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Before I start discussing this book I must confess that I am a huge Potterhead. I might have mentioned before that I absolutely love the Harry Potter-series created by J.K. Rowling and I can’t think of a world more amazing and vividly described than the world of Hogwarts. And no matter how I’ll describe my love for these books right now, it won’t do justice to how much I am crazy about these books.
Having said that, I should also mention that I had never read fanfiction before. I’m afraid I was a bit prejudiced about the whole idea of fanfiction. I thought that writers of fanfiction were probably miserable wannabe authors whose imaginations weren’t big enough to create stories of their own. I was young and stupid. And G. Norman Lippert proved me completely wrong.
James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing is about Harry’s son James. Somehow I assumed that it was about Harry’s father which lead to quite some confusion when I started reading this. Anyway, this book is about James’ first year at Hogwarts. James reminded me of a Harry Potter who had had a fantastic childhood surrounded by loving friends and family. What left of Harry then? Well like Harry, James feels like he’s trapped in his father’s shadow. Other than that James’ past as well as this book itself weren’t as dark as Harry’s childhood or the HP-series. Other than that, James Potter #1 was immensely entertaining and most of all it was good to see how all my friends from Hogwarts were doing.
I think that is the number one reason why I enjoyed this book so much and why I would highly recommend this to anyone who misses new HP-books coming out as much as I do. I’m not saying this is as good as J.K. Rowling’s work. I think you should try as hard as you can not to compare this to the original series or you will spoil this book. But now that we’re there anyways, I do think that Lippert does not appear to be trying really hard to copy Rowling’s style of writing. His work does remind of the original style and structure used in the HP-series, but Lippert’s own way of writing is present as well. I think he created a rather neat balance between his own ideas and the expectations of hardcore Potterheads.
Also times have changed since the final Harry Potter book took place. This book is set in a time 11 years after Harry, Ron and Hermione left Hogwarts. A time where muggleborn first-years bring gameconsols to Hogwarts and where muggles have cellphones with cameras. Lippert used this freedom well.
I have so many good things to say that I’m just going to list them, otherwise this review would take on and on forever:
I did not expect Harry to participate as much in this fanfic and I was pleasantly surprised that he did.
This storyline was very well thought through and not too simple, but not too complicated either.
I enjoyed the modern twists with muggle gameconsols and such. J.K. Rowling would have never done that, with good reason of course, but I appreciate that Lippert took this risk.
All in all, Lippert’s writing is clever. As mentioned before, he took notes from Rowling and created his own style whilst hinting towards to original through the use of narratology for example.
And above all, you can download James Potter and the Hall of Elder’s Crossing as well as its two sequels for free.