Review: BOOKS OF MAGIC #9 Takes Us Into The Book Prison

FIRST IMPRESSION

A much-needed look into the character of Ellie, showing how her inner power is on par with the more famous Timothy Hunter.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Letters
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BOOKS OF MAGIC #9 shifts the spotlight from the young wizard Timothy Hunter to the friend he’s searched for tirelessly: Ellie. Readers of the series will remember her imprisonment inside of a book at the hands of their school librarian Mr. Davies. With Tim and Ms. Rose no where to be found, Ellie must navigate the confines of her literary prison alone. Fortunately for her, another prisoner’s predicament may be the motivation she needs to escape.

An Enchanting Story of Self-Liberation

Kat Howard, through Ellie, begins this tale by featuring a quick trip down memory lane. We learn the young wizard enjoyed magic from a very young age, which is made clear by a scene of her at a magic show put on by none other than the DC hero Zatanna. This helps readers understand the optimistic attitude toward Ellie fostered within herself before learning to harness her powers. And it makes it that much more disheartening when all of those hopes shatter after reliving her traumatic imprisonment.

Ellie relives her good and bad memories of magic

While bemoaning her fate Ellie meets Kip, an elderly wood creature who claims to have once been a prophetic tree. His brief origin story is reminiscent of the classic children’s book The Giving Tree, only this tale was more sinister. Kip was chopped up and placed in the paper bound prison many years ago.

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Through a combination of desperation and care for Kip, Ellie musters up the courage necessary to tackle the bars of ink imprisoning them. But will her magic be enough? Readers will be inspired by Ellie’s self-liberating attempts to free both herself and Kip from this dungeon of words.

Magical Illustrations

Ellie trapped within the book

Tom Fowler’s pencils, Brian Churilla’s inks, and Jordan Boyd’s colors astound once again, showcasing their ability to conjure up fantastical landscapes most people only see in their wildest dreams. The artist finds a way to bring the interior of Ellie’s book prison to life by fashioning the tome’s cursive letters into bars of a cage. These letters match her frizzy hair to show how much a part of the book she’s become.

Todd Klein is equally fantastic in this issue. He gives each dialogue box details related to their corresponding characters such as Kip’s wood-like background with pieces missing as if park of the bark broke off.

The Comic Cover

Kai Carpenter’s main cover artwork is designed to look just like a fairy tale book. But it features Ellie banging on a window from inside the cover to show that her experience is the exact opposite of the fantastical escapism these books provide.

Conclusion

BOOKS OF MAGIC #9’s bring much-needed attention to Ellie after sidelining her for a few issues. But finally revealing her fate is well-worth the wait as we see her come into her own.

What did you think of Ellie’s experience in the book? Let us know in the comments below!

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Corey Patterson
A comic book nerd and reviewer with a special interest in the underlying themes of superhero, sci-fi and fantasy stories. He enjoys writing for Monkeys Fighting Robots, Pop Culture and Theology and other publications.

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