My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I thought this was a fun quick read and very obviously an attempt to balance out the male-heavy comic book world (and with the main characters being so young we're not subjected to balloon breasts of doom and twizzler spines that so many of the heroines usually are drawn with).
Gotham Academy, unsurprisingly, is endowed by Bruce Wayne and I'm not sure if it's meant to be a school for super heroes though it doesn't seem like it. It's more like an elite boarding school complete with uniforms. Olive Silverlock and Mia "Maps" Mizoguchi are the main characters. Olive is slightly older and is to mentor Maps which is a bit awkward for her. Olive is in a bit of a depression after last summer (which we're not quite sure if she's unable or unwilling to remember it but it left her with an outright fear and hatred of bats, including Batman(which is explained by the end).
As for Maps, she's very enthusiastic about everything, especially a Dungeons and Dragon's like game to the point we're not even sure she's entirely in touch with reality. But that's not what makes it awkward to be her mentor. No, Maps is the younger sister of Kyle, Olive's boyfriend who she's trying to break up with mostly because of that summer and what happened with her mother (which is only hinted at until the end of the book but that's a spoiler so let's leave it there)
Maps wants to see the forbidden North Hall (to map it of course) and Olive is willing to take her there. In the meantime rumors of the ghost of Millie Jane Cobblepot haunting the dorms and the slightly stuck up Pomeline is trying to call her forth (she and Olive have been assigned a research project together as it turns out).
By the end most of them are working together with Heathcliff, Pomeline's boyfriend, Colton (the resident bad boy) and even Eric, the strange loner kid. In the mix is a strange new boy, Tristan who looks like he's here to be a love triangle point along with Olive and Kyle (though frankly Kyle's so bland it's not much of a competition). They're off to capture Millie Jane Cobblepot's ghost and if that's not actually real what is causing the disturbances?
It was a fun read and Olive and Maps are very likeable. I will say that this is definitely aimed at the tween girls because really only the female characters have any real definition to them and the boys are there as extensions of the girls, someone they can interact with. To distinguish them from one another Heathcliff has his music, Eric his art, Colton, his firecrackers and lock picking skills and Kyle plays tennis almost non-stop (he was seriously uninteresting in this so his character really needs punching up). Only Tristan has any real depth to him and just barely.
I'll be looking forward to seeing more. The art was very good in this, coloring too.
View all my reviews