The Magicians Original Graphic Novel: Alice's Story

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

I haven't read The Magicians, but this book sounded interesting to me. It's sort of like a darker version of Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. The setting is wonderful. It drew me in pretty quickly and I found myself wanting to know more about these characters. The book is paced well too. It did drag a little towards the end. I thought the way the story wrapped up was worth it though. I can't compare this to Grossman's novels, but it feels like a nice primer for them.
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Thanks Magicians is such a fantastic book and finally getting to read Alice's story is amazing. Her fierce determination stole my heart and I'm so glad to get more of her.
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I was very intrigued by the synopsis of this graphic novel when I read it. Though I have yet to read the actual novels of The Magicians, I wanted to dive into this. I really enjoyed the illustrations and how the authors brought the story to life. I do admit to feeling a bit lost in some parts, mostly toward the end, but I was still able to enjoy the overall story. Definitely geared to a more mature audience, this will appeal to lovers of fantasy and graphic novels.
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This graphic novel is perfect for fans of Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" trilogy. It gives readers a look into the story from a new perspective. The book is visually beautiful and the transition of the writing from novel format into a graphic novel was very well done. I thoroughly enjoyed this title and hope to see more of the trilogy in graphic novel form in the future.
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Alice Quinn strives hard to be the best. She is magically very powerful, ahead of her age group and capable of adapting to any situation. She attends Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy where she witnesses a terrifying creature from another dimension murder a fellow student in her class. After graduation, Alice wants more from her life than using magic for her own gains, she wants to make a difference. She is soon given the chance when another student who dropped out of school offers her the chance to find the magical world of Fillory, a place she had believed only existed in the pages of her favourite childhood story. But the best stories are based on an element of truth, and Fillory is real, just not as it was in the stories. There is a darkness there and Alice must overcome all of her fears and anxieties to find her true calling and save her friends. 
This is the first book of The Magician’s trilogy in graphic novel format and it sticks to its source material faithfully, but from Alice’s point of view. This is interesting perspective to take and Alice is an immediately accessible character, suffering with the need to prove herself after the death of her brother, and social anxiety. She goes through all the highs and lows of being away at college or university including navigating sexual relationships and superior bullies, but with the added threat that if she doesn’t master magic, then it can cost her her life.
Running through is the theme of comparing real life to an imaginary one Fillory. As Alice grows, she realises that Fillory is unsatisfying and so she realises her own life is unsatisfying. She doesn’t want endless empty parties, all her needs catered for by magic. She wants to prove herself. She sees the good in her boyfriend, Quentin, when his actions show him as shallow and self-centred. 
There are some changes from the TV series, if that’s the angle bringing you to this, physical appearances of the characters, but that shouldn’t stop you enjoying the story if you’re a fan. It does start a little slowly, setting the scene and building up to the death of a student which sets the characters on this path to find Fillory. From there the action is interspersed with developments in the relationship between Alice and Quentin as they self-destruct in such a realistic manner that I’m sure most of us will identify with them.
With so much focus on Alice, some of the other characters, such as Janet, don’t have the same character development as the books and TV series, but then you can’t have everything with such an indepth study of one character. What we lose in the other characters, we gain in a greater understanding of Alice’s courage.
The artwork is simplistic in a positive way. Instead of each panel being overcrowded with detail and dialogue, space is given for the reader to work things through themselves. Because of its heritage, they could have gone overboard in recreating this much-loved fictional world. Instead we have enough detail for place setting, and concentrates on the emotions of the characters. The panels where Alice and Quentin are at odds are charged with their pain and suffering caused by their own actions, or inactions.
An interesting read, definitely worth getting if you’re a fan of the series already, and if not, there is enough to grab your attention to go and explore more.
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Having never read the Magicians book series or knowing anything about it, I very much enjoyed this book! The story was really good as was the artwork. Not knowing anything about this series or the characters did not hinder me in any way while I was reading this. The characters were fully developed and all had good story arcs as the book progressed. I would love if there were more books that centered on each character like this one did one Alice. Overall this was a very interesting read and I would recommend it if you are into fantasy books such as The Chronicles of Narnia and similar titles.
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I really enjoyed this as I am a fan of the show. Graphic novels are not what I generally read, but I thought the way it flowed was really great. Loving the way it seamlessly blends with the story of Alice.
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It was just the same story as the first book, and that would have been okay if the dived a little deeper into who Alice was, but instead we just read the same thing in comic form.
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I love Grossman's Magicians trilogy,  and the show loosely based on them.  Quentin, however,  is not the most likeable character,  so it's great to see the events of the first novel from the point of view of another character. Alice is a character that I've always wished got to stay around for more of the story,  and I really liked getting her perspective.
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I loved it!  As a fan of the original Magicians Trilogy, I was excited to read the story from Alice’s point of view, especially to find out how she felt as she changed form.  I think a graphic novel was the perfect format for this story.  From the magical walls of Brakebills to the supernatural creatures in Fillory, the illustrations were fantastic.  I hope the author will write more graphic novels from the Magicians universe.
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As a huge fan of the show this book took me by surprise. Alice is drawn different and a ton younger. Once I got over the characters looking different than I am use to I absolutely enjoyed this. The plot of a back story for her is so enticing in and of itself that it makes you want to keep reading just to find out what will happen. 
If you are a fan then this is definitely a must read. It answered so many questions and gave me a better understanding of her as a character by herself.
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Having read the first book in The Magicians series, I was able to follow along with the story pretty well. It's very much to the book, which I appreciated. I thought the artwork was well done, a little dark coloring, with darker and imperfect lines to fit the tone of the story. One of the things I liked most was that the characters in the graphic novel were true to the descriptions in the book (unlike in the TV show). I liked them better this way. 

