cover image The Curie Society

The Curie Society

Heather Einhorn, et al. MIT, $18.95 trade paper (168p) ISBN 978-0-262-53994-4

Readers eager for greater representation of women in the sciences will cheer to this empowering if squeaky-clean spy adventure. Taj, Simone, and Maya, three freshmen with distinct scientific specialties, get tapped to join the Curie Society at Edmond University. But first they must overcome their differences long enough to work together and identify whoever stole the society’s research. The heroines, while diverse—Maya even gets a queer love story—form a familiar trio: Simone is the adorkable life scientist; Taj, the edgy tech connoisseur; and Maya, the sophisticated but uptight mathematician. Their narrative arcs are similarly uncomplicated: Maya learns to be a leader by working with a team, not outshining them; Simone must deal with panic attacks; and Taj mostly acts as a foil. The infusion of science, such as the society’s research into de-extinction and a brief explanation of the team’s ionic plane, is aided by a beginner-friendly scientific glossary and readable scientific graphics. Art by Sonia Liao (A Thief Among the Trees), meanwhile, is bright and accessible. Though chock-full of girl power, this mission is reminiscent enough of classics like Totally Spies to feel formulaic for adult fans—but could prove motivational for teens. (Apr.)