By Dustin Cabeal
After really enjoying the first volume of Secret Coders, I found that my enjoyment for the second volume wasn’t nearly as high. I kept reading though because the cliffhangers are interesting and add to the story rather than just being a cheap gimmick to entice you back.
There’s a lot of questions answered in this volume which was enjoyable, but it ends up feeling as if we’re not being told a big chunk of the story still. While that wouldn’t usually bother me, here, it feels as if the story is being stretched out. Professor Bee has been kidnapped, and our trio needs to rescue him. Something happens in the scuffle and Hopper catches a glimpse of something she was never supposed to see. Eventually, the real villain of the story is fleshed out, but the story leaves on another cliffhanger/problem for the reader to figure out.
While I praised the learning aspect of Secret Coders in my review of the first volume, it’s become a bit longwinded in later volumes. It’s not terrible, but it breaks the flow of the story. Not that a little kid is going to mind, which is the next issue I have with Secret Coders. It no longer feels as if adults are being included, but that the focus has shifted to just kids. Which is a shame because at times it feels written down to the kids rather than lifting them up.
The artwork is consistent and enjoyable. It’s simple, but the style conveys a lot, be it the tone or the sense of adventure. The art is the perfect fit for the story, and it makes it hard to imagine it working without Mike Homes’ talents.
While I would wholeheartedly recommend this series to young readers, it’s difficult to also extend that same recommendation to adults. Perhaps if you find coding super fascinating, then you’ll likely love the book, but if you only have a moderate interest in it, then the same will be true for Secret Coders.
Secret Coders: Secrets & Sequences
Creators: Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes
Publisher: First Second Books