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There's a lot about this book that makes it stand out from its seven predecessors. The most obvious one is that Harry isn't at school anymore, and the other big one is in the writing itself: it's the script of the show. Those expecting a long epic novel will be very disappointed indeed. A lot of fans seemed to be alienated by the format, but I was able to take it in quite well, having been able to read the book in one sitting.
I don't think this book would be appreciated by people who aren't into Harry Potter. Whilst the book captures a lot of the universe quite well, I think it can only be understood by fans. And there could be a couple of things that would come across as confusing. However, I think Harry Potter fans, on the whole, would enjoy this and would like to see how the characters are getting on.
Plot and Characters
The book focuses on Harry's youngest son, Albus Potter and his struggles in life. He's struggling under the weight of the legacy of his father and the man he was named after. His relationship with his father is awkward and he isn't as popular as his father and grandfather were at school. Even though the book focuses on Harry and Albus, there's one character that really steals the show for me and that's Scorpius Malfoy.
It's no secret that Harry and Draco hated each other at school, so it's an interesting touch that their sons get on like a house on fire. I love how they become best friends. Their relationship is so well done. Many consider the relationship between Scorpius and Albus queer-baiting because of how affectionate they seem to be. One could even compare Albus and Scorpius to a modern day Romeo and Juliet without the suicide at the end.
The book does make me appreciate Draco Malfoy as a character. It's pretty clear that he has it rough. We hardly see his wife, Astoria, much and then we find out that she dies. But from the way that Draco describes the birth of their son is the best day of their lives it tells a lot about Astoria and the kind of person she was.
In the book there's this rumour starts that Draco isn't the biological father of Scorpius but is actually the son of Voldemort; the main antagonist of the series. I wasn't buying personally. How could be people be stupid enough to believe that? Scorpius is a spitting image of his father and it clearly states it in the pictures. A simple DNA test would debunk that rumour straight away.
The plot takes me back to memory lane with lots of references to events that have happened in the previous events. Scorpius and Albus try to bring one of the characters back from the dead and instead they find themselves lost in different timelines and they try to do their best to correct them.
The plot itself is satisfactory. I don't find it outstanding or sub-par because whilst the time travelling concept is well written, I've seen it done so many times that it spoils the magic for me. Another thing I don't quite get who the cursed child is? Is the cursed child meant to be the main antagonist? Do they mean Albus or Scorpius or somebody else? After reading the book I'm still mystified, though I think the authors are leaving it to the imagination of the readers.
Price & Availability
Being a recent book and a bestseller, it shall be pretty easy to find. The average price is between £4.99 and £12.99. I'd obviously recommend going for the lower price options. I bought it from Waterstones when it was on a deal for a £5. I'm assuming it will be available in lots of other languages. I did see a Chinese edition for sale for £10.
As far as I'm concerned, Scorpius Malfoy is the real hero of this story. I don't want to give any massive spoilers away, but I think he is one of the best new characters in the series. Albus and Scorpius' friendship and interactions are so great to read, they became more interesting than the actual story.
I would recommend giving this book a go or wait for it to come out as a film or a novel. I would love to see the play for this at some point. I think a lot of the stories elements would work fantastically in a film or novel's format.