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‘Black Canary: Breaking Silence’ – Book Review

The next book in the DC Icons series features a story about Dinah Lance a.k.a. as everyone’s favourite hero with a killer voice, Black Canary. In this new take on Black Canary’s origin story, Alexandra Monir gifts readers with a novel that’s just as thrilling as it is insightful.

At the age of eight, Dinah Lance heard the impossible – the sound of a girl singing. This was something she believed to be impossible since Gotham is taken over by the patriarchal Court of Owls. The malevolent group rules the city with an iron fist. It is a misogynist dictatorship which has stripped Gotham’s women of everything. No longer can the women write, learn, work, and even music is forbidden. As much as they want freedom, it it something that is a distant and likely useless wish.

Now 17, Dinah is settling into her own and her voice. However, embracing her voice through the gift of song is something that would be a death sentence. Trying to deal with her father’s overprotectiveness and a budding romance between a new student by the name of Oliver Queen, Dinah is still doing her best to find a way to help girls and women rise up. Dinah realizes that her voice is her most potent weapon and knows she must use it in an attempt to take down the Court of Owls. But will her song and canary cry be enough? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

Cover art - Black Canary: Breaking Silence
Black Canary: Breaking Silence (Cover art by Jen Bartel | Courtesy of Penguin Random House)

Black Canary: Breaking Silence is a great addition to the DC Icons series. Monir brings in a new take on Black Canary’s origin that is enjoyable and compelling. Monir’s take on Dinah Lance was something I loved to read. While the Dinah that many love from the comic books is still very present, you can see where Monir’s influence comes in. All of it blends together perfectly to paint a new story for the heroine with the canary cry. I enjoyed the world that Monir created for Gotham; a different Gotham than I’ve read in past books or comics. It was devoid of superheroes – even Gotham’s most famous caped crusader, Batman. The book provided a fresh new take on Gotham, and the fact that the city was run by the Court of Owls added an extra layer of darkness to it all.

Watching Dinah navigate the patriarchy that is Gotham City and the world-building surrounding it was one of the standout parts of the book for me. Coupled with some great supporting characters including Oliver Queen and Barbara Gordon, I found that Black Canary: Breaking Silence was truly a page-turner. From the very beginning, I felt invested in all the characters that were introduced and was glad that Breaking Silence continued the same on the same path of great world-building and characters like the other novels in the DC Icons series. The book truly shines in its character development for Dinah and I enjoyed the growth that the soon-to-be-heroine goes through throughout the novel. Monir does an amazing job of coupling what we love about the comic book adaptation of Dinah with this new one we get to see in Black Canary: Breaking Silence.

With a new intriguing backstory, Black Canary: Breaking Silence is a must-read for any fans of Dinah Lance and the lore surrounding one of DC’s most iconic characters. It is also a great read for those who are fans of superheroes in general and a great book to dive into if you’re looking to learn about Black Canary by exploring alternative origin stories.

Black Canary: Breaking Silence is now available where books are sold!

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