Books of Magic is really finding its footing now. The latest issue serves to bring together plot threads from the last few issues, tying things up, but also setting the stage for what is to come.
Tim is back home after his sojourn in Faerie. He thinks all will be well, but finds he has to deal with the fact that his father has been arrested, and Ellie has been traumatized by her time inside a book. Yeah, that sounds strange. Guess you should have read the previous issue.
The most effective parts of this story deal with Tim’s father. The scenes are funny, sad, and scary all at the same time, as the man just keeps repeating that Tim is fine. He says this to everyone, barely altering the words of the sentence. But that is all he is able to say. The police are hardly satisfied when Tim shows up alive and well, although they have no choice but to release the Dad.
Rose makes it clear that Tim has used his magic poorly, and that even well- intentioned spells can have severely negative effects.
Too bad she didn’t have that conversation with him before Tim revealed his powers to Ellie. She was already having a hard time coping with her experiences, and this might well have pushed the girl over the edge.
I really like that it is these relatively small things that are the major issues Tim has to face. He is not dealing with some demonic entity out to destroy the universe. He has to face that he has damaged his father’s mind, perhaps irrevocably. It may not be as huge a problem, but it’s certainly got higher emotional stakes for the hero.
It’s the grounded nature of this run that is making it work best. And making the magical parts stand out so much stronger.