The Books of Magic: Transformations
by John Ney Rieber, Peter Gross
(DC/Vertigo, 1998)

It's not your usual sort of tattoo.

But the colorful moth/scorpion motif inscribed on young Timothy Hunter's chest is only part of the story that develops in Transformations, the fourth book in John Ney Rieber's ongoing Books of Magic series.

Tim turns briefly into a cat. His father takes up jogging. Molly reveals her worst fears in bad company, then goes to see her granny in Northern Ireland, where she tries to make a wish and makes a chancy bargain with a fool. Daniel learns a new meaning of "puppy love." A young boy blows up and another steals the birthday cake. And Tim comes to the conclusion that his involvement in realms of magic and fantasy are a terrible threat to his family and friends, so he takes the one route he can think of to keep them all safe. Oh, and Death makes a seaside appearance and invites Tim out for pancakes.

The Books of Magic continues to be an absorbing story, and Tim's life is fast becoming a colorful, intricate tapestry of tales and a richly developed supporting cast. Rieber has an excellent handle on the series and keeps me coming back for more.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 6 December 2003

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