I always found myself having a love/hate relationship with Alice so I thought it'd be interesting to learn more about her and to experience things through her eyes. That said I wish that the story covered more than just following along with exactly what happened in the novel. I thought this would cover more of her at home life, her odd relationship with her parents (which was really a sticking point for her in the book) and how the loss of her brother affected her. That loss really turned her life upside down and I wish that more of the effect it had on her was explored. I also felt the ending was a little rushed. While the graphic novel does stay true to the original book, I thought it really lagged at times. It honestly gave me the same feeling I had when reading the original novel, which I admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of because it felt a bit dull. I thought reading it in graphic novel form would make it better, and it was but only slightly.

I'm glad that I read this though. I am curious to know what happened to Alice after the ending. She does make a reappearance in the TV series but I'm not sure about the book (because I stopped reading it). That said, it would be interesting to know if there's anything sentient left. This was not a quick graphic novel read, but it was still enjoyable. Thanks to Netgalley, the authors, and publishers for sending me the e-ARC for an honest review.
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Not having read the novels, and only watching the fantastic SyFy show, I guess I wasn't sure what I was getting into with this graphic novel. I thought it was going to be a prequel that explains Alice's background and maybe explored her family dynamic more. What I actually got was an interesting point of view from Alice that shared the novel's story. Or that's what other reviewers said. I didn't get that context, but I don't think it mattered. I was thrown off by the very different portrayals of the characters versus the TV show. The story was a lot of fun though. I think it was a great graphic novel. Good story, good characters. The whole idea of other worlds and portal hopping is fantastic!
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'The Magicians: Alice's Story' by Lilah Sturges and Lev Grossman with art by Pius Bak is a graphic novel based on a popular trilogy with an interesting twist.  The events of the first book in 'The Magicians' series is retold here through the eyes of one of the characters: Alice Quinn.

Alice lost her older brother when he went to Brakebills College.  She tries to get in, but doesn't, so she finds her way in by taking a taxi to the middle of nowhere and walking in.  She gets in to the school and meets friends Quentin and Penny.  She falls for Quentin, but Penny has always liked Alice too.  When they find a way into a magical land only thought to be in a series of children's books, Alice must use her magic to help her friends.

I'm familiar with the series, but I've not read it.  I really like the idea of a popular series being retold like this.  Alice has a unique perspective on events, and not knowing the character arc of her story, I found some surprises along the way.  The art is pretty good as well.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Archaia, Boom! Studios, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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I’ve no idea what I expected going into this novel and I think that why it just didn’t hit the mark for me. I can’t put my finger on why exactly, I was unable to connect with the story.
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I was a bit lost because I didn't realize this graphic novel was connected to the book/show The Magicians until I got approved for it, and I feel bad giving it a low rating when it's completely my fault I just skimmed the description before I requested it.
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I didn't read the previous Magician's novels, I have only seen the TV show. And sorry but I didn't care for this book. Another point of view books always intrigue me when I hear/read descriptions about it, and then when I finally read them I am like "Why did I even bother with this one?". I had to force myself to read as many pages as I did before just giving up on Alice and her point of view. Thanks #NetGalley for this opportunity but #TheMagiciansAlicesStory isn't my cup of tea.
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Fans of Syfy's adaptation of Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" might be a bit confused here. Readers of the original  book will be delighted beyond measure. This is an entirely new chapter, in that it revisits the events of the first book through a completely different point of view, one that feels utterly authentic to the character. Events mean something different, and emphases and focuses are diffused or strengthened, creating a narrative that fleshes out what I have traditionally thought of as the master narrative. 

Readers who always need more Magicians in whatever form will love this. Those coming straight from the TV show may or may not; there will be a bit of polite confusion, and then ideally they'll settle in for this story, understanding that when a property jumps a medium, things change. But this is really a return to the beginning. To one of the people with whom it started, and her loneliness, her capability, and her snark. 

