From Neil Gaiman, the best-selling novelist and creator of the world-renowned comics title The Sandman, comes a mesmerizing tale of the dangers and opportunities of youth, and its endless possibilities. Illustrated by four of comics' most accomplished artists, John Bolton, Scott Hampton, Charles Vess and Paul Johnson, THE BOOKS OF MAGIC collects all four issues of the original miniseries that introduced the character of Timothy Hunter and set the stage for his continuing adventures. Timothy Hunter could be the most powerful magician in the world, but does he really want to be? Guided through the magical world starting at the begining of time by a group of DC Universe magicians, often refered to as the TrenchcoatBrigade (John Constantine, Phantom Stranger, Mister E, and Doctor Occult), they attempt to aid Timothy in his decision whether or not to embrace his gift. However, by the time Timothy makes a choice, it may have already been made for him.
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First: this graphic novel came out long *before* Harry Potter. Too many folks accuse Gaiman of ripping off JK Rowling. He didn't. The geeky nobody being a super-powerful somebody was a stereotype long before Rowling.
With that said, this book is ...well...just ok. It's a decent read, but disjointed and clunky. The final "twist" just feels like a cheat; Tim is a passive geek along for the ride, and despite all the others shilling him as a "potentially powerful mage", he just comes across like a whiny kid who has no control over anything & who has to be constantly saved by other people. It's so deseperately boring that even the last-minute appearance of Death & Destiny don't help.
Seriously, why are all these people after this kid & going out of their way to help him? He shows absolutely no sign of being worth the fuss.
Yeah, yeah, maybe that's "realistic", but it makes for a boring, annoying character and an even worse story. Terry Pratchett did this kind of thing much better with Tiffany Aching; Rowling did tons better with Harry. We saw those kids' worth. But here? Tim's a nothing, and The Trenchcoats constantly shilling for him & telling us what he's "going" to be doesn't make this interesting and certainly doesn't make me want to read further.