REVIEW: ‘The Magicians: Alice’s Story’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Magicians: Alice’s Story is published by BOOM! Studios’ imprint Archaia, written by Lev Grossman and Lilah Sturges, illustrated by Pius Bak, colored by Dan Jackson, and lettered by Mike Fiorentino. Previously, BOOM! Studios announced earlier this year that it was adapting the first book of Lev Grossman’s series The Magicians, which is also now a TV show on SyFy, into a comic book and putting the character of Alice as the main focus.

As previously mentioned, the comic book tells the events of the first book in the series but from the perspective of Alice Quinn. Alice grew up completely hidden from the magical world since her parents wouldn’t teach her. I will always be grateful for Grossman’s original trilogy, but it’s amazing to see the events of the first book being told from Alice’s perspective. She’s such an integral part of the first book, especially towards the end of it. Alice is portrayed as a genius that can do no wrong, which automatically captures Quentin’s attention. For those who may not be familiar with the series, Quentin is the main protagonist of the series. However, very little about who Alice is as a person is ever revealed.

The comic, as the title suggests, follows Alice who is a brilliant student that has come to be quite proficient in the magical arts. She seeks out Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and manages to pass the entrance exam. During her time there, Alice quickly rises to the top of her class, falls in love with Quentin, and even witnesses a powerful magical being invade their dimension. After graduation, she and Quentin form a deeper bond with fellow alumni Janet, Elliot, and Josh. Together, they begin to make plans with Penny, a former Brakebills student, to visit a mysterious magical place known as Fillory. However, Alice quickly discovers that not all magic is good and that there are certain aspects of magic that can be trusted.

From The Magicians: Alice’s Story – Lev Grossman and Lilah Sturges (Writers), Pius Bak (Artist), Dan Jackson (Colorist), and Mike Fiorentino (Letterer).

The inner monologues, that let us into Alice’s thoughts, serve as a great addition to the story. They not only give a more adequate insight of who Alice is, but they act as a narrative device that carries the story forward. They provide context to what’s going on and how Alice is processing it. The monologues are at times comedic, especially when she’s taking her Brakebills entrance exam. Her monologues, for the most part, are completely honest. Since the story is told after the events of the first book, Alice has reached a place where she is confident enough to speak without any fear. She never holds back on sharing how she feels, even though she never mentions anything out loud. It gives readers and fans of the series a much better understanding of her character rather than details being revealed from the perspective of Quentin.

Given that their world has magic, The Magicians: Alice’s Story would definitely be classified as a fantasy story. Fantasy stories take people away from the real world and allow people to get lost in what they’re reading. However, with the powerful magical being invading the school and other difficulties that come up, this story would be better suited as a fantasy story with much darker themes. These darker themes serve as tests that Alice must overcome. They make her more aware of the dangers of magic, unlike Quentin who feels like magic is something he was destined to do. She’s much more grounded in reality because of the obstacles placed in front of her. She wants more out of life than what magic can offer her.

From The Magicians: Alice’s Story – Lev Grossman and Lilah Sturges (Writers), Pius Bak (Artist), Dan Jackson (Colorist), and Mike Fiorentino (Letterer).

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Magicians: Alice’s Story. Aside from it being told from Alice’s perspective, it was great to reread the story. It brought back many memories of the first time I read the original novel. Many of the same emotions and thoughts I had on the book remained the same, but being told from a new perspective added so much more.

Quentin’s story focuses on magic and quests while Alice’s point-of-view is much more grounded. It’s the perspective that follows a more logical approach rather than just accepting all of these magical elements as they are. I’m hoping that the other two books get similar adaptations since this one proved to add more to a set story.

The Magicians: Alice’s Story is available now wherever comic books are sold.

The Magicians: Alice's Story
5

TL;DR

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Magicians: Alice’s Story.