Review: Secret Coders: Potions and Parameters

Secret Coders: Potions & Parameters

Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes

Secret Coders #5

Publisher: First Second
Publication date: 27-Mar-2018
Date Finished: 27-Aug-2017
Format: eARC
Pages: 110
Genres: Juvenile, Educational, Graphic Novel, Programming
ISBN: 9781626726079
Source: Netgalley

Reading Challenges: Goodreads Reading Challenge


“From graphic novel superstar (and former computer programming teacher) Gene Luen Yang, Secret Coders: Potions & Parameters is the fifth volume in a wildly entertaining series that combines logic puzzles and basic coding instruction with a page-turning mystery plot!

Professor One-Zero won’t stop until the whole town—no, the whole world—embraces the “true happiness” found in his poisonous potion, Green Pop. And now that he has the Turtle of Light, he’s virtually unstoppable.

There’s one weapon that can defeat him: another Turtle of Light. Unfortunately, they can only be found in another dimension! To open a portal to this new world, Hopper, Eni, and Josh’s coding skills will be put to the test.”



I had high expectations for this book, as I have loved all of Gene Luen Yang’s past books (at least those I’ve read). Sadly, I was let down a little. Having never heard of this series before, I did not expect this to be the 5th book in the series and went into the story thinking it was a stand-alone. That being said, this novel does not work as a stand-alone book. The story picks up in the middle of a conflict making it hard for new readers to jump into the plot.

That being said, I enjoy the concept of this book. It is a very effective way to teach rudimentary programming skills. In this book alone, the reader learns how to code basic polygons that could be used to program a path for an object.

The book does have an interesting cast of characters, where the evil villain kind of reminds me of Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb, and the trio of main characters reminds me of the trio from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.

Overall this was a decent graphic novel, but not a series I will go back to in the future.

About the Author

“Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comics industry grant, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work as an adult. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan’s Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim) and The Rosary Comic BookAmerican Born Chinese received National Book Award.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his lovely wife and children and teaches at a Roman Catholic high school.”


I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.


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