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December 1st, 2008

“James Potter and the Hall of Elders Crossing” by G. Norman Lippert

Gioia’s Rec:

The biggest question I had after immersing myself in this amazing epic over several sleepless nights was why the tale isn’t widely recognized as the best Harry Potter fic written.  The author is quite possibly the most gifted writer I’ve encountered when it comes to picking up on the mood, perspectives and imaginative writing style that JKR utilized, while introducing his own unique and creative spin on the story. With brilliantly developed magics and theories as well as well-rounded, richly drawn original characters, G. Norman Lippert has so deftly picked up where JKR left off that you will begin to question whether he might actually BE J.K. Rowling!
This post-DH, next-gen fic covers James Sirius Potter’s first year at Hogwarts.  The familiar theme of boarding school adventures is present, though now we follow the journey of a boy attempting to become his own person outside the shadow of the legendary Boy-Who-Lived.  With similar inclinations for snooping, it isn’t long before James finds out more than he should know about mysterious happenings at Hogwarts.  Ultimately the way he handles his adventures helps to define James as decidedly his own person, as opposed to making his character (and thus the story) a mere copy of the original Harry Potter.
The cameos of canon characters (Harry, McGonagall, Slughorn, etc.) help to set the tone, but it is the author’s own inventions which make this story so phenomenal.  The story primarily features original characters, drawn so vividly and so intrinsically linked to the HP universe that you’ll forget they weren’t included in canon.  The spells, magical theories and creative approaches to magical education were so carefully and thoughtfully crafted that I found myself checking the HP Lexicon to distinguish between what was and was not developed by JKR.  A tribute to “That Hideous Strength” will delight fans of C.S. Lewis, as well. A completed sequel, James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper, is up, along with companion tales, a compendium, and more.

3 Responses to ““James Potter and the Hall of Elders Crossing” by G. Norman Lippert”

  1. booksem Says:

    It has taken me nearly a month to read this fic partly because of RL, partly because of the author’s decision to post the thing as .pdf file. It makes it look really slick, (very much like the printed books like JKR) but makes it hard for people like me who are used to enlarging the font of html and reading from a screen. Anyhow, I was shocked to see how very much the characterization (sic - I miss spell check in these windows) of Merlinius Ambrosius was taken from C. S. Lewis’ novel “That Hideous Strength.” The scene at the top of the tower with McGonigall as Pendragon is nearly straight out of the book.
    Is this something that forums like this discuss? I registered since I wanted to comment on it, but mostly I’m a lurker.

  2. Gioia Says:

    Thank you very much for your comment! The scene you referenced is indeed derived in part from “That Hideous Strength.” (I’ve adjusted my review above to make mention of that fact.)

    The author credits C.S. Lewis for that portion of the fic in his story notes, however it appears that the pdf version of the fic is missing those notes. The author is going to fix that on the pdf copy. In the meantime, your keen observation, as well as any other thoughts on the tale, would be appreciated by the author and his fans over on their board, The Grotto, which is located at grottokeep.8.forumer.com/ . There are a lot of behind the scenes resources for the stories which are available there and discussion of the fic in great detail is very much encouraged in their forums.

    I hope that answers your questions! I very much appreciate your taking the time to let us know of your thoughts. Let me know if there is anything else I can address for you.

  3. potterdude479 Says:

    I have started reading the first book as I print out each chapter to make it easier to read. I have to say this to the author u have done a good job I look forward to reading the second story and seeing the movie on youtube or where ever it may come out to online.

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