Marieke Nijkamp: The Oracle Code

I hate this Barbara Gordon on page 19Oh Babs you re making it too easy to fashion a snarky or cutting line about how I didn t really enjoy your new YA themed raphic novel The Oracle Code It was sort of a shame too I repeatedly make mention in GR reviews that Black Canary Zatanna and Barbara Gordon aka the original Batgirl aka Oracle aka Joe the Cop on the What s Going Down episode of That s My Mama just kidding on that last one or am I are some of my very favorite DC characters especially when paired with a solid scribe like the outstanding Ms Gail Simone It s too bad that teenage Babs is ill served here by this thin and boring supernatural ish sleuthing storyline and its cardboard villains which ultimately had as much depth and was about as memorable as the average Scooby Doo cartoon While there were a few well written moments concerning Babs uneven emotional state with her adjustment to life in a wheelchair the remainder of this reimagining of her origin was dull A YA retelling of Barbara Gordon s origin as Oracle Barbara is hanging out with her friend Ben and suffers an accident or is shot The storytelling is very unclear on this point as she is shown falling off a rooftop but then it s referenced that she was shot later on in the story and is paralyzed from the waist down Arkham has been reimagined as a rehabilitation center where one Snowy River Man goes to learn to live with their new circumstances The majority of the book is Babs trying to process what she s went through and deal with her feelings The mystery angle of this book feels somewhat tacked on It siven little time until the end where it all just blossoms out of nowhereManuel Preitano s art is serviceable The colors are used to show who your eyes should focus on in a panel Only the characters of interest are in full color while everyone else is meant to fade into the background by splashing them all in the same color Received a review copy from DC and Edelweiss All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned Thank you DC Comics for the Night Moves (Harlequin Blaze gifted review copy in exchange for an honest reviewI ve read uite a few of the young adult releases from DC Comics and this one is definitely one of my favoritesThe plot was so different and definitely a mystery I too tried solving I loved following Barbara Gordon s journey and especially towards healing Loved that the author brought to us disability representation and proved that people with disabilities don t need to be fixed to be seen as whole To me this is one of the most important representations that definitely should be available in books and other media This book is from an own voice author so I m sure many will appreciate this book and see themselves represented in thisWe hadhost stories and mysteries to solve in this one as Barbara moves into Arkham Center of Independence after her injury I believe this book taught a lot of important things aside from what I already mentioned above The importance of our Les brumes d'avalon : roman get feeling and how most of the time that feeling is definitely to be trusted Weot to see Barbara Malakai (Wicked Games, go through her healing process and as she discovered what was most important about herself She also formed friendships as she adjusted to her new lifeThe story was wonderful in every way definitely felt a lot of different things reading this one And the art work was simply the best thing ever the artist is incredible The art style wasorgeous and the I loved the use of colors and how the artist mostly showed in each panel who we should focus onOverall I adored this raphic novel and i can t recommend this enough This is a young adult version of the Barbara Gordon mythos of Batgirl fame Although she is no longer paralyzed in the comic books there was a time that she was and she solved crimes from her wheelchair being a hackerIn this version she is a teenager and is partially paralyzed and has to solve the mystery of the rehabilitation hospital where she is recoveringA sort of Nancy I don t read raphic novels all that often but there are a few that I love and this one I DEVOURED It s about Ba. The #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp This Is Where It Ends and artist Manuel Preitano unveil a Celtic Fire (Rogue Angel, graphic novel that explores the dark corridors of Barbara Gordon's first mystery herselfAfter aunshot leaves her paralyzed Barbara Gordon enters the Arkham Center for Independence where Gotham's teens undergo physical and ment.

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Must read for anyone who likes creepy stories and strong heroines Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review35 stars i have a lot of conflicting feelings about this one on the one hand this was a cute little story it had an intriguing mystery and the art was The Family Plan good i think a lot of people especially preteens would find this enjoyable on the other hand something about this interpretation of Barbara felt off i had a hard time separating this from every other batgirl oracle comic i ve read out there i don t know how i feel about all the changes to her origin story though i do understand why some of them were done her relationship with her father bothered me on the whole this was ok i think i was just expecting something different and that s on me I have been increasingly interested in these YA DC Comics adaptations and when I saw The Oracle Code I knew I had to read it I am not as well versed in the DC universe but The Oracle Code is a compelling read either way I adored the disability representation and the overwhelming message that disabled people do not reuire fixing to be considered whole Disclaimer I received this book from the publisher This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest The Oracle Code is not only a story about that feeling in the pit of our stomach but also about Barbara s tendency to isolate herself Always focused on the mystery and the next challenge Barbara was injured in a police chase resulting in her use of a wheelchair and is now recovering in Arkham Center for Independence But as soon as Barbara arrives she knows everything isn t what it seems Barbara must not only deal with her PTSD from the accident but also the need to uncover the truth and adjust to her new life I was instantly struck by the color scheme for The Oracle CodeIt is striking in shades of blue andreen And I loved the drawing style from Manuel Preitano But I love The Oracle Code for its disability representation Not only does it feature ownvoices disability representation from Nijkamp but it deals with this harmful message that disabled people need fixing And The Oracle Code takes a strong stance against that message Their disabilities are not something that needs to be healed or fixed It is such a strong and fantastic message to have in YA books A Family Practice graphic novels and the DC universefull review I absolutely loved this book Even though it s targeted at young adults this book takes in such a NUANCED conversation around disability We watch Barbara transition from before and after her debilitation and watch as she struggles with her own self identity once she is a wheelchair user But the parts of her that make her Barbara Gordon never changed and the author makes that clear Through the support of other disabled kids she relearns who she is Meanwhile the mystery plot is actually what challenges the medical model of disability and pushes back against notions of cure It shows the horrors of institutionalization and just a small fraction of what the world does to disabled people especially those who have no community to support them It s beautifully animated and just such a wholesome cast of characters Yay for disabled people writing disabled narratives 1010 would read again and I have bc I bought it Badly written The truly insipid voiceover narration and awful dialogue make it a chore to read Then we reiven such a tired and overused plot our protagonist moves into a creepy boarding institution where she meets a A Doctor in Her Stocking (From Here to Maternity girl who speaks cryptically about disappearing children before disappearing herself Oh whatever shall we do Nancy DrewThis version of Barbara Gordon exists in a world where she is the daughter of James Gordon but seems to have never been Batgirl She s just a thrill seeking teen hacker whoets shot under circumstances that are not fully explained and finds herself undergoing mental and physical therapy in a wheelchair at the aforementioned creepy rehabilitation center This iteration has some of the trappings but is not really recognizable as the Babs I have known and love. Er trauma Fellow patients try to connect with Barbara but she pushes them away and she'd rather spend time with host stories than participate in her daily exercises Even Barbara's own judgment is in uestionIn The Oracle Code universal truths cannot be escaped and Barbara Gordon must battle the phantoms of her past before they swarm her futu.

