A fun read for those who crave the nostalgia of the original Harry Potter novels. But don’t expect much more than that in terms of significant creativity or mind-blowing plot twists.
This isn’t a novel. It’s a screenplay that’s been published in book-form. Open up the book and you will find that settings are succinctly spelled out, there are stage instructions, and each character is listed with his/her dialogue. No back stories, no exposition, no clever punny geography lessons.
Because this is a screen play, you’ll hear that the reviews of the West End production are fantastic. You’ll read about how death-eaters will emerge from the aisles and audience, for example. I’m sure those visuals will be wonderful to experience in person.
As for the story itself, there’s a lot of back-and-forth in time and settings, and really, only those who are familiar with the original 7 novels are going to truly understand and appreciate what’s going on. For example, there will be mention of the Triwizard Tournament from the mid-1990s, and numerous scenes (due to time travel) where the Beauxbatons Academy female students’ cheers are half-hearted compared to those from Durmstrang’s. I feel that only those who have read Goblet of Fire will fully understand the irony and humor of those scenes.
The relationship that Harry has with his middle son Albus is worth exploring more deeply, but as a screenplay this will be difficult. You will only know what the stage directions and dialogue tell you, compared to how a novelization might present the story: filled with glimpses into Harry’s and
Albus’s inner conflicts about whether their relationship has a future or not.
However, if you take a step back and just enjoy the story, this is a fun, fast summer read. I read it in 5 days, my sons will probably read it in 1-2 weeks each.