Top positive review
It was alright
Reviewed in India on 4 November 2018
3 1/2 stars. I completely get why many HP fans will be disappointed with this, but I have to admit: I really enjoyed it. I'd love to see this story play out on stage.
So yeah, I understand the sad feelings. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has a completely different vibe. Aside from being a play, it's also a more mature, character-driven, less magical story. It does not feel like an eighth Harry Potter book at all; there's a real disconnect between this play and the other seven novels. And you know what? I'm so glad.
I guess it's just what you're hoping for. To be honest, I never wanted another Harry Potter book. The thought of extending a series I loved so much actually made me NOT want to read this. I got to the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and thought it was magical perfection - the story had completed its arc in full and I put it aside feeling a slight melancholy, but a whole lot of satisfaction. I didn't want more.
However, if you went crazy needing more from the HP series, you'll probably be disappointed by this. If you feel there's a gap where something HP is missing, then I don't think this will fill it. Separate the two in your mind, and you have a better chance of liking it. Because this is something different - and I'm happy about it.
First, of course, it's a play. Right away it's going to be something unlike what we've seen before. I don't usually love to read plays, especially modern ones, but this one is very readable because the dialogue is wonderful. I don't know why people are saying "it's so obvious JKR didn't write most of this" because I think her style is all over it - the very fact that this play (which is meant to be viewed on stage) can be just as easily read like a book tells me JKR had a lot of input.
Also, it's funny. Much more consistently comical than the books, but with the same style of humour - i.e. lots of Ron being a buffoon.
Hermione: If some part of Voldemort survived, in whatever form, we need to be prepared. And I’m scared.
Ginny: I’m scared too.
Ron: Nothing scares me. Apart from Mum.
The plot leaves a little something to be desired. Again, it feels different from the main series. It's not so much about the world and magic, but more about relationships, conflicts (particularly between Harry and Albus) and the dialogue between characters. I suppose this makes more sense in a play, where the story unravels through dialogue and not through an omniscient narrator.
And, as I touched upon earlier, it feels... older. I don't know how well kids will appreciate the jokes about growing old and how Ron now says "oof" every time he sits down. Or the family drama between Harry and his son, Albus. But I liked it.
I'm happy with this addition. I truly am. If it had been too similar to the seven novels, I feel it would have risked reopening a series that had been closed in a great place. Instead, we have something very unique and, for me, very entertaining. Some of the staging directions also leave me excited about seeing the play (when I win the lottery or acquire a magic wand, maybe).
One thing I have to say that I said in another comment thread: NOW, it's time to stop. This was a risky experiment and it turned out to be fun, but JKR needs to leave this world alone now. I really do not want to read about old-age Harry, Ron and Hermione rolling around in magical wheelchairs. So, just stop.