Cover image for The oracle code : a graphic novel
Title:
The oracle code : a graphic novel
ISBN:
9781401290665
Physical Description:
198 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Summary:
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.
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Summary

Summary

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp ( This Is Where It Ends ) and artist Manuel Preitano unveil a graphic novel that explores the dark corridors of Barbara Gordon's first mystery: herself.

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.


Author Notes

Marieke Nijkamp is the Young Adult writer of the New York Times bestseller of This is where it ends.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Shot while intervening in a robbery, Barbara Gordon loses both the use of her legs and her best friend, who stops talking to her after the incident. Enrolled in an in-patient rehabilitation program at the Arkham Center for Independence, Babs finds her anger and withdrawal lessening after she makes a group of new friends, who share stories of change and play card games and wheelchair basketball. When one, a girl named Jena, suddenly goes missing, Babs suspects foul play and immerses herself in investigating the unsettling mysteries of Arkham, utilizing her skills as a hacker and the help of allies inside and outside the center. This sharp-edged mystery nods to the Batman universe while centering Barbara, grounding her story, and granting her agency. Preitano excels at depicting emotion, particularly anger, through faces and body language to portray an intent young woman learning to move forward from trauma. Nijkamp repeatedly explores the idea that people with disabilities needn't be "fixed," along the way considering how stories can be used to reveal hard-to-communicate truths. Ages 13--up. (Mar.)■


Kirkus Review

Nijkamp (contributor: His Hideous Heart, 2019, etc.) reimagines the backstory of Oracle, computer genius and ally to Batman. When skilled hacker Barbara "Babs" Gordon and her best friend, Benjamin, attempt to intervene in a robbery, Babs is shot. Six weeks later, the newly paralyzed Babs reluctantly rolls into the Arkham Center for Independence, where teens with disabilities undergo physical and emotional rehabilitation. Despite her father's well-meaning advice, Babs resents being there. Even the mysterious cries within the mansion's walls can't lift the teen's despondence--until Jena, a burn survivor full of haunting tales, disappears. Aided by supportive patients Yeong and Issy, whom she gradually befriends, Babs must accept her new reality in order to find Jena and escape a sinister plot. The author sensitively portrays Babs' frustration and trauma and realistically addresses her challenges, such as mastering wheelchair ramps and negotiating stairs. Babs' increasing self-confidence is heartening, and the message that people with disabilities don't need to be "fixed" in order to thrive is empowering (albeit slightly heavy-handed). Balancing bright and dark colors, Preitano's (contributor: Puerto Rico Strong, 2018, etc.) illustrations vividly convey Babs' anger and determination, and a jigsaw-puzzle motif reflects Babs' quest to piece together her new identity as well as the institution's secret. Most characters present white. Yeong, who walks with forearm crutches, is cued through her name as Korean; Issy, who uses a wheelchair, presents black. A refreshingly disability-positive superhero origin story. (Graphic fantasy. 12-16) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Barbara Gordon is a teen hacker, puzzle-solver, and mystery-lover who spends evenings on Gotham City rooftops, coding away with her best friend. But after a gunshot paralyzes Barbara from the waist down, she--now using a wheelchair--is consigned to rehab at the Arkham Center for Independence. As she is divorced from friends and family, her fear and anguish compound themselves, and she angrily pushes back on everything she always believed herself to be. The huge, dark mansion of the institute has some huge, dark secrets, though, and cracking that code will require her to find strength in new friends and her old self. Nijkamp is freed from continuity here to create a complete and emotionally compelling journey for a character who needs to reclaim her life and identity, and overall, readers will find in Barbara a deeply human understanding. Preitano drenches the dark mansion in creepiness, particularly via several stylized story-within-a-story interludes, but keeps the personalities of the characters, their vulnerabilities and strength, front and center.