The Muggle-friendly guide to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
What can you expect from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Here is the spoiler-free review by two self-confessed Potter heads...
Expecto old faces... and more
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and their wizarding clan have aged since the last time we met them in 2007's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts. Those who are only familiar with the films will recognise the scene from the train station, where an older Harry, Ron and Hermione are sending their own kids to Hogwarts.The difference is that this version comes without the unconvincing ageing make-up.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger respectively in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (Part 1). PHOTO: STARHUB
Fans will be delighted to know that familiar characters continue to remain mainstays in this book.
And yet, true to life, people do change and the characters might not be the exactly the same people you remember from the past seven installments.
Also, expect some surprise 'visits'.
Stay focused or be confunded
Brace yourself for plenty of time skipping and flashbacks.
While this is a pretty quick read compared to the last seven books, you have to pay close attention or risk massive confusion. Skimming will lead to some brain-melting moments.
Here's a tip: Take note of the chapter headers which provide the setting for each scene.
Consider this a warning - portions of this book feel like fan fiction.
That means the type of plot fantasy you may see on Tumblr - or conjured in your mind - might make an appearance here. After all, while it is an original story by by JK Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, Thorne is the playwright. With that, some things do not ring true.
Unlikely romance? Surprise friendships? Does so and so come back from the dead? Sorry, our lips are sealed.
The complex father-son complex relationship between Harry Potter and his son Albus Severus is integral to the plot.
Much of the book sees both father and son struggling with their identities.
Looking through a Pensieve of sorts
Readers will find themselves re-visiting familiar locations and recalling key moments from the past.
Nostalgia is a key aspect in this book and the trio behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child know the exact ways to use this to draw fans in.
After all, the series began in 1997 and it has been nine years since we last read about our beloved characters.
There plenty of material for fans to look back fondly on.
At times, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child feels like a detached piece of work that doesn't seem to meld seamlessly with the beloved series.
Certain parts seem strange and confusing - some loop holes will leave you scratching your heads.
But for long-time Potterheads like us, we would take any opportunity to read about Harry and Co.
There aren't the intense waterworks-inducing moments of the previous books but there are plenty of feels.
Expect to shed a tear or two and expect a load of "awws".