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The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp - Review

Sunday, September 10, 2023

I bought this for my friend Chloe for Christmas and then when she'd read it she lent it to me - I need to give it back to her actually, and not forget! I had bought this on a recommendation from my friend Lucinda, who clearly got it bang on here. Chloe and I are both interested in representations of disability in fiction and her interest is in graphic novels specifically, I would say. She writes a graphic novel herself about two young men who fall in love after meeting when one of them has suffered a spinal injury and become paralysed. So this was right up her street! I don't read a lot of graphic novels but when I do I do enjoy them. 

So, this is set in Gotham City and is a DC novel. I know literally nothing about Gotham City except that Batman lives there, but Lee assures me that Commissioner Gordon is a regular in that universe and so is his daughter Barbara. She is the main character of this book. She's wounded in a shooting and ends up having to use a wheelchair. She goes to a rehab centre which is in a huge mansion, where she has therapy, learns how to manoeuvre her wheelchair, and works out in the gym. She really does not want to be there, so she keeps to herself even though several people try to make friends with her. 

Barbara is a hacker, and has a friend who is also a hacker, but he hasn't really been in touch with her since the shooting. She misses him and she reaches out, and she also reaches out to her dad, because she's convinced that there are weird things going on in the mansion. Her dad doesn't believe her though. But there are people disappearing, aren't there? Even if the system says differently... 

Barbara does learn through the book about things she can't do any longer but also about things that she CAN do now (like play wheelchair basketball!). She comes a long way even in not many pages, and she works on a mystery too. I also really liked the artwork in the book - it's pretty dark and dingy with bright flashes of orange and purple. It felt kind of punk to me. 

I liked this, I'm giving it five out of five. 

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