I wasn't bothered by the script format at all. I've read script books before. It was all very predictable fan service though. I read all the leaked spI wasn't bothered by the script format at all. I've read script books before. It was all very predictable fan service though. I read all the leaked spoilers in June and hated it. I kept my pre-order because I needed to read it for myself with context.
I'd had two months to think over all the spoilers. So finally getting to read it, I was slightly more accepting of it. Emphasis on slightly. Prepared might be a better word. I wish it hadn't been presented as the "8th story" and canon. I'm sorry but, I'm not sure I can do that yet.
Some of the characters felt off. I loved Scorpius and Draco though. It was nice to see a more mature Draco who is trying to learn from his parents mistakes. Harry has always been a hot-head who gets nasty to the people he cares about when he is upset. Remember how he was horrible to Ron and Hermione at the start of Order of the Phoenix and later raged at Dumbledore and destroyed his office. There were plenty of "jerk" Harry moments. So I wasn't shocked by this version of Harry. It was nice to see he still has flaws. It would be unrealistic to have Harry go through everything he did and turn out completely fine. Odd to see he was still obsessed with blaming a Malfoy when things go wrong. Hermione was alright. I wasn't thrilled with Ginny or Ron's characterizations. Ron was used entirely for comedic relief. Much like he was in the movies. I didn't care for that. I was very disappointed to see no mention of beloved characters like George Weasley. For as often as he was mentioned, where the hell was Neville Longbottom?!
The actual plot was very awkward. It felt like the writers were just bringing to life headcanons and fanfiction. A 'give the fans what they want' story. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me. A lot of the plot felt forced and rushed. I do understand that is mostly because its a play script, not an actual novel. Still, it didn't fully feel like I was reading a Harry Potter story. More like a lengthy fanfiction parody inspired by the original works. A very potter sequel, anyone? Some of it was just silly or did not make sense in canon terms. I could have done without the device used to drive the plot and the new marysue villain. Those are my two biggest complaints about the book. The end of the book was sad. Those who have read it will know what scene I'm referring too. The ever overused source of Harry's pain. If it was meant as closure for Harry, I can't see how. I think its safe to say Harry will probably never be able to move past that and heal.
There were some good parts I liked. Mostly involving Scorpius and Draco. I won't go into details for those who haven't read it yet. It was nice having McGonagall back. Even though Rowlings had said once that McGonagall would have retired before the next gen made it to Hogwarts. I enjoyed seeing not "all was well" with Harry but that he was trying. I actually loved the cheesy "Voldemort Day" dark time line. Having Umbridge back was great. It was so silly, I just had to embrace it. Stop ruining Voldemort Day! (Odd, since none of his supporters dared speak his name!)
There isn't a doubt in my mind that Albus and Scorpius are in love! The whole book read like a bromance turning into a romance situation. Hinted heavily but not confirmed. I would have liked to see it realized though. In books, guys are always just friends. I figure if your going to heavily hint it, just take the plunge and do it fully. A simple admittance of feelings would have sufficed. They are young so they are probably just figuring things out, I guess.
Overall, I can't say I loved it. Or even liked it much. I'll say, it was nice to have another Harry Potter book. I liked a few aspects of it. Though they were few and far between the nonsense. It will find a home in my Harry Potter collection. I'll just consider it the black sheep, little outcast child of the series. (Insert terrible pun) The "Cursed Child" of the series if you will.