Death After Death brings Tim home to London to find his place usurped by a changeling and his future step-brother Cyril crazier than ever. While he’s happy for his dad and Holly, Tim is still hurting after the climatic events of the last book. Meanwhile, there seems to be no rest for the young magician; on his way home, Tim finds himself caught up in yet another war. This time, Heaven is at war with itself; while the noble Araquel fights to protect Tim, less benign forces conspire to use Cyril against him. Rieber, Gross, and Temujin conceive a hilarious sequence in which Cyril, advised by some talking toys, is convinced he’s a saint. Some entertaining visuals and the return of the tough but sympathetic Circe are the redeeming features of Death After Death. The angelic war storyline is somewhat gruesome, with a resolution that may leave readers scratching their heads. Tim’s story does finally advance in the seventh volume, as he tries to renounce his magic in the hopes of protecting his loved ones from the chaos it seems to bring. Leah reappears in the final pages to teach him a lesson about his power, but the closing revelations are somewhat vague. Death After Death offers some hope that future volumes will see Tim actually learning what it means to have magic, but readers will be left without any clear idea of where the story is going next.
The Books of Magic, vol. 7: Death After Death
Written by John Ney Rieber
Art by Peter Gross, Jill Thompson, Temujin, and Richard Case
DC Comics/Vertigo, 2001