There's enough here to ground total newcomers to the Magicians universe, and they'll be drawn in, as will experienced fans, by the dreamy art, reminiscent a little of Charles Vess, which is completely fantastical. Even on a tablet showing only one page at a time, some of the spreads were literally breathtaking. This is a beautiful new chapter by Lev Grossman, Lilah Sturges, and Pius Bak and heralds what promises to be an amazing run of graphic novels. Just gorgeously done, all around.
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When I saw this on Netgalley, I just knew I had to request it. I haven't actually read the initial trilogy by Lev Grossman, however, I have seen the first season of the TV show. I absolutely loved it but I am yet to get up to date, but after reading this graphic novel, I really feel like watching it all right this second. 

This graphic novel follows the story of the first book in The Magicians trilogy, but following it from the point of the view from the beloved Alice Quinn. I will admit, I don't know how closely the novel follows the original story plot wise, so I won't comment on that. From the parts of the TV show that I have watched, Alice was one of my favourite characters from the beginning so I was intrigued to read about her point of view.

I absolutely loved this book. The illustrations were wonderful, and the colours within each panel was phenomenal. I can't speak highly enough of the illustrations that Bak provided for this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed the multiple panels on each page. 

The story line of this novel was paced wonderfully overall. I did feel like it was a bit slow in the beginning, but this was mainly to just set the scene of Alice venturing to Brakebills. However, once she gets into Brakebills, the story line and plot just goes up the next level. I absolutely loved the contrasting story lines that this novel entailed; at and during school, and then after graduation and entering the real world.

The only reason I gave this a 4 and not a 5 is purely because I want to leave room for potential (and hopeful improvement) once I finally read the initial trilogy and watch the TV show in full. I want to be able to compare this novel to the original story line and see if there are any small or major deviations from the original plot. I will also admit, I did expect Fillory to be a bit more magical and extravagant, but I think that's just how much I have built it up in my head, rather than what it may or may not be experienced as.

Thank you very much to BOOM! Studios for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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“One thing you learn about magic is that just when you think you know what it’s all about … it finds a way to surprise you.”

I’m a tad obsessed with Lev Grossman’s ‘The Magicians’. The only problem is that the best intentions in the world have so far only extended far enough to buying the trilogy, not actually reading it. It’s been on my ‘I must remedy this egregious error immediately’ list for too long already but at least I’ve binge watched the TV series so I haven’t missed out entirely.

This graphic novel is based on the first book in the trilogy and it’s told from the perspective of one of my favourite characters, Alice. I loved Alice’s arc in the TV series and hope to get to know her even better once I’ve read the trilogy.

If you’re a fan of the trilogy, the TV series or both, then I’m almost positive you’ll love this graphic novel. If this is your introduction to Brakebills and Fillory then it may pique your interest but you may not connect with some of the magicians, including Janet, Josh or Eliot, as their personalities don’t have much of a chance to shine in this format.

While I didn’t learn much about Alice or her magical friends that I didn’t already know I did love the glimpses into her childhood, particularly the brief interaction between her and her older brother, Charlie, before he left home to attend Brakebills. I would have liked the opportunity to get to know Charlie better though. I still love Alice, although in saying that, she’s socially awkward and nerdy, so I see myself in her a lot. Except for the whole magician thing. I wish!

I loved visiting Brakebills and learning how to become a magician vicariously through Alice and co., at least until I met the Beast. I did wait in vain for some information I learned about the Beast’s backstory from the TV series to be revealed in the graphic novel. I’m guessing when I read the trilogy I’ll find the information I thought was missing was a result of creative license for the TV series rather than anything actually being missing from the books.

I enjoyed getting to know Alice, Penny and Quentin all over again, although I missed Julia’s presence, who I fell in love with during the TV series but was MIA for the majority of the graphic novel.

Since we were all probably making comparisons anyway I really appreciated Alice’s observation of a difference between herself and those who attend Hogwarts. I love it when a series can poke fun at itself. 

Besides attending Brakebills, I also travelled to Fillory, which is the magical land that our magicians thought only existed in their favourite books. My Fillory equivalent would be suddenly learning that Eleanor West from Seanan McGuire’s imagination really does have a home for wayward children, one that I can attend while I wait for my doorway to reappear. Although I would definitely tag along with Alice to Fillory if I had the chance too. If ever there was a book series within a book series I need to read it’s ‘Fillory and Further’.

Alice was a great choice for telling the overall story of Brakebills and Fillory. Hers is a story of love, loss, determination, hard work and courage. She begins the story an outsider, wracked by social anxiety and anxiety in general, and then she grows throughout the story in ways that you have to read to believe. And believe I did. I love this character and I can’t get enough of this world Lev Grossman has created.

I’d happily sign up for any future ‘Magicians’ graphic novels (I’ve already read this one twice) but I would absolutely love to see a companion graphic novel showing Julia’s experiences; her path is so different to anyone else’s that we meet in this series.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios for granting my wish to read this graphic novel.

Content warnings include sexual content and violence.
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