I really loved this, I think you're at your best when you explore the almost "real" side of the magical world, the corruption of the government, anxiety and PTSD over a dramatic illness and not shying away from the implications of that illness as well as a nice plot that's not necessarily about a dark lord, but something on a smaller scale that works really well in exploring what the next generation might have had to deal with. Albus very much is following in the footsteps of his father in his knack for investigation, but there's also that focus on school work and stability that I think you capture really well.
I think in some of your previous works, some of the characters were slightly one dimensional to make room for your stronger characters, like Matt but I have been noticing that over this story especially and the last few one's that Al's friends and even the enemies are becoming less and less like background characters that fit into a very "black and white" sensibility but characters with real struggles and real flaws. It's wonderful to see this development and again this almost sense of realism embedded into this magical world so nicely.
One thing of note that I did love, was that they get the adults when they need to get the adults and your work lacks the trope of "Adults are idiots" that so many authors use to put the characters at their youthful characters at the forefront of the work, it shows a maturity to the characters and again works brilliantly.
The "Young" mystery worked really well and was layered successfully throughout the work, I really enjoyed piecing it together and I hope there's more to piece together. I like that it isn't so cut and dry.
I think you're a brilliant writer and I think you've approached this next gen series quite differently to the original, whereas in the original... the story was the arc over the seven books, but I want to see the adult lives of these characters and it feels like there are chess pieces that you've put down that can't be answered in a series full of adolescents, so I really do hope you consider extending or time skipping to show more of the adult lives of these characters (which I think rivals your Albus works... almost).
Yay, from your biggest fan... who has been much to quiet of late.
Author's Response: I really enjoy writing about the "real" side of things rather than doing a straight fantasy novel. I never wanted to do another Dark Lord for the next generation, and so far it's working out quite well. I think it's more realistic for the next generation to have a more "normal" childhood.
When I started writing the series, I came up with far too many main characters, and that resulted in a few of them being flat, which is something I've struggled with since. But the good thing about writing so many novels is that I can explore characters who have seemed flat in previous novels. Matt has always been my strongest OC, whereas Amanda was the weakest, up until the fourth one. I'm glad their flaws and struggles are coming through.
The "adults are idiots" trope kind of bugs me. One of the main aspects of YA literature is that the adults are not main characters and remain in the background. But sometimes, it just doesn't make sense for the adults not to be there. For Harry, yes, it made sense, because his parents were dead and his "parental figures" kept dying. But Albus has a strong family and loving parents; it wouldn't make sense for them not to be involved.
I'm glad you liked the mystery! The Young portion of it is mostly over, but there is plenty more about the overarching mystery that will be the plot of the 6th novel. There will be a lot more on Stuart Boone in that one.
Aw, thank you! I'm glad you've enjoyed all the novels. Originally, I wanted a main story arc over seven novels, but I never came up with one, so I switched tactics. I love showing the adult lives (like I did in Searching For Forever), so I do have plans to do a few novels about their adult lives after I finish the main seven.
You have been quiet! It's nice to hear from you. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! :)