After the quality of the last couple of books, I thought that spoilers, even fake ones, couldn't possibly make my expectations for this one any lower. I was wrong.
Nonjon's excellent Firefly/Harry Potter crossover is now complete (~300,000 words).
Mash-up made from Stephen Fry's audiobook readings. The scary, scary thing is that I know the original context of a lot of those samples. :(
The first began a new twist on an oft-done "what if" about Harry being overlooked in favour of a twin brother, but it's since spiralled into something far more. Lightning's world -- and I find much of it easier to credit to her than to J.K. Rowling -- has a depth and complexity rarely seen in fanfiction.
She's also staggeringly prolific. Saving Connor's 80,000 words were written in less than a month; this part, all 780,000 words of it, was started in March this year. More staggering still is that the quality hasn't suffered -- with a few thousand words every day, give or take an extra here or a day off there, it's been the perfect serial.
I can't say for sure that it won't suffer in a different context -- it's always easier to overlook issues of structure and consistency in serial-form stories -- but my experience of it has been overwhelmingly positive. Do yourself a favour and read it.
(With that said, a warning: this series is written for adults. It contains strong adult themes. It also features a relationship between Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy; it starts with friendship, but by the fourth book has become something more. If you are uncomfortable with depictions of homosexuality, this is not the story for you.)
My concern is those adults who style themselves Harry Potter fans - supposed grown-ups who waited for the latest release with all the decorum of a drunk cheerleader trying to earn a place on Big Brother. These people are not seeking relief from life - they are denying life itself, excusing themselves from the ordinary business of being an adult and the complexities thereof.
To some large extent, the adult fandom seems devoted to projecting -- or simply adding -- the difficulty and complexity of the real world onto Rowling's books. Ironic, then, that these "cowardly escapists" can't escape it even when they try.
For budgetary reasons, the hazards have been reduced to one, the chess pieces. And it's not even a full version... a couple of pieces bounce around and collide with you. Try thinking of this as the video game equvalent of a high school stage production of Harry Potter and it hurts a little less.