**spoiler alert** I am thankful I did not read any of the negative critiques about this book or else I might have been turned off early on and not eve**spoiler alert** I am thankful I did not read any of the negative critiques about this book or else I might have been turned off early on and not even read it.
Overall, I completely forgot that it was written by somebody else and not THE J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter Universe:plot twists, stealthy bad guys, fun and fast dialogue, and distinct well developed characters.
It was a great buzz to revisit Hogwarts and encounter many of our favorite characters. As early as chapter 1 we get to see one of the minor characters from The Harry Potter series go back to his old ways and ultimately pay the price for it.
Every time the original characters, especially Harry, Hermione, Ron, and even Ginny make an appearance I got all big smily faced with a tiny voice in my head going..."aww, they're all grown up now."
The book continues 18 years after The Deathly Hallows and a year before the epilogue. The author introduces some of the changes that have happened throughout the magickal world after DH - Hogwarts was rebuilt, tryout age for Quidditch lowered to allow first years, more protective spells and charms placed upon the Quidditch field after the dementors tried to attack Harry, etc.
The houses are revisited as well and it's refrshing to have the protagonists coming from different houses. The twist involving Ralph's lineage was a great surprise. And up to now I am amazed with how Rowling-esque the entire book was. The dialogue among the characters maintained the similar tone that I liked from the original HP series; the villains are not easily distinguished, the magical spells' and new characters' names are lovely wordplays that nerds like me would totally enjoy deciphering.
For me, the greatest difference between the HP series and this book is that the protagonist, James, unlike his father, does not get away with everything. Yes, there's an almost happy ending but he didn't get to it unscathed. Yes, Harry Potter got bruised, cut, or bloodied several times along his series but when he was with Hermione and Ron, he was assured of victory even in the smallest of adventures.
The closest and only event I remember when Harry seemed to have failed was when he put on the Invisibility Cloak on the train to eavesdrop on the Slytherins but Malfoy zapped him. James' failure near the latter part of the book was bigger and it was part of the events leading to the resolution. Harry Potter in JK Rowlings' hands would not have failed if he was in that situation.
I think it was a stroke of genius that one of the plots dealt with James living under his father's shadow figuratively, and in the last chapter, literally (voodoo dolls). I haven't read the second book but my expectations have been set to NOT expect James to act like his father.
If you are a Potterhead, I hope you'd be open-minded enough to read this book. It is a self-confessed fanfiction which I believe involves using existing characters, places, devices, AND taking liberties in deciding how they will be used. With that definition, this book has done the original series it was based from justice....more
**spoiler alert** It was a welcome reprieve from the first four books of A Song of Ice and Fire. I read this in less than a day and it was truly fun t**spoiler alert** It was a welcome reprieve from the first four books of A Song of Ice and Fire. I read this in less than a day and it was truly fun to just laugh out loud.
It's really like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Samantha from Sex and the City plus Becky Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic.
I liked the fact that Betsy curses like a sailor, has an Imeldific love for shoes, and never took herself seriously.
The only thing that really stopped me from giving it a five was the very graphic sex scenes that involved Sinclair. I am far from being a prude but at least once I thought I was reading softporn just with the details. With Ms. Davidson's well strung words and my fertile imagination, I had to read quickly through the sex scenes instead of skipping an entire paragraph or two as I was tempted to do at the first mention of the word 'cunt'.
Overall it was a good fun read - light, no need to look something up in the dictionary, and no convuluted branches from different family trees to untangle. Yes, I am still reeling from the neural whiplash that A Song of Ice and Fire gave me....more
Talk about a cliffhanger! I love the pacing, the witty repartee among the characters, and the fact that there is an Asian demigod! ;) Now, all the PerTalk about a cliffhanger! I love the pacing, the witty repartee among the characters, and the fact that there is an Asian demigod! ;) Now, all the Percy Jackson fans have to wait for Fall 2012 to get the third installment. ...more