Tim Hunter makes only a cameo in the latest issue of Books of Magic. For that matter, so does Zatanna. This issue gives its focus to Ellie, a young would-be magician who winds up trapped inside a book.
It’s a highly entertaining story, and quite different from the normal style of this series. Ellie winds up communicating with the spirit of the book, or more properly, the wood that makes up the pages of the book. There is an environmental message buried inside the tale, but it’s not a really intense or prominent one.
Indeed, this issue seems intentionally designed to be a lighter read than what has come before. It certainly succeeds at being so.
I really have to commend Tom Fowler and Brian Churilla for the art. Most of the pages are illustrated as being part of the book that Ellie is trapped in, with words streaming sideways down the pages. It works extremely well, and somehow manages to not be distracting, while at the same time emphasizing the prison-like atmosphere Ellie is trapped in.
I think it is safe to assume Ellie will play a significant role in the series going forward. I hope the reborn tree does as well.
It’s very much a risk doing an issue like this. Kat Howard has left the main story, and the main character, to the side, choosing instead to explore the “world” of the series. The fact that it is a book that Ellie is trapped in keeps the tale loosely on topic, a book of magic, as it were.
There has been more than a little doom and gloom pervading this series, and I was happy to take a break from that with this issue.