Book number two on my 2013 #50BookPledge was James Potter and the Vault of Destinies. This is the third book by G. Norman Lippert in the James Potter series, a fan-fiction spin off from Harry Potter.
I found the first of the James Potter series on Goodreads. I don't even really remember how I came upon them; but, there they were for the reading. You can actually read the books right from the Goodreads site on your desktop/laptop or mobile device. I was skeptical about the books going in, I mean really how good is fan-fiction?
Obviously, I enjoyed the first book enough to read more. Before I started into the rest of the series, I googled Mr. Lippert and found his James Potter world. It was here I learned Mr. Lippert writes these books and makes them free for download in either EPub or Mobi formats. There is a disclaimer at the end of each of the James Potter books asking that readers purchase the other works of fiction written by Mr. Lippert so that he may continue writing the James Potter books we have come to enjoy.
Like the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling, the James Potter series sees each book tying together the story of the young Mr. Potter. Without giving away too much from the previous books, the third book, James Potter and the Vault of Destinies was, by-far, my favourite. James reconnects with some original characters and really seems to come into his own. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the American wizarding world and meeting new characters that I wouldn't be surprised to find in future James Potter books.
For every similarity between the Harry Potter series and the James Potter series, there is an equal difference that makes the reader want to continue reading and following James along his journey of self-discovery.
I have just learned that a fourth book in the series is due to release this Spring. I'll be sure to add it to my reading list as I'm quite intrigued by the challenges ahead of Mr. James Potter.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
The story is told from the point of view of Antoinette and Marie. Antoinette, the oldest of the three sisters, feels it is her duty to look out for the younger girls. She knows that their best chance of survival lies in the ballet and having attended the school herself, she manipulates an audition for the younger girls. Marie and Charlotte are both accepted in the dance school much to Antoinette’s delight; but, while waiting for her sisters she meets Émile Abadie and her world begins a downward spiral.
Marie, reluctant to leave her studies, joins the Paris Opéra where it becomes evident she has an incredible gift for dance. It is there, that she encounters Edgar Degas and begins modeling, often in the nude, for a meager yet vital income. Marie’s intelligence and strong spirit are what guide her. She refuses to become another statistic and works diligently to build a better life for herself; until one fateful day when she is faced with a decision that ultimately becomes her undoing.
The Painted Girls will capture the reader from the start. Buchanan dives right in painting a scene that leaves the reader wanting more. How will the girls survive? Will they be successful at the Opéra? Will Marie succeed in creating a better future for herself, and will Antoinette finally realize Émile for what he really is?
As a work of historical fiction, Buchanan does an amazing job of incorporating tidbits of reality making it easier for the reader to relate to the characters and their circumstances. We bond with the girls and find ourselves routing for them and wanting to help them. The ending is, in my opinion, exactly what it should be. It closes off the story nicely and the reader feels complete, not left wanting more.
This book is suitable for young adults, ages 14 and older, and may contain mild uses of violence and/or profanity, sexual content and/or mature themes within the context of the story.
I would give this book a 4 star rating.
*Originally written for publication on the Girl Guides of Canada blog.