Title: Batman: Nightwalker
Author: Marie Lu
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: DC Icons, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
‘The darkness was his ally. Not his enemy.’
The DC Icons series is one that I’ve been looking forward to since its conception; I loved Leigh Bardugo’s take on a young Diana Prince, and since I was eagerly looking forward to the next book—about a baby Bruce Wayne—I put it on hold at my library as soon as I had an opening. Plus, one of my favorite authors penned it—I love almost every bit of Marie Lu’s work! It’s been sitting in my library stack for a while, beckoning me with its gorgeous, mysterious cover. As soon as I was finished with Thunderhead, I realized that I couldn’t renew it any more, and that clinched it. I snapped it up and read it in two and a half days; I’m so excited for the next two books in the series!
Young Bruce Wayne has just turned eighteen and is on the cusp of graduating high school; he is also very close to taking the helm of his late parents’ company, WayneTech. Haunted by his parents’ deaths even after all of these years, the boy wants to use his considerable fortune and even greater number of smarts to change the world. When he discovers that a mysterious crime organization called the Nightwalkers is slaughtering Gotham City’s rich and famous, he finds that at the middle of it all is a young woman named Madeleine. Locked up in Arkham Asylum for her crimes, Bruce cannot help but be drawn to the mysterious girl, even as the odds stack up against them both. When he realizes that he’s next on the assassins’ hitlist, he decides to take matters in his own hands, even if it means dancing closer to the razor’s edge of danger…
This book—it was amazing. I love superheroes, especially classic ones, and Batman is hands down my favorite, as far as the DC camp goes. So when I heard that Marie Lu was writing a novel about a teenage Bruce Wayne before he becomes the Batman, I was so excited and stoked. Admittedly, this book wasn’t perfect, but nonetheless, it was very enjoyable. It was fun to imagine one of the world’s greatest heroes as a young man; I won’t lie, I was fangirling a lot. And the romantic parts; I couldn’t stop fanning myself!
The pacing was breakneck; I was immediately entranced by the Gotham City that Lu created, shiny and pure but with a dark, forbidding underbelly, a lot like the original. I also really loved the way that Lu dropped several DC Easter eggs—I won’t reveal them for those who haven’t read the book yet! Even more than these things, I loved the characterization of Bruce Wayne: highly honorable, strongly moral, and ultimately, empathetic; Lu really humanized the boy who will become The Dark Knight. It really sold the book for me. I was deeply intrigued about The Nightwalkers and their organization; I liked the way that Lu made them try to look for the gray in the midst of the black and white Gotham they lived in. Madeleine, too, was a fascinating character in and of herself; I was as drawn to her as Bruce was, curious about her past and her current motivations. And the chemistry between the two of them! Ugh, I was dying! And the ending—oh my gosh, I was straight up ugly crying and it was not at all pretty. The only thing is, I was really confused at times over Bruce’s reasoning, and Madeleine’s logic didn’t make any sense to me; it made the whole relationship confusing. Nonetheless, this book was a strong entry in the DC Icons series, and I can’t wait for Catwoman and Superman’s turn in the spotlight! A near knockout from one of my favorite authors! The bottom line: A fantastic new take on a young Dark Knight, I loved Nightwalker, despite some flaws; I can’t wait for the next two books in the DC Icons series! Next on deck: Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis!