Batman: Nightwalker. Marie Lu. Young adult/Comics. 2018. 250 pages. 4 stars.
If he were just Bruce Wayne, the boy next door, would anyone care?
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy to participate in a blog tour.
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.
Thanks to JM @ Book Freak Revelations and the wonderful Penguin Random House, I was able to read Batman: Nightwalker months before its release date! Just like Wonder Woman: Warbringer, Batman: Nightwalker is an alternate origin story of Bruce Wayne and we read about his life as he comes of age, inherits billions and WayneTech, and fall in love with someone who may only be using him.
Marie Lu is a masterful writer especially when it comes to urban fantasy. With similar dark themes as her Legend series, I was not surprised at how sublime the world building was for Batman: Nightwalker.
With this, I am going to explain why I only gave it 4 out of 5 stars, with a mix of personal biases and objective critique.
- I am not a fan of urban fantasy. I tend to prefer high fantasy that’s away from an urban setting because urban fantasies are typically dark–the kind of dark that I do not like.
- I am not a fan of Batman. I never bothered to watch any of the movies (don’t hate me!) I grew up as a Marvel fan.
- However, this book did surprise me along with Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo so I’m liking how these novels are changing the way I see DC.
- I loved the Filipino representation in this book. I was borderline squealing when I learned that Dianne–one of Bruce’s best friends–is Filipino! Below are the few lines that really made me feel happy seeing that a Filipino has made an appearance in YA!
- The overusing of words. Maaaan, the word “illuminate/d” is overused in all kinds of literature, and I’m disappointed to see that Marie Lu is a victim of this. She used the word “illuminate/d” more times than I can count in this book to the point that I got annoyed whenever it was mentioned and slightly negatively affected my reading experience.
- The novel is only 250 pages. I don’t know whether to see this as a good or bad thing. On the one hand, it’s amazing how Marie Lu was able to create an intricate story with only 250 pages and knew that it was sufficient. On the other hand, it almost feels like the story of Bruce Wayne felt unimportant because normally, novels would be within the 350-500 page range. Again, maybe I’m overthinking it, this is just an observation.
This book is perfect especially to those who love stories that feature asylums, as most of the story revolves around Bruce’s interaction with one of its inmates.
Overall, I was satisfied with my reading experience of Batman: Nightwalker and am super excited for the upcoming books in this series. Once again, I’d like to thank JM and Penguin Random House for choosing me as a part of this blog tour. I hope to participate in many more!