Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu – REVIEW
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.
“Gotham City was broken in many ways, but it wasn’t beyond repair. He would find a way to fix it. It was the mantle he’d been handed.”
Thanks to the lovely Sarah at Penguin UK, I received an early copy of Batman: Nightwalker. I loved Leigh Bardugo’s take on Wonder Woman so was eager to see if Marie Lu would be as successful with Batman. Unfortunately, it added nothing new to the character and was a forgettable read. Batman has never been one of my favourite DC characters and I still found him quite unlikeable after reading this. As a privileged, white male Bruce Wayne is hard to connect with and comes across as simply entitled – of course, he would think he could do a better job than the police. It’s not even corruption within the police that makes him want to investigate, but the genuine belief that he is better equipped to deal with the threat of the Nightwalkers.
“You have a heavy heart, for someone with everything”
I do enjoy the setting of Batman’s world though. Gotham City and Arkham Asylum conjure up vivid images and are delightfully atmospheric. However, I definitely questioned how likely it would be that an eighteen-year-old man would be given community service at a high-security place like Arkham Asylum. It seems psychologically damaging to anyone, never mind someone so young and vulnerable. The developing relationