Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 334
Exciting story of the Black Canary in a Gotham ruled by the Court of Owls
Overall rating
Writing Style
Years ago, the Court of Owls overtook Gotham City, ending the reign of superheroes and creating a new Gotham built on patriarchy. Teen Dinah Lance yearns to do and be more than the limited options the Court has given women. More than anything, she wants to hear a woman sing, something that the Court took from women and girls with a gas. As Dinah starts to rebel more and more, she discovers something incredible: she can sing and so could her mother before she died. It turns out her voice is powerful is more than one way. Together with her father, her mother's old friends, and maybe the mysterious new guy at school, Oliver Queen, she will use her voice to break down the walls the Court has placed around her and all the women in Gotham.

Something I love about the superhero world is how many different stories and scenarios you can create. Alexandra Monir imagines Gotham as it might be if the Court of Owls succeeded in overthrowing the superheroes. You needn't have read other DC Gotham-set comics to understand how terrifying the Court and their assassins (known as 'Talons") are. In the beginning of the book, Dinah encounters a Talon and barely manages to get away. This book does a fantastic job laying out just how high the stakes are as Dinah rebels more and more.

The Black Canary is one of my favorite superheroes, and BREAKING SILENCE shows how powerful her voice is. More than just driving people to their knees, her voice can also break metal and create a sonic pulse where she can hear things from far away. It takes time for Dinah to understand how to activate her powers and use her voice as a weapon in both a literal and metaphorical way. Oracle and Lady Shiva make appearances as well, and they are instrumental in helping Dinah find her way. The three have a distinct dynamic as they reform a team Oracle and Lady Shiva worried died with Dinah's mom.

While I love Dinah's character and the intensity of the battle she faces, the plot felt a little too predictable for me. I was more motivated to keep reading to spend time with the characters than eager to turn the page to see what twist would unfold. However, this was just my perspective, and I can easy see others being hooked on the plot instead of just the characterization.

BLACK CANARY: BREAKING SILENCE has a unique superhero origin story with an important message of finding and using your voice that is sure to delight both readers familiar with the Black Canary and those just meeting her.
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