Review: James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing by G. Norman Lippert

by Janani Hariharan on August 30, 2013

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Author: G Norman Lippert
Publisher: G Norman Lippert
Year: 2007
Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

When J.K. Rowling released the last part of the Harry Potter series, there was joy, pent-up anticipation and eagerness to see whether the Boy Who Lived would actually live. And then, the reality came crashing down on Potterheads- Harry was back to a life of normalcy, but their lives would never be the same again. That’s the mark of a truly great book, the way it creates a presence of its own in your life.

The amount of fan fiction generated by the series is immense, with the quality varying from brilliant to puerile. And in this sea of fan fiction, Norman Lippert’s James Potter series comes in like a gust of fresh air. This has undoubtedly been one of the most read works in this genre, but whether this is due to the controversy it generated or because people have genuinely loved the writing is hard to tell.

True, the writing is a little too un-British at times, and the masterly sense of character definition that Rowling possessed is not found here. Some of the scene constructions are so familiar as to induce déjà vu. The situations and the new/regenerated characters fall a bit flat at times, with me thinking, “He would have never acted that way in the original series! What was the writer thinking?”

But there’s one important thing to be remembered here: this is Rowling’s world and she created it from scratch. It’s unrealistic to expect anyone else to display the same familiarity and knack in this environment.  In fact, the introduction of new elements like the American wizards and their peculiar habits add a definite interest to the proceedings. The dominant theme of the series, the battle between good and evil, is kept alive and realistic. Some of the characters are etched out quite well, with their inner moral struggles being very humanely portrayed. Lippert certainly has the same talent for creating twists and piecing together shreds of history which JKR has in so much abundance.

In all fairness to Lippert, he did manage to bring back the nostalgia of Hogwarts and all the emotions that I associate with Harry, Ron and Hermione. And ultimately, that’s what will matter to diehard Potterheads like myself, the chance to be a part of the castle again, to discover new stories about the magical world.

It may not have the emotional intensity or the original flavor of a Harry Potter book, but if you’re looking to revisit Hogwarts again and spend some time reacquainting yourself with its secrets and ghosts, this book is worth a read.

Note: The James Potter series is published online free of cost by the author. You can find the list of his books, as well as the eBooks of this series here.

The Facebook page contains regular updates on the latest book, with new chapters being released everyday. 

Written by Janani Hariharan

Wanderer, nature freak and lover of all things science-y. Certified devourer of all printed matter.

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