Rbara Gordon when she was a teen and for context I ve literally never read any comics about her before apart from the DC Super Hero Girl MG raphic novels which present her as a very different character in very different circumstances However None of that For Better and Worse got in the way of me absolutely loving this book from the first few pages onwards and it worked perfectly as a standaloneIn this story she s been paralyzed from the waist down after being shot as a bystander to a violent crime She s always been an adventurous hacker who loves solving puzzles but now she feels frozen in every way and feels just as broken as she s told she is by far too many of the adults around her The story begins with her being sent by her father to a residential institution focused on kids recovery both physical and psychological in the wake of acuired disabilities She is furious at being stuck there She doesn t want to trust any of the other kids there who reach out in friendship and try to show her that her life hasn t ended just because of her newly acuired disabilityBut then sheets sucked in by a dangerous new puzzle because kids are Cassidys Kids (Maitland Maternity, going missing in the creepy halls of the buildingand it soing to take all of her hacking skills AND her new friendships to work out the mysteryI m just in awe of how many different things this Rescuing the Texans Heart graphic novel does so well It s an incredibly powerful cathartic and empowering story of airl adjusting to new disability and finding her own strength I cried at the absolutely perfect ending because it resonated for me SO much It s an incredibly creepy and effective mystery story And I assume it s also providing backstory for her later adventures in the adult DC Comics universeI absolutely loved it and would read infinite numbers of seuels to this Wrangled (Whitehorse, MT: Chisholm Cattle Co., grap Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestI hated Nijkamp s YA novel THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS so much that I had pretty much decided never again But I m a sucker forraphic novels especially novels about female characters who are in STEM and are strong and capable so I figured maybe it was worth Her Cowboy Hero (Refuge Ranch giving the author another chanceTHE ORACLE CODE blew all of my expectations out of the water It almost feels like a response to THE KILLING JOKE which also ended up with Barbara Gordon severely injured but in this book Barbara or Babs as she likes to be called is the heroine of her story and not a victimAfter a terrible accident puts her in a wheelchair Babs is sent to a rehabilitation center in Arkham where she meets three otherirls who end up becoming her friends of sorts Jana Yeong and Issy At first Babs pushes them all away as she is depressed and still coming to terms with the effects of her accident but as she Un hros pour Rayne (Delta Force Heroes t. 1) gets fit and learns how to navigate in her wheelchair tackling everything from stairs to sports she becomes confidentThat confidence is a must because she discovers something sinister about Arkham Jana tells sinister stories when she visits Babs s room at night And Babs finds out that people at the center have a history ofoing missing Are they Mine to Take (Nine Circles, getting better Or is it something darker and maliciousI loved the art in this book The illustrations are soft and rounded than the art typicallyeared for adults but it fits the story I also liked the contrast between the realistic portions and the way the tales that Jana told were illustrated which were much stylized and reminded me of Coraline I feel like those passages were a His L.A. Cinderella great way for the artist Manuel Preitano to show off his abilitiesThe story is also reallyood too Lots of diversity one of Babs s friends is Asian the other is black disability rep and of course a STEM heroine who s a teenage hacker I liked the mystery element and the messages about friendship confidence and belonging and how Babs A Groom for Greta (Amish Brides of Celery Fields, gradually stopped thinking about her disability as the end of her old life but as an obstacle that could be overcome with a bit of extra work or different approaches It felt like a very empowering book to me and it wasreat to see Barbara Gordon portrayed with such agency and competence after THE KILLING JOKEDefinitely Al 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 o missing; and Barbara begins to put together pieces of what she believes to be a larger puzzleBut is this suspicion simply a result of

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Marieke Nijkamp a storyteller dreamer globe trotter geekPlease note I don't respond to friend reuests or messages on GR but you're always welcome to tweet or email me