My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I don’t usually read fan fiction, but I saw this ebook at the author’s website and felt impressed by the presentation (of the book and the website) and decided to give it a try. I had nothing to lose as the ebook is free (available in epub and mobi). In fact, there are actually three books to the series and all are given away for free.
I finished the book in early December 2012, but just haven’t had time to write a review until now.
What’s it like to be the son of the most famous wizard of all time?
James Potter thinks he knows, but as he begins his own adventure at Hogwarts, he discovers just how much of a challenge it really is to live up to the legend of the great Harry Potter. As if it wasn’t enough dealing with the delegates from the American wizarding school and figuring out the mysteriously polite Slytherins, James and his new friends, Ralph and Zane, begin to uncover a secret plot that could pit the Muggle and the Magical worlds against each other in all-out war.
Now, with the help of Ted Lupin and his band of merry mischief makers (The Gremlins), James must race to stop a war that could change the world forever. His only hope is to learn the difference between being a hero and being the son of a hero.
James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing is the first book of three. The books are based on J K Rowling’s books, characters and world, but they are not written by her. The author of this series is G. Norman Lippert.
It is James’ first year at Hogwarts and we get to meet several characters from the Harry Potter series – Longbottom, many of the professors, Hagrid, and Harry, to name a few. The book was written in the essence of the Rowling books, which I was thankful for. There were no jolting scenes that made me think “that’s no right”. In fact, for fan fiction, the book was very well written. I enjoyed it immensely.
All Potter books have the Quidditch scenes. Didn’t like them in the Rowling book; didn’t like them in this book either. Sorry, but quidditch is boring and I find myself skimming over the paragraphs hoping not to miss anything important, but really not interested in the actual sport part of it. I was pleased when James didn’t make the team because it meant less quidditch scenes.
James has two friends—Zane and Ralph. It took me a short while to get used to them. Yes, I saw James as being Harry but found it difficult to replace his two friends with Ron and Hermione. And that is a good thing, because as James is battling the “I’m the son of Harry Potter” thing, the reader is battling with “he’s not Harry Potter”, and meanwhile, the three new characters carry on with what they are doing and the reader soon lets Harry Potter go and starts finding out what James Potter is all about. The interesting thing that happened at the hat sorting was that the three friends were placed in different houses. It will be fun to see how that turns out.
Going back to the subject of Harry Potter, he makes several appearances. I think that was the hardest thing to cope with—Harry as an adult, as a parent. Especially as I think of him as a teenager. Thankfully, his scenes didn’t try to upstage James and there wasn’t a lot of focus on him. He was there to be a father or to do his job, but James was the main character. It was a bit awkward for me as a reader to accept that, but I believe the author did a good job of not delving too deeply into Harry’s adult character, so our memories of him are not tarnished in any way.
Another thing I liked about this book was the references made between the original books and this one. They served as well placed reminders of what happened then, and connected the two series. It was like reading about old friends and revisiting precious memories. The author of James Potter was smart in doing this, intentionally or not.
And, of course, the author introduces us to many new characters who will, no doubt, make the journey with us through the rest of the books. I look forward to learning more about them along the way.
The climax involved Merlin. However, something was lacking from this part of the book. I felt as if something magnificent was able to happen, but it didn’t, which was a bit disappointing. Perhaps there are other plans for Merlin, to be revealed in the next book. We will have to wait and see. If that’s the case, then that’s fine, but I felt his presence was not ‘qualified’ in this book.
This isn’t a perfect book, but few are. There are sections that are long winded, as there was in the J K Rowling books too. And there are scenes that didn’t seem to go anywhere. But, overall, I enjoyed the book a lot. I felt as if I was back in Hogwarts and that is not a bad feeling. In fact, it’s a great feeling. The author introduced us to new characters, but stayed true to what we came to love. I will certainly be reading James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper.