Marizabeth's Reviews > James Potter and the Curse of the Gate Keeper

James Potter and the Curse of the Gate Keeper by G. Norman Lippert
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Apr 09, 12

bookshelves: my-ebooks, book-series, fantasy, fan-fic
Read from April 02 to 05, 2012

Lippert's sequel to the James Potter series follows a very similar path as Rowling's second Harry Potter. We see through James' eyes, as it were, and therefore cast suspicions on those James is least inclined to like.

Like his father before him, James seems to have a very black and white idea of good and evil. His suspicion is similarly aroused by those of the Slytherin house, unsurprisingly. Also like his father, James is often blinded by his initial feelings of disdain, and misleads himself willingly by pursuing those he dislikes. Obviously, if you read Harry Potter, it is usually not the obvious person who is the true villain.

In this story, James returns to Hogwarts along with his brother Albus and cousin Rose Weasley. He reunites with his formidable friend Ralph Deedle, a Slytherin, and the two lament that their American comrade, Ravenclaw Zane Walker, is attending the American wizarding institution Alma Aleron instead of returning to Hogwarts beside them. Not to fear, Zane makes some appropriately kooky cameos throughout the year, imparting wisdom from a safely disengaged viewpoint that makes James' headstrong and conclusive first impressions a little easier to deal with.

Merlinus Ambrosius is now Hogwarts Headmaster, and as he is still of questionable character, the new trio (James, Ralph and Rose) spend a lot of time evaluating strange occurrences and Merlin's possible involvement in them. The students become aware of a strange and possibly evil plot when James becomes aware of the sensations of pain caused by the phantom scar of his father's.

Additionally, the new Defense professor refuses to teach the students actual spells, convincing the Gremlins (a small society of capricious and cajoling albeit bright students) that James must take up his famous father's historical defense club. Having no skills in defensive technique yet himself, Rose suggests that the teaching fall to Scorpius Malfoy, none other than Harry's nemesis Draco's son. Scorpius becomes a sort of tenuous ally, one that James cannot quite trust, but without whom the club has no leg to stand on. Scorpius becomes an invaluable asset to the trio as the plot thickens and Rose begins to understand that Malfoy may be the key to defeating the evil threat of the year...

Lippert's writing style is still mesmerizing in it's own way. While the story definitely follows a similar recipe as Rowling's second Potter novel, there is a flavor of his own. I have only one complaint: almost EVERYONE "grins crookedly" in this story.

Otherwise, it's an engrossing story, sure to capture the imagination of HP fans (and definitely JP fans) looking for more imaginative explorations of the Potterverse.
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