PurplyCookie's Reviews > The Books of Magic, Volume 2: Summonings

The Books of Magic, Volume 2 by John Ney Rieber
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's review
Apr 13, 2009

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bookshelves: books-of-magic, graphic-novel, faerie
Read in February, 2009

"The Books of Magic: Summonings, Book 2" follows the story of Tim Hunter, a teenager who is destined to become the world's greatest magician. Tim must contend with a heartless sorcerer, tea in hell, a murderous Victorian cyborg, a whirlwind family reunion with an insanely jealous Faerie Queen and ... a first date.

Young Tim Hunter is reminded of an imaginary friend he had as a child who was killed by someone or something. In an investigation into the imaginary friend's death he enters a world where all his childhood imaginings are now real. Simultaneously we follow grown up and increasingly pitiful Tim Hunter. He visits the past to kidnap the woman of his life (in the so-called formatory) while she still loves him and to raise himself to grow up to be him. Influencing his younger self is a daunting task for him since he has traded away his childhood memories in various battles with demons.

Those are the big plots that span the shorter stories. The small plots involve a magician (of The Cold Flame that was vanquished by The Trenchcoat Brigade in the earlier book), who tries to catch Tim with his slave succubus and various characters from Victorian England who have crossed over into modern England via the land of fairy. The sucubus makes for an interesting character: at one point she lets her dinner, a live pigeon, fly free over the city and muses on her own lack of freedom. There are also parallels between her obvious position of slavery and the less obvious traps that other characters are stuck in.

The layouts felt just a tad off for me. Often I read frames out of sequence and they just didn't flow right and I get a bit disoriented. After the first story in "The Books of Magic" series was complete, Neil Gaiman vanished, leaving the series in the hands of writer John Ney Rieber. That is not entirely a bad thing, but it's not a great one, either.

While "The Books of Magic: Summonings, Book 2" is still good reading, the gap in quality between the first collection and this one is noticeable. The stories here are far more unconnected, disjointed, and episodic than those in the first collection, with only Tim to hold them together as a coherent whole.

Book Details:

Title The Books of Magic: Summonings, Book 2
Author John Ney Rieber; Neil Gaiman (Consultant)
Reviewed By Purplycookie

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