Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
Published by: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Superheroes
Page Count: 272
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.
The city’s elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, 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 brilliant 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 is the mystery he must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?
In this second DC Icons book–following Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer–Bruce Wayne is proof that you don’t need superpowers to be a superhero, but can he survive this game of tense intrigue, pulse-pounding action, and masterful deception?
You have a heavy heart, for someone with everything.
Mystery and intrigue? Indeed. Foreshadowing? Mhm. Thrilling suspense that keeps you guessing? Absolutely. Just the right amount of sexual tension? Hell, yes. Did you say Batman? Now you’ve got my attention. I knew I had to read this YA once I heard Marie Lu was writing a Batman origins story.
After being sentenced with community service for interfering with an investigation, Bruce Wayne finds himself an intriguing proposition: help the GCPD learn more of Arkham’s newest killer, Madeleine, a member of the Nightwalkers, who are terrorizing the city’s high society. But she’s the enigma Bruce can’t quite solve. And he’s the only person she’ll talk to. But will he uncover the truth in time to save not only the Gotham elites but also himself?
Marie’s interpretation of this well-told tale of Batman will satisfy dedicated DC fans. And Marie won’t disappoint by introducing twists and surprises that will surely entertain YA lovers. She captures the essence of Batman and Gotham, from the gritty streets to the shadows lingering among and within the people. She reminds me why I love this character and the city.
Batman: Nightwalker is purely a character-driven novel. But the author injects the proper dose of fast-paced action that fans of the Caped Crusader expect and demand. No, any author won’t get every rendition right. It’s the writer’s personal image of the character. However, she does both Batman and Gotham City justice. Marie kept me questioning the motive of every character, and I had to stay on my toes to keep up with the story. But I love getting that feeling from stories though.
Darkness speaks to darkness. Bruce feels a pull toward Madeleine. She’s walked through the dark, and she’s changed into something else, just like him. I feel that she’s a worthy opponent for this bat boy turning into Gotham’s Dark Knight. If a character stumps me, then you’ve created a captivating one. Bruce lives in the shadow of his parent’s deaths. But he also sees how his parents shielded him from the backstreets of this dangerous city. That threat always existed, but now he’s willing to see it.
Nightwalker doesn’t suffer from a lack of world building, which Marie easily creates in this short novel. I was worried she might not accomplish that. But some of the pacing seems too slow for me. Yes, she builds up suspense but doesn’t give long action scenes to make up for that issue. And I first thought the Nightwalkers are your run-of-the-mill, predictable adversary with a dark Robin Hood-esque motive. But Marie changes it up and throws in ample surprises that made me love the story more.
Batman: Nightwalker is a solid supehero read. It keeps just enough suspense to keep this Batman nerd pleased. Marie’s writing keeps you engaged, and the storyline and characters capture you. If you’re a fan of Bruce, you might want to add this addition to your collection.
Fear clears the mind. Panic clouds it.