I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, especially since it didn’t appear to have been written by Rowling herself, but I did enjoy it and was able to get into it after all.
First, anyone who picks this up should know that it is not a novel. It is a script for a stage production of a story. And the play has already been performed (some details are in the back of the book).
Setting: The story is set in modern-day England, with the addition of magic, of course. It is many years after Harry and his gang have defeated Voldemort. They’ve gotten married and had kids. This story involves a couple of those kids.
Plot: The main plot revolves around the relationship between 2 children (trying not to give anything away here) and the idea of time turners. There are a couple side plots involving parent-child relationships, as well as with Harry and his scar.
Characters: The new characters are defined a bit through dialogue and mainly through their actions (this is a play after all). Because of that, a lot of things that would have been internal dialogue in a novel are spoken out loud or to other people in a “I’m wondering about xyz” sort of way. It works for the medium.
Conflict: The main conflict is centered on living up to parental expectations and points to exactly who the “cursed child” is (audience awareness of this fact shifts dynamically throughout) or whether it is multiple people. The main point being to cure/lift the curse and ensure peace and happiness for all (or most).
Text: Since this is a script, it is difficult to evaluate the text in comparison to novel expectations. It would be easier if I had heard it aurally or seen it performed. The dialogue seemed to flow naturally and the scene breaks were appropriate. I’m not sure it followed a standard 3 Act format, but I wasn’t paying that close of attention to it.