Series: DC Icons #2
Published by Penguin Random House, Penguin Teen Australia on January 4, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure
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The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world's greatest super hero: BATMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu.
Returning home from his lavish eighteenth birthday party, Bruce Wayne stops a criminal's getaway - disobeying the police and crashing his car during the chase.
Sentenced to community service in Gotham City's Arkham Asylum, he encounters some of the the city's most dangerous and mentally disturbed criminals. Among these, Bruce meets the intriguing Madeleine who has ties to the Nightwalker gang that is terrorizing Gotham City.
She's a mystery Bruce has to unravel but can he trust her? The Nightwalkers target the rich, and Bruce's name is next on their list.
We’re so used to seeing Batman as an adult, fighting crime from behind the shadows of Gotham City. That’s why I was so excited to read Batman: Nightwalker, that follows Bruce Wayne as an 18 year old teenager.
As this is an origin story, we don’t see the caped crusader at all in this book, or his Batcave, Batmobile or gadgets. Instead, it follows a teenage Bruce Wayne before he becomes Batman who gets caught up in the mysterious Nightwalkers, criminals who are murdering and stealing from philantropists. Their only lead is the teenager Madeleine, an incredibly perceptive criminal who is responsible for several brutal murders.
The book adds just enough to the character to bring something new to the table – seeing Bruce interact with his best friends Harvey and Dianne, his first involvement in working with the GCPD in solving a crime, and his first exposure to Arkham Asylum as a volunteer. I’ve never found Batman to be terribly relatable, but surprisingly, teenage Bruce’s voice manages to connect us to his character – all he wants to do is to protect what’s important to him and to prevent others from the pain and grief he’s experienced.
As a massive Batman fan, what struck me most about Batman: Nightwalker is how true to character it is. Bruce Wayne is a philantropist, a survivor, a hero, one who has overcome the greatest tragedy by losing both of his parents to crime. Being surrounded by people with questionable motives, both in his corporate and personal life, we see Bruce develop the skills to read people, to question their underlying motives. We see his interest in technology and gadgets, his reliance on Alfred, his reckless sense of justice. And funnily enough, we also see his irresistable urge to save dangerous females – classic Batman.
The villain Madeleine was a mysterious and intriguing character whom I wanted to know more about. Bruce is instantly drawn to her, as someone who is young, beautiful, cunning but also appropriately vulnerable. As Bruce interacts with her more and more, our perceptions of her slowly change – from a dangerous criminal, to someone helping Bruce solve crimes, and finally, a morally grey character. I also loved how she’s an Asian character as well, who makes a brief mention towards unequal opportunities. Definitely a suitable villain for the Batman universe, and one that kicks off Bruce’s penchant for fighting crime.
The world would always have the liars and traitors and thieves, but there were still those who were good at heart.
While Batman: Nightwalker adds enough to the character to be interesting, the book is quite predictable as we know what’s going to happen to Bruce and his attraction to Madeleine. Watching him continually go back to her even though she’s bad news was like a storm waiting to happen.
Batman: Nightwalker adds enough to the character of Batman to make it new, while staying true to what we know about the character. With its morally grey characters with hidden motives, to Bruce’s reliance on technology and drive for justice, this is definitely a Batman story that’s worth reading.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Thanks to Penguin Random House for the review copy!
Batman Nightwalker is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$18.99.
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This sounds so good! I’ve never read a superhero book before and was worried that I wouldn’t like it. Now I’m glad to know that won’t be the case! Great review!
Jenn @ Bound to Writing recently posted…Brotherhood of the World Award
Ayyy, I’m glad you liked this one for the most part! I read Warbringer last year and liked it, and I love Lu’s books. I definitely need to read this one. Great review, Jeann!
Have a lovely day. =)
Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!) recently posted…Swoon Thursday (#263): Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia
yessss, I need to read her Young Elites series!
While I agree that it was a bit predictable, I thought it was a pretty good read, as well! I’ve never really been a fan of Batman and I knew absolutely nothing about him going into this book, but I thought it was pretty good. I loved the tension!
Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings recently posted…Blog Tour: Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce – Review and Giveaway!
Yeah, it was actually quite enjoyable and I’m glad that you enjoyed it without being a massive fan like myself!
glad you enjoyed it jeann! it sounds really good how you were able to connect with bruce and how he seemed to always fall for the dangerous girls xD can’t wait to read this one!
tasya @ the literary huntress recently posted…The Rise of Faes and Necromancer
Thanks Tasya, it was an enjoyable read!
Yay I’m glad you liked it!! I kind of was disappointed that it wasn’t more about Batman…like it should’ve been called Bruce Wayne: Nightwalker. But I do understand that this is the teenage version so, like, he isn’t up to there yet!! I do prefer the Dark Night trilogy where he’s more antihero and morally grey ahhaha *my Slytherin soul makes an appearance* But this one was still cute and I do love Batman.
LOL omg that is the perfect book title for it tbh! Yesss dark knight is definitely my favourite and the Arkham games omg.
Ooh haha, I didn’t know Madeleine is Asian! That makes me even more intrigued about her character. Did it feel like a good conclusion for this one? I honestly really don’t care about Batman but it’s so Marie Lu book so I’m here for it. 😀
Aila recently posted…Batman Nightwalker Review: An Origin Story Worth Reading
Yeah, I really enjoyed this one Aila even though there wasn’t that much Batman per se? I enjoyed it a lot more than Warcross I think!
Glad you enjoyed the read. I read a review that says there is more of Bruce and less of Batman and that kind of marred my interest in the book
Resh recently posted…15 Remarkable Books of 2017 that are Almost-Favourites
Thanks Resh! Yeah there wasn’t much Batman but I think Bruce is so ingrained in him that I still enjoyed it 🙂
Lovely review, Jeann! < 3 I am not too familiar with Batman's story overall, but I really enjoyed this one, getting to know the teenager behind this very popular character and seeing him grow, change and his relationship with Madeleine was so interesting as well 🙂
Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books recently posted…Review: Down and Across, Arvin Ahmadi
Thank you lovely, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it as well. They had a really interesting dynamic together and it was definitely interesting seeing him discover what meant a lot to him.
I have this one on audio to listen. Did you read the Wonder Woman story? This is a great review. Can’t eait to read it myself.
Yes I did! I liked this one a bit more though because I didn’t like the romance in WW.
I’m not a big fan of comics, but I have watched most of the Batman movies, so I think I know his character to a ccertain level. So glad this book stays true to the original, while also brining something new to the table. Very curious about the smart, young villain!
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Yes, I’m so glad when there are new characters that aid in bringing out more from beloved characters. It’s definitely one that I really enjoyed!
Ooh, great review! “…we also see his irresistible urge to save dangerous females – classic Batman.” LOL, I literally laughed at that. I’m super excited to read this! I read WARBRINGER not too long ago and really enjoyed it…so fingers crossed I’ll love this one, too (though I do have a soft spot for the Amazons. Basically I adore everything Greek mythology.) I also get super invested in morally gray characters… so I’m sure I’ll love that aspect, at the very least.
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LOL it’s so true though right. I hope you enjoy this one as well Kara, it was just a fun read to relax with!