Review: Books of Magic #5

by Tony Farina
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Kat Howard

Artist: Tom Fowler

Colors: Jordan Boyd

Letters: Todd Klein



This issue sees Tim return to the dreaming. He wanders around, he gets freaked out and he makes it to the library. As we all know, the library is really the most magical place in the world, so why wouldn’t it be full of magic in the Dreaming. Tim runs into Eve who tells him a story and talks to him about truth. More on that in the positives section. He has a chat with Daniel who looks, “different” as Tim points out and that goes as well as any chat can go with the Dream Lord. Then, he loses track of time.

Meanwhile, back in the waking, Mr Davies, AKA the evil Librarian, is up to no good. I am not going to spoil any of that here, but what until you see what he does. It is pretty amazingly terrible.


I have been waiting for Tom Fowler to have a whack at The Dreaming and this does not disappoint. As been the case with this book from the jump, Kat Howard allows Fowler enough space to do a lot of visual storytelling. As soon as the book starts, we are thrust into The Dreaming and Fowler takes us through it with Tim as though we are right there with him. Here. Check this out.

The attention to detail is just stunning. The broken glasses reflect the broken sky and are contrasted by the giant eyeballs floating above. It is just perfect. Go back an look again. Go.

Howard does not let Fowler do all the work though and we should be thankful for that. The voice she gives Tim is honest and good. Then, she manages to stick some of that old timey Sandman philosophy right in the middle of the book and it lands on its feet. The chat the Tim an Eve have is so revealing and yet, so concealing. She gives him everything he needs and wants and of course, she gives him nothing. The energy Howard gives to Tim is so perfect. He is a dumb teenage boy in so many ways and yet, he is so wise, as many dumb teenage boys can be even when they do not realize it.


I am at a loss to find anything wrong with this issue. Cain and Able make two appearances. The art is beautiful, the storytelling is compelling. I could see some people getting frustrated with the pacing.


As we reach the penultimate issue of the first story arc, we find ourselves on the edge of our seats and totally enthralled. Because Howard and company really spent the time doing the deep character work, the pacing issue is overcome. Having already seen the cover of issue six (it is on the last page), I am so excited for what is to come and you should be too.


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