*The following review for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne does contain spoilers for the plot of the book. Continue at your own discretion.*
Fucking Harry Potter, man. Jesus.
So if you have been around me in the last week, you know my feelings in great detail about the newest trip to Hogwarts. Loudly. Vehemently. With colorful language. And many groans.
Jesus Christ this book is so bad.
So. Going in I already knew what it was about. It takes off almost directly from the end of Deathly Hallows and focuses on Harry’s and Draco’s sons. I remember being skeptical already about that plot point at the end of Deathly Hallows and how it was handled, but going into Cursed Child I tried to be open minded. I genuinely did. And it was still awful.
I think that my biggest issue with this as a piece is that it isn’t developed very well, that it isn’t thought out very well. And with that there is a lot of rushing. A. Lot. I can specifically recall a handful of scenes where I had to go back and reread a few pages because I didn’t understand how we were already there. And considering that this is written in a script format, makes it even more unnecessarily confusing and makes me concerned for how it is handled on a live stage format.
But in regards to the development, it leaves a lot of room for improvement. Have you ever thought of an idea, thought it would be great, and then never really revisited it? That’s basically what happened with Cursed Child. Someone somewhere along the line decided that they were still greatly missing Cedric Diggory (who later went on to turn into a vampire named Edward Cullen). Which is understandable; Cedric was a good character who deserved more development and exploration. So, someone asked “Hey. What do you think would happen if Cedric never died?” Very interesting question. We should explore it. And develop it. And examine how it would affect other characters main and minor.
But no one did. They just plopped Albus and Scorpius in the mix and hoped for the best. Which is extremely unfortunate as I would love to see this examined further.
And from there is where it gets bad. Yeah, that’s not where the bad begins.
So I feel the need to start with stating that I hate it when people say that something “reads like fanfic” or “I’ve read fanfiction better than this”. Fanfiction itself is not inherently bad. It is just another format of writing. Just like with anything else there are good and there are bad within the genre. That being said, this book read like the worst parts of the genre. I think what got me the worst and made me do the hardest eye roll and groan that involved my coworker peeking in the breakroom and asking me if I was going to be okay, was when I read the plot reveal that a character named Delphi (who truthfully was otherwise a fairly interesting character) was actually the daughter of Voldemort.
Yes. I am fucking serious.
They actually went the way of Voldemort and Bellatrix having a daughter.
Yes. I am serious. I wish I were not.
There is already a revolving subplot involving the questioning parentage of Draco Malfoy as Scorpius’ father, and whether or not Scorpius himself is actually the son of Lord Voldemort. I have read at least three fanfictions in my lifetime that poke at this plot point. None of them were good. Now I can say that I have read four. And the fourth wasn’t good either. And now it is confirmed that Delphi is Voldemort’s daughter with Bellatrix Lestrange. And she is initially introduced as Amos Diggory’s niece, who is then revealed to put an enchantment on him to make him believe this. Because she isn’t. And then EVERYONE travels back in time to Godric’s Hollow to prevent her from killing Harry as a child, except nope wait she’s going to stop Voldemort from killing him because she wants to meet him and have lovely family fun times.
Holy fucking shit this book. And I haven’t even gotten into the plot holes.
So. The final break down. Do I recommend this book? Absolutely not. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, maybe grab it for your collection, but if you’re a casual Harry Potter reader or looking to just pick it up for curiosity, don’t. It isn’t worth the time or energy.