The Books of Magic #9 – Kat Howard, Writer; Tom Fowler, Brian Churilla, Artists; Jordan Boyd, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: During Tim Hunter’s extended journey into the realm of the faerie, his friend Ellie Jones has never been far from his mind. She went missing at the hands of the mysterious librarian who has been working against Tim since the beginning of the series – and now he’s fully revealed as the supernatural being known as the Bookbinder, a sadistic and powerful creature that’s been taking prisoners for hundreds of years. The Books of Magic #9 takes place almost entirely inside his prison, a blank space made up of pages where the bars are composed of customized words he writes.
It’s an eerie, minimalist space that sticks in your mind, and Ellie wastes no time making contact with the other prisoner she can talk to – a mysterious being named Kip. Kip warns Ellie that the prison is specifically designed to hold her, and it’s revealed that he’s not a person at all but some sort of enchanted tree being.
This series makes good use of flashbacks, first showing us Ellie’s past as a clever kid obsessed with magic, and how that experience eventually helps her get free. Kip’s story is distinctly less cheery, a twisted take on the classic book The Giving Tree. Kip was an enchanted tree that gave everything he had to the people around him, but they wanted more. They chopped him down, and what was left turned into this being.
Together, they escape their cells and make a desperate stand against the Bookbinder – whose true form is one of the creepiest visuals so far in this book. Eventually, Ellie returns to her hometown, while Kip tries to find a new purpose. Tim returns as well, resetting the series’ status quo for the next big arc but giving us a lot more information about our main villain. This is the slowest-moving of the four books in this line, but it might have the best central protagonists.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.