Book Review: Batman Nightwalker
Book reviews

Batman: Nightwalker – Marie Lu

Release date: 2 January 2018
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4.5 starsBook 1: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons, #2) blurb:

Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City.
The city’s elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey.

Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
Bruce is about to become eighteen and inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Industries and all the tech gadgetry that he loves. But on the way home from his birthday party, he makes an impulsive choice and is sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most nefarious criminals.
Madeleine Wallace is a killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.
The most intriguing inmate in Arkham is Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. A girl who will only speak to Bruce. She’s the mystery he has to unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?

Oooooh! How is this my first Marie Lu book?! I loved it too much! Actually, I know the answer to that question – I’m terrified the hype isn’t real and then I’ll be sad. Except it is! It’s all real! It’s amazing and I love it!
In case you can’t tell, I’m finally making my way through the DC Icons series (Wonderwoman: Warbringer was first, and I’ve also finished Catwoman: Soulstealer – getting ready for Superman in April!), and I must say, these books are so well written, I kind of wish that they were the plots for new DC TV series or movies – because these books would kill! (With the exception of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, I loved both of their movies.)

In terms of plot, it’s pretty fast moving, or at least it felt that way because I read it quickly. Bruce does something idiotic heroic, but ultimately ends up having to do community service because we need to put him in a situation where he meets dangerous criminals for plot reasons. At Arkham Asylum, where Bruce is mopping floors and scrubbing toilets or something, he meets a young girl named Madeleine Wallace. Madeleine is an inmate at Arkham. She’s also stunningly beautiful enough to catch Bruce’s eye. And she’s a psychopath. YAAAAY!!

OK, so I hope you all know who Bruce Wayne is (if not, he’s Batman!!). (Shout out to HISHE for the below clip! If you don’t know what HISHE is, please go check it out now, they are HILARIOUS.)

Cut scene from a How It Should Have Ended youtube clip where Batman says "Because I'm Batman"

In the book Bruce is 17 (just turning 18), he lost his parents years ago, and he’s about to graduate high school. This is before he actually becomes Batman. It’s this weird middle ground time period, but it was interesting seeing him as a teenager. Lu really could have written him however she wanted as Bruce’s teen years are a mystery (to me anyway). Bruce is starting to show interest in the (un)justice system and technology. He definitely is showing early signs of developing a bat mobile!

However, Bruce schmuce. Madeleine is the reason that I love this book so much. She was so intriguing to me as a character because I wanted to understand her motivations for things, but also how her brain came up with stuff. (This is also probably why I love characters like Ronan Lynch and Andrew Minyard – Madeleine could very easily fall into my home for Lost and Broken Boys Who May be Psychopaths.) She is scary smart and has REASONS for things. I also love how strong (uncaring?) she was in the face of potential isolation from the world. Nothing seems to faze her!

I find the world building in the whole of the DC universe really interesting. And by interesting, I secretly mean confusing. They have fake cities, but they also use our world events and countries, and I just never understood why they didn’t just use our world. It’s entirely possible that because Marvel used our world, DC felt they should create their own cities, or maybe they needed something darker (Gotham) than anything that existed at that time. Regardless, the world building was fine as fine as any world building in the DC universe is. I mean, unless you’ve been living under a rock, raised by wolves, then you know about Gotham, Wayne Manor and Arkham, and high schools in general, so there’s not a huge amount of work to be done here.

As I mentioned above, I can’t believe this is my first Marie Lu novel (Gemina doesn’t count), and I am looking forward to reading more. I have the Warcross duology, and will be ordering The Young Elites soon. I really enjoyed the writing style, the fast pacing really suited the novel and the characters were lovingly written.
All in all, this is my favourite of the DC Icons books to date. Catwoman review will be in the next few weeks, and I’m looking forward to reading Superman in April.
Until next time, happy reading ??


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