The latest story about the world’s favorite boy wizard launched today.
Fans eagerly lined up to get their hands on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child–Parts I and II, a play set 19 years from where the seventh and final volume of the magical saga last left off. The script is the most pre-ordered book of the year, both in print and on Kindle.
The world-wide book release coincided with opening of the stage play in London, which has received an impressive number of five-star reviews. Daily Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish wrote: “British theatre hasn’t known anything like it for decades and I haven’t seen anything directly comparable in all my reviewing days.” In another five-star review, The Independent‘s Jack Shepherd notes, “It’s quite apparent this isn’t written to be either a book or a tie-in film; it’s a spectacle for the theatre, one that is filled to the brim with fan service and magical imagery that will amaze.” While The Observer awarded the play only four stars, critic Susannah Clapp describes the “spell-binding play” as “utterly theatrical.”
So on the ball are Potterheads that tickets to the play—which focuses on the adventures of Harry’s son Albus Potter and his surprising best friend, Scorpius Malfoy, son of Harry’s schoolboy enemy, Draco Malfoy—have sold out until May 2017.
That means the ticketless masses will have to settle for reading it in script form until then. Unfortunately, it’s not clear the experience on the page is as enjoyable as on the stage.
One of the first reviews of the book was by 10-year-old speed-reader Toby L’Estrange, who finished the script in an impressive 59 minutes. He described the book as “a really good story,” but suggests the story is at times hard to keep up with, echoing previous criticism of the play’s plot. Kate Maltby from the Wall Streets Journal warns that the published script “won’t do the show justice.”
J.K. Rowling has praised fans for not sharing spoilers and confirms that the latest installment is the last of Harry’s story.
“He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done,” she told reporters. “This is the next generation, you know. So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”