Readers' Favorite

March 10, 2020

The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp ~ a Review

by MK French

Barbara Gordon was left paralyzed after a gunshot wound and is recuperating in the Arkham Center for Independence. She is sure that odd noises and disappearing patients are pieces to a larger puzzle, and is determined to follow them rather than make friends with remaining patients. In spite of herself, they come to matter to her, and she won't sit back when they can no longer be found.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

March 2020; DC Comics; 978-1401290665
ebook, print (208 pages); YA comic
Babs was interested in hacking and computers and secrets. Following her injury, she was angry and dismissive; it's a common and natural reaction to traumatic events, and it doesn't help that everyone treats her as if she's fragile. Everyone assumes that she's simply overwrought because of difficulty adjusting to being paralyzed, and it certainly would be a reasonable assumption if this wasn't a comic book.

The art is easy to fall into, and it's great to see characters of various ethnic groups throughout the background in the panels. There are various ways to get injured or develop weaknesses and need physical rehabilitation. There is also therapy at this center, and comic fans are certainly going to make double-takes at the Arkham in the name of the center.

Babs is still paralyzed throughout the comic, as are a lot of the other children at the center, and the frustration she feels comes across clearly in the art as well as the text. There are ableist comments and behaviors on her part at first, as well as later on in the book. It is derided as the horrible comment that it is, devaluing the lives of the children that are seeking help to live the best lives they possibly can. Babs has to come to terms with her new future and how that would affect her prior interests, and she realizes the core of who she is: someone who cares about her friends, solves puzzles, and rights the wrongs of the worlds whenever she can. All life is precious and must be respected. Of all the possible lessons to take away from a comic book, that's a beautiful one.

Buy The Oracle Code at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband and three young children.

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  1. i haven't read many comics but i really enjoyed your great review and i love when i can take something away from a story.
    sherry @ fundinmental