I’m not really a graphic novel person, but when I was offered a copy of the graphic novel adaptation of The Amulet of Samarkand, a novel I much enjoyed when I read it a few years ago, I couldn’t resist! There isn’t a lot that can be said about a graphic novel that has been adapted, so I’ll keep this short and concise!
I don’t have much experience with graphic novel adaptations, but after reading The Amulet of Samarkand, it is evident that the graphic novel does not replace the novel in any way – in all honesty, I didn’t expect it to. While it is filled with beautiful drawings and vibrant colours, much of the subplot and explanation, as well as the character building is lost. I don’t think someone who hadn’t read the book would have benefited that much from reading the graphic novel. Even I, though admittedly having read the book numerous years ago, was left confused by one or two details (which reminded me that I really ought to re-read the trilogy!)
In short, I think the graphic novel is a great addition to the bookcase of someone who’s already a fan of the trilogy. To them, this graphic novel will be a great accompaniment to the series and I’m sure they’ll delight from seeing a visual representation of both Nathaniel and Bartimaeus. If you haven’t read the trilogy, I suggest you read that first, and come to the graphic novel as, hopefully, a fan!
Editor’s Note (Allera!): Most graphic novels are used in the classroom to entice anti-book students to start reading. Graphic novels are a great way to get them hooked on reading since it’s visually appealing, there’s not too much text, and can be simplified to take out the tedium. Graphic novels can also come in various formats, especially with classic literature that uses middle English. For example, Romeo & Juliet can have its original dialogue, be translated to modern English, or condensed to simple modern English. Like you said, the story loses its pizazz, but I’m pretty sure most graphic novels try to make up for it with the dramatic visuals. I actually love using these in the classroom since most boys in America hate reading.