Thank you to Netgalley and Boom! Studios for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in any way.
Book: The Magicians: Alice’s Story by Lilah Sturgess. Illustrated by Pius Bak.
Release Date: July 16th 2019
Tags: Graphic Novel / New Adult / Magic / Boarding School / Finding Your Identity
Trigger Warnings: Sex / Cutting of Hands
Alice Quinn is manifestly brilliant, and she’s always known that magic is real. During her years at Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, she rises to the top of her class, falls in love with Quentin Coldwater, and witnesses a horrifically magical creature invade their dimension.
It’s not soon after graduation when Alice, Quentin, and their friends set their sights on the idyllic setting of Fillory—a place thought to only live in the pages of their favorite children’s books—where magic flows like rivers . . . But in this magical realm nothing is what it seems and something darker lies behind the spellbinding facade. It is in the darkness where Alice will discover her true calling and her life, and those friends, forever changed.
I read The Magicians well over 10 years ago and then reread it a few years ago. The first time I loved it. The second time I was more aware of what was putting people off this book. Even so, it still worked for me. I never did get around to reading the next two books but I did see The Magicians tv show, stranded in season 3 though through no fault of the series itself. So I have a background with this series. As such I was very curious about this graphic novel that would focus on Alice.
Alice was my favorite character of the book because she reminded me of myself in certain ways. So I was quite excited to see we were getting her point of view. But it fell entirely flat. The problem this book has is that it rehashes almost all the scenes of the book with Quintin. So much could have been done with Alice, her family, her brother. But it was just a rehash of the book. Nothing new to find here on the horizon.
I might imagine that if you are a very big fan of the series that you would still want to read this or have it for your collection but in the end I don’t think it is quite worth it for anyone else. Certainly not for new readers.
As for the art, the cover is stunning and grabs your attention. I found some of the backgrounds also very well done, especially once we got to Fillory. The characters could have used some more work.
Adding on to that, I find it interesting to see how the characters were completely based on the book. I think a lot of people have the tv show characters in their mind and might be a little confused with the way the characters are being shown now, regardless of them being true to the book which if memory serves me correct, is correct. It is something to think about when after so many seasons of an interpretation of a book you do a graphic novel addition to the book that is showing a different visualization. Penny for instance is completely dressed as a punk and white in the graphic novel (as he was in the book), and in the tv show is black and more dressed. What is the goal of this addition now, as the last book came out in 2014? Do you want to draw the viewers towards the books with this graphic novel?