Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

A woman at church saw my “Harry Potter” themed phone case a few months ago and deduced that I am a huge “Harry Potter” fan. She, it turns out, is also a big fan and then proceeded to grill me about my thoughts on the new “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” book. I confessed that I hadn’t read it (concealing that I never really intended to read it) and she immediately offered to lend me her copy, which she brought me at church yesterday.

The book is a very quick read so I finished it in a few hours. I found it… entertaining, but rather weak compared to the original Harry Potter series. Thankfully, I had already been prepared by a smattering of negative reviews for the disappointing aspects of the book.

There have been multiple times in the past when I have completed a book series and fantasized about where the characters went after the series ended. And nearly just as often the author eventually came out with a book a number of years later to satisfy the musings of his/her fans. I almost always wish I had just been allowed to go on wondering rather than discovering where the characters actually ended up. This was no exception.

Albus Severus struck me as a whiny little poop-head who just likes to feel sorry for himself. Oh, I’m sorry, Albus. You aren’t a stellar student or the star of the quidditch team? Yeah, you know what real hardship is like. Not like your dad who was raised in an abusive household following the murder of both of his parents. And his life only got better from there! Not only did Harry face a number of life-or-death situations, but he had to watch as countless witches and wizards, many of whom were his friends, laid down their lives to defeat Voldemort and provide you with the cushy existence you enjoy today. But no, you got made fun of for being in the Slytherin house, so you have a right to hate your life and your father.

I did, however, like his friend Scorpius Malfoy. Although I rather resented the newfound respect between his father, Draco, and the Potters and Weasleys. I was much more comfortable imagining that he lived the rest of his life silently resenting Harry Potter for saving his life and encouraging his own son not to get too friendly with the Potter’s or Weasley’s offspring. No, Scorpius was a fun character to read about and I appreciated his Ronnish role in Albus’s life, although there were a few emotional moments shared between the two friends that were a little tender for comfort.

And finally: the ultimate villain, Delphi. She was a rather poor and feeble substitute for Voldemort. Even when she killed that innocent little student,Craig, she barely struck me as threatening. And she was way too easy to take down at the end of the book. Sure, she held her ground against several full-grown, fully-trained witches and wizards for about thirty seconds, but considering Voldemort took on the entire staff of Hogwarts and its student body before being taken down by Harry Potter, I was not impressed.

I think maybe it’d be more fun and exciting to watch the play rather than read the script, but mostly I found it anticlimactic.

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