You know that moment you're practicing a piece of music and it goes really well? And you're so delighted you decide to play it again - at which point, the whole thing falls apart. That's what Cursed Child was like. Harry Potter was a magnum opus, no denying it. Cursed Child was the epitome of disastrous sequels. JKR touched something that shouldn't have been touched again. She opened up her masterpiece and played with it. And the cursed sequel was the result. And yes, even though it was co-authored with a couple of other people, we can hold JKR at least partly responsible for this. After all, she came up with the plot. And the plot is where most people have their gripes.
Aside from Hermione seeming to lose her brain and becoming ineffective (despite her rise to the position of Minister of Magic), Harry Potter still displaying no sign of character development whatsoever, and Ginny's weird and inexplicable transformation from a nearly non-entity into the useful sidekick Hermione once was, there were a number of anomalies in this script. We all assumed Voldemort was "above" vulnerability to romantic feelings and desires for intimacy. And yet apparently he fathered a child with Bellatrix Lestrange in the middle of the build up to the battle at Hogwarts. Seriously? Maybe this was why he failed to show up directly after Dumbledore's death and polish everyone off then, when they were all at their weakest. He was doing Dad duty that night. But seriously. This is like the equivalent of Sauron or the White Orc having a baby. It just isn't right. I would even find it more believable of Dracula or Frankenstein than Voldemort. Voldemort was portrayed as inhuman - as inhuman as you can get. And he fathered another human? Don't ask me to believe it. And then on top of it, did Voldemort or Bellatrix give that weird name to their daughter? Delphini sounds reminiscent of the word "dolphin" for a start.
This book also felt like a painful rehash Harry Potter moments, just without their magic. Train rides to Hogwarts. Two boys failing to show up at Hogwarts in the train at the start of the school year. The trolley witch. A Ministry of Magic raid, complete with polyjuice and a female sidekick so much cleverer than the two boys - who, by the way, are losers at everything school related. Rather similar to Harry and Ron, except with even less redeeming features. Harry and Ron were at least endearing. And the one active moment these boys have in the plot ("let's resurrect Cedric Diggory for some reason!") is ruined by a flurry of time-turners and events that happen to them - a clearly plot-driven work, with no trace of character development or gumption.
But finally, the two worst things have got to be these. Remember how we all moaned a little about the time travel episode in Prisoner of Azkaban? How it raised more questions than it answered and dug more plot holes than it could fill? Well, J K Rowling dealt with that by destroying all the time-turners in book five. And now the "eighth" book of Harry Potter? It centers entirely around illegal time-turners. This is hardly a substitute for a decent story and flesh and blood characters.
Finally, readers once again come to the end of a Harry Potter book in which Harry wins another battle against good and evil without killing anyone (remember how Voldemort accidentally topped himself? Oops). And I'm reminded that once again, you cannot write a story in which your readers take the evil in it seriously when the good guys can't even do that. Delphini, a neurotic cold-blooded murderer, is let off scot-free - and there's another set of rehash books waiting to happen. The sad thing is that this is constantly sold as a redeeming characteristic of Harry Potter. And I know that J K Rowling wanted him to be a sort of Jesus-picture. But Jesus won't let Satan get off scot-free at the end of all this. And contrary to popular belief, there is both a heaven and a hell, and there will be people in hell. Please don't ask me to believe in a utopia in which good people can save the day without some form of justice and without them being changed somewhat by war. Harry Potter remains a paper and ink character to me because of this. I simply cannot believe that someone could weather all he has and remain completely unchanged by all of it. And I refuse to believe that a true hero would let villains get away time and time again with needless crimes.
Well, that was the last Harry Potter book. I continue to enjoy the beautiful world-building in this series and the fun dialogues. But I've struggled with my suspension of belief. Life simply isn't that perfect, Harry Potter.