I think I may have already reviewed this on this blog. If I did, I think, given how much time has passed, it might be wise to add a new review. I’ve had some time to think about it, re-read it a few times, and dang it. This graphic novel still holds up. I love it.
Please note: this review I put on Goodreads contains possible spoilers. Read at your own risk, or (if you want the spoiler tags so you can avoid them) read it on Goodreads:
It Takes A Wizard by Thomas R. Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m surprised I haven’t reviewed this yet. It’s been on my shelf for some time.
The premise is (supposedly) simple. Manhattan has become a world full of magic, with dragons, demons, satyrs and all kind of fantastic creatures roaming its streets. It’s ruled by a powerful wizard. A local politician frees the wizard’s apprentice from prison and manages to get him to go inside Manhattan to rescue the politician’s beautiful daughter.
But really, nothing is this series is as it seems.
The apprentice, Isaac, is sweet. I really felt for his despair and for his idealism. His betrayal and his innocence were heartbreaking.
The villain of the story, Everett, is fascinating, and his end really surprised me. I did not see it coming.
Hope is one of those characters that should have been a token love interest, but manages to rise above it, with her own story, her own beliefs, and her own actions. Though every now and then she gets a case of the stupids, I like how it’s obviously because her own hatred and misguided beliefs get in the way. There are hints of romance between her and Isaac and I thought their relationship was really sweet. They’re one of my favorite couples, in fact.
I also like the depth given to the minions. I even got upset when a few of my favorites died.
The twists are pretty good in this one. I’ve heard some people call the plot average, but I thought the creators did an excellent job of keeping the story moving, and in a logical-without-getting-boring direction.
One thing to be said about the plot, and it might be considered a spoiler. There’s a strong spiritual bent to the story that some may not enjoy. In fact, after reading it, I wouldn’t be surprised if some readers felt they were sucker-punched by the religious references. There’s a priest who helps when everything goes wrong, and Hope makes several references to God, not to mention a certain character is treated as god by the fantasy creatures because he created them.
I have to admit, that was my favorite part. I loved how the creatures react when they’re around their creator, and I loved the exploration of just what it means to be a god.
I found the ending powerful, and inspiring, though bittersweet. It’s not the typical, feel-good, all-is-right-with-the-world ending, though there’s a strong bit of comfort in it. The ending is a challenge to look at ourselves in the mirror and the demons that live there.
(Obviously, there are things I didn’t enjoy, but I’m getting tired of listing them when I review something. Just know that the book isn’t perfect, but it’s still very much worth the read. I highly recommend it.)