I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as the first James Potter novel. Again, if the Harry Potter novels felt formulaic, this one felt even more so.
While I have no objection to killing off characters in a novel, somehow it feels wrong for a work of fan fiction to kill off an established character from the works it's derived from. The death was eventually shown to be necessary to the plot, it seemed Lippert could have come up with a better mechanism that didn't require taking such drastic liberties with one of Rowling's characters. The characters in this novel didn't react to the death in what I felt was a convincing or even realistic manner.
Writing J.K. Rowling into the novel as the character Juliet Revalvier, and referring to the real-world Harry Potter novels within this book was far too meta.(view spoiler)[James' trip back 1000 years to the founding of Hogwarts, and his interactions with the founders was silly and unnecessary. Which leads me to a personal pet peeve: if an author is going to have a character go back in time 1000 years, they better explain how that character is speaking to the people of the past. Old English of 1000 years ago is more akin to Old High German or Old Norse than it is to modern English; it would be incomprehensible to us or, in this case, to James Potter. Think about how difficult Shakespeare is for most people of today, and that's only 400 years of linguistic drift and maturation. (hide spoiler)]
Some characters, particularly James, have a talent for missing the obvious. It was annoying in the Harry Potter novels, and it's annoying in the James Potter novels.
The writing for the conversations in this book seemed a bit less polished than the previous one. Or, perhaps I'm simply getting annoyed with the characters.
Zane's cameos via chaos butterfly and doppleganger were cheesy and annoying. Just once I would have liked an explanation of how Zane is in mortal peril to make the doppleganger appear, yet simultaneously completely safe and can carry on a leisurely conversation.
Baby dementors and super-mega-OMG-it's-going-to-end-the-world dementor? Whatever.
Overall, if you liked the first one you'll probably
enjoy this one enough to finish it. However, after reading this I have no desire to read the final book in the James Potter trilogy, and I wonder if the world wouldn't have been better off if Harry Potter had gotten a vasectomy.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>