Book Reviews

Review: The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp

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. Even though 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 require fixing to be considered whole.


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.


(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 Code.It is striking, in shades of blue and green. 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, graphic novels, and the DC universe.


The Oracle Code is a book that begins with suspense and ends with empowerment. The puzzle pieces in our mind that don’t click, simmering on the back burner. It’s also a story that reminds us the importance of human connection and friends. We don’t have to eliminate our fears, it’s not about being fearless. It’s about not letting them overwhelm us. Not everything is about the mystery and the chase and obsession can injure us. Find The Oracle Code on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite teen graphic novel?

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