“After a gunshot leaves her
paralyzed, Barbara Gordon enters the Arkham Center for Independence, where
Gotham’s teens undergo physical and mental rehabilitation. Now using a
wheelchair, Barbara must adapt to a new normal, but she cannot shake the
feeling that something is dangerously amiss. Within these walls, strange sounds
escape at night; patients go missing; and Barbara begins to put together pieces
of what she believes to be a larger puzzle.
But is this suspicion simply a result of her trauma? Fellow patients try to connect with Barbara, but she pushes them away, and she’d rather spend time with ghost stories than participate in her daily exercises. Even Barbara’s own judgment is in question.
In The Oracle Code, universal truths cannot be escaped, and Barbara Gordon must battle the phantoms of her past before they swarm her future.” – Goodreads
I didn’t think I would get this one. This is my second ARC that I’ve ever read and I’m excited to share my opinion with you guys! I want to thank Netgalley, DC Entertainment, and of course Marieke Nimkamp for the opportunity to read and review this graphic novel ahead of time!
Frankly, I only started reading graphic novels to boost my Goodreads Reading Challenge count. *Add facial grimace here.* I know, it’s bad. I thought that if I were behind a few books, I could crank out a few graphic novels in a weekend and be back on track.
I had no idea that I would end up falling in love with them. I requested to read The Oracle Code because I am indeed behind on my Goodreads challenge, but it’s also by an author I love. Marieke Nijkamp wrote This is Where it Ends, which is an amazing book about a school shooting (highly recommend!).
When I saw this, I had to request it. I didn’t think I would get it, but I did! Once I received the file for it, I browsed through it. The description seemed interesting and the artwork by Manuel Preitano is incredible!
Plot. I honestly felt that the plot was a little predictable. We follow a girl who has suffered a gunshot wound and lost her ability to walk. She is admitted into a rehabilitation center and uncovers deep secrets about the facility. I don’t want to spoil what those secrets are, but they weren’t shocking. I called it from the second the plot started to thicken.
Characters. Despite the predictable plot, I loved Babs. She’s hard-headed, spunky, and persistent. I also love that she’s a hacker. She shows exponential character growth throughout the graphic novel, as well.
I cannot say the same for the other characters. They all seemed static and they fell flat for me. I wasn’t able to connect with any of them, except for maybe Jena.
Jena is referred to as the sleepwalker, since she has trouble sleeping at night. She wanders the halls to check on her twin brother before she can sleep. She meets Babs after a rough night and tells her stories to help Babs go back to sleep. I loved the stories Jena tells.
Setting. The setting is one of the reasons I love graphic novels. There is incredible opportunity to make the setting as descriptive as you’d like, without using words. The Oracle Code’s setting was no exception. The rehabilitation center was beautifully drawn and it sucked me into to the story.
Theme. The theme of The Oracle Code is to not let something you cannot control keep you down. Babs found her world turned upside down when she suffered that gunshot wound, confining her to a wheelchair. She suffered identity issues, but she found her path back to the hacking world and left us with a powerful message: it’s okay to feel lost, but you’ll find your way back.
Graphics. The artwork was beautiful throughout the novel. I especially loved the pages where Jena’s stories were being told. Each page was tailored to the story, making it seem magical and, frankly, creepy as hell. I also loved how puzzle pieces were embedded into the artwork throughout; it gives us an idea of what Bab’s sees of the world.
Reason for Rating
I rated The Oracle Code a 3/5 stars because I felt like the plot was lacking and many of the characters fell flat. I loved the artwork and a few of the characters. I enjoyed reading the graphic novel overall and devoured it within two hours. If you like stories about hackers and dark secrets, this book is definitely worth the read.
This is a great graphic novel to include in your classroom library. Since it’s a graphic novel, I feel that it will be popular among students. It has a great message at the end of the story and to younger audiences, the plot may be satisfactory. I can see The Oracle Code getting a reluctant reader to read.
The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp was published March 10th, 2020 by DC Comics. Even though Nijkamp is not a stranger to publishing young adult fiction, this is her first graphic novel. She wrote This is Where it Ends, Before I Let Go, and Even If We Break, as well as appear in many anthologies. Visit her website to learn more here.