Why I haven’t read the latest Harry Potter book

Like millions of people the world over, I loved the Harry Potter series. I thought it was magical and wonderful and unlike anything I’d ever read. I didn’t grow up with this series. In fact, I wasn’t too familiar with it until I saw the first movie. I was in college at the time. My mom wanted to see the film, so we went, and I remember sitting in the theater, watching the scene where Harry and all of the Hogwart’s students are in the Great Hall for their meal. Watching the changing scene on the ceiling, the food appearing out of nowhere, I remember thinking, if the books are half as good as this movie then they are going to be some amazing books. I’d underestimated just how much I would enjoy them. In discovering them much later than most, I was rather lucky because it meant less waiting. The first four books were already out, and I drove straight to the store and bought the boxed set. I loved the characters, the magic, the imagination that went into creating such a unique and magnificent world. I waited with anticipation for the fifth book, with trepidation for the sixth, and with severely bitten fingernails for the seventh, which I went to Midnight Madness to purchase on the release date, drove straight home, and stayed up all night and all the next day reading it. I was happy with the ending.

And that’s what book seven was supposed to be: The End.

But then the J.K. Rowling reveals began. First, the author told us that our beloved head master, Albus Dumbledore was gay. Okay, cool. Wasn’t that surprised by that revelation. I thought what she revealed next – what Dumbledore saw in the Mirror of Erised – was sadly sweet and very in character for Albus. Nice tidbit of information. Oh, but we’ve all been pronouncing Voldemort incorrectly for the last 18 years. Um, you couldn’t have told us that sooner or maybe cleared it up in the movies or something? Our trio of Hogwart’s heroes all went on to have appointments in the Ministry of Magic. Really? That’s a bit boring. I really thought Hermione might be a professor. I would have liked some variety for them. After that, Rowling started, on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwart’s, apologizing for character deaths. OH HELL NO! This was a war between good and evil. People die in war. An author should never apologize for killing off a character. It looks weak or like you’re admitting to having made a mistake, and killing Fred was a huge mistake! How could you, Rowling? How could you? I will never ever forgive you for this terrible decision! Your apology is not accepted! You could have killed off anyone else, and I’d get over it, but Fred? It couldn’t have been Percy or Bill or someone else we never really cared about??? That is the worst thing you ever did to your fans! But to get back on track, with the exception of Fred, you should never ever apologize for offing a character. And then there was the revelation about how many schools of magic there are in the world and something about wizard segregation and Pottermore and more character death apologies, and I’d had enough!

Enough already! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was supposed to be the end. I felt like I was being strung along by these bits and pieces of information. Few of them really added anything to a story that was already done, and I was tired of getting these little insubstantial teases.

And then there was the HUGE reveal: another Harry Potter book was on its way. Okay, a script really for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Was I ecstatic? Was I online pre-ordering my copy? Was I offering a kidney to anyone who would sell me their theatre ticket? Nope. I wasn’t filled with anticipation. I wasn’t counting down the days until the book’s release. I was…afraid. I was afraid that Rowling was going to ruin my beloved series and the characters that I cared so much about. I didn’t want to read about how Harry had become another cog in the Ministry’s wheel. I didn’t want any more secrets that made me question the world of Harry Potter that I knew and loved. Does that make me a coward? Probably. Do I care? Not really. As of this writing, I’m still not sure I want to read it. I haven’t heard good reviews about it, but I’ve also been trying to avoid learning too much about it. I don’t want spoilers to ruin it before I decide to read it.

So, I guess I am asking what you think? Have you read it? Do you recommend it or wish you hadn’t picked it up? I’m curious what other fans think. Tell me in the comments. Maybe you can persuade me to read it.

 

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