*this review contains very mild spoilers*
I always promised myself that I would never write a review on a Harry Potter book. To me they are perfection and they will never be less than 5 stars. I have read the entire series four times and I know I will continue to reread for many, many years to come. It felt so surreal to be reading a new Harry Potter story after 19 years after that perfect ending. I kept thinking it was fanfiction written by an adoring fan, not Ms. J.K. Rowling herself. So much happened in this story that made me incredibly happy. Love, loss, heart break, panic, answers, realizations, truths come out.
This is the story of Albus Potter and his struggle to fill his dad’s shoes. It is also the story of Harry struggling to be a dad to Albus. Albus is the middle child, second son after James, and older brother to Lilly. Albus has always felt he doesn’t belong anywhere until he meets Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s son. They immediately spark a friendship and are inseperable. Scorpius is not like his father, he is kind, thoughtful, and tender. He wears his heart on his sleeve and everyone knows it. Albus wants to prove that he is someone, that he isn’t a shadow, and decides that helping someone from Harry’s past right something that shouldn’t have happened is just the ticket. With Scorpius at his side, these two change the entire past, several times, and unlock the evil that everyone thought was gone.
The story picked up exactly where book 7 ended, the famous trio standing at King’s Cross seeing their children leave on the Hogwarts Express. The kids we grew up with, the kids we shared our own childhood with, are all grown up. So many emotions! (I’m not crying, I just have some dirt in my eye.) Harry shares a heartfelt conversation with Albus before boarding the train, which was so full of emotion. You could sense that things between father and son are not where they should be. That sets the tone for the rest of the story. Harry struggled a lot with his feelings and emotions for Albus. He admitted that he wasn’t sure how to be a dad to him since he never had one growing up. I appreciated and respected that Ms. Rowling would write that much fault into her characters. It makes me respect her more.
Albus’ character was a little frustrating, only because he reminded me of Harry so much. Yes, I know that was probably the goal but it didn’t lessen the frustrations any. The way Albus and Scorpius dove in head first into trying to fix something that was so much bigger than themselves took me back to the original books. The friendship between Albus and Scorpius was so beautiful. Both were different personalities yet both with such heavy family burdens to carry. Albus trying to live up to his father’s stories, and Scorpius to live up to his father’s expectations.
Can we talk about Ron and Hermione for a moment? They are my ultimate ship. For all time. Forever and ever. Amen. Reading how they still bicker back and forth warmed my little heart. Ron is totally devoted to Hermione, even though he has a crazy way of showing it. He is still one of the purest characters I have ever encountered. I loved reading how Ron wanted to get a “marriage renewal” with Hermione in front of everyone… sober. However, reading Ron’s banter made me deeply miss Fred and George. Yes, some past character made apperances in this story, but alas, not everyone could be brought back. *que the sound of my heart breaking*
I was not sure how I would like reading an entire story written in play format. I thought it might take away, it might leave me wanting more but it did not. I can say that it did not hinder me from reading this with my entire being. I felt it was a quicker read because I didn’t have the filler and fluff of settings and world building. I already knew the places and people so it was like stepping into a my favorite pair of slippers.
The overall story line itself was well done. It had all of the magic I was hoping for. I was trying to figure out how the bad guy would be brought into it because he was defeated properly at the Battle of Hogwarts. Leave it to The Queen herself to find a brilliant way to bring life chaing evil and danger back into everyone’s lives. I, for one, liked the way the story played out. This story was the textbook definition of Unputdownable. I simply had to know what happened and how everything played out. Life almost didn’t exist for me outside of this book. I was completely sucked into this story. I loved being back in this world and actually miss being there. Howgarts will always be my home.