I've read, like, two books this summer. Both of them are part of my proclaimed favorite series. Both of them did not meet my expectations. The biggest reason is because our favorite heroes procreate and have shitty children. Let me
Drums of Autumn (Book #4 of the Outlander series)
I heard somewhere that Gabaldon admitted that she doesn't write linear, and I completely believe that. This is the first book where I really had to take a step back and wonder how neither her nor the editors caught the inconsistent pacing. I mean, we spend pages on medical exposition (and as a newbie to that sort of thing, I don't mind in the least), but half a page on important scenes such as Jamie meeting Brianna. OR, even worse, is sometimes we don't even get the big scenes at all!!!! Claire, Jamie, and Brianna mention important conversations that happened off screen---something that should NOT happen with a 800+ page tome! C'mon now.
Second, my biggest issue is with the characterization. Brianna is an asshole. Here's my main point. Yes, she originally was upset when Claire first told her everything that had happened. Even then I thought she was a brat, but it was at least a bit more understandable. HOWEVER, then when she (spoilers, obviously) goes back in time, she's STILL an asshole--especially to Jamie. Look, I know he's not your wuv wuv Daddy Frank, but show him some respect. Also, just because Gabaldon keeps telling me that Brianna and Jamie are alike, does NOT mean that I believe it!!!!! Yea, they have tempers but at least Jamie isn't intentionally cruel.
Also Claire is a wet blanket that both Jamie and Brianna take turns wringing out throughout the book. I don't know where her personality went but I hope I find it again in The Fiery Cross.
Because, despite all that above, I still love the series and will continue to read it. Rant over.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Apparently it's Book #8. I refuse to believe this)
Look, I get it. I know it's not completely written by J.K., it's just a screenplay, etc. But what a hot, hot mess for the people who will consider it canon. Yes, the screenplay contained parts that maybe were okay (re: the Malfoys), but everything else felt gratuitous and forced. Albus Severus is actually the worst---no, perhaps Rose is. Much like Brianna above, he knows everything that happened to his parents and still whines like a spoiled brat. Scorpius is honestly the only reason why I didn't throw the book across the room. The Trolley Witch felt like a bad acid trip. As the years went by (which also felt weird as hell!) I felt like they were attempting some sort of paralleled trio thing between Albus, Scorpius, and Rose but it didn't work. Speaking of the trio, Harry, Hermione, and Ron all seemed completely out of character (and yes I'm defending Ron. He's never been my favorite, but he was not a complete idiot in the series like he is in this play). The parallel universes were ALL gratuitous--the Albus scene was uncomfortable, the Snape scene was better but still felt weird, everything with Cedric felt bizarre and an issue that we all dealt with three books ago. And what an insult to the character of Hermione Granger to write that she would be a bitter, resentful bitch if she didn't end up with Ron Weasley. Utterly unbelievable.
The biggest thing? The plot holes. They were so big that I could step in and out of them like hula hoops. Please don't try and convince me that things happened behind the scenes of a book that always already published. I won't believe them. And don't try to convince me that Bellatrix slept with Voldemort. Because...no. AND please do your homework for your own book because half the jobs that our favorite characters had at the end of Deathly Hallows were NOT the same ones in Cursed Child!
If you want to write a new, original play, then please write a new, original play. Using the same characters and revisiting the same plots creates issues for the characterizations, the fans, the canon, and the magic of the world that seems to be completely undermined.
I'm going to go read books that will make me happy now.