurry up! They’re running out fast.

What do you think?

Are you a potter-head? Have you read the Cursed Child yet? If so, did you enjoy it? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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