Book Review: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

GENRE: 

Young Adult, Superhero

PAGES: 

272 pages

PART OF A SERIES?:

Part of the DC Icons Series

RELEASE DATE: 

January 2nd, 2018

YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT:

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Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

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Author Website

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

MY REVIEW:

I think I’d mentioned when I read and reviewed Leigh Bardugo’s Warbringer that one, I’m not a huge DC fan and two, I tend to avoid extended universe books but I don’t think they tend to be very good books. But as was with the case of Warbringer, I had to read Nightwalker, as I’ve been a huge Marie fan since first reading Legend back in 2013 and who doesn’t love a good Batman story…especially teen Batman?

What I love almost immediately about this book is that this isn’t Batman. We don’t get Batman for many more years. This is Bruce Wayne the teenager, orphaned, immensely rich and privileged, a path laid before him in running Wayne Enterprises but wanting something more than that. I think we see that in the very beginning when he uses his brand new Aston Martin to stop a criminal from escaping. It gives way to the building blocks that will take Bruce Wayne the teenager to Bruce Wayne the masked vigilante.

The story is so so good. Most Batman stories that I know, movies and cartoons, makes Bruce sort of dark and mysterious and held down by his parents death. We don’t know Bruce, we don’t get to know who he is and we get so much of that in this book. I love seeing the relationship he has with Alfred and Lucius and with his friends, Harvey Dent (loved it!) and Dianne Garcia (fantastic original character). I loved to see that, yes, he was privileged and a little spoiled but he also was a genuine person, loyal to those he cares for, and determined to do the best he can to uphold what his parents believed in. I even liked watching him struggle to have relationships with those who would use him for what he can offer. Marie made him a complex and genuine person and it’s the first time I’ve felt an actual connection with Batman or Bruce Wayne.

I also loved Madeleine. She’s an incredibly antagonist. She’s complicated and incredibly hard to figure out. She’s done these terrible things but she doesn’t seem to get sadistic joy out of it. There’s more to her than what is on the surface. It’s what draws the reader in, it’s what draws Bruce in. I love a good female villain and we don’t get them often and Marie rocked at giving me one. I especially loved that when we do learn more, when we do get the twist, it’s definitely not what I had expected in the slightest.

I 100% recommend this book, either as a Batman fan or not. I think it’s a well done prequel to the Batman that we are going to know in the future, whatever incarnation is your favorite, and it’s also just a good thrilling novel, with some seriously fantastic character studies. Must must read!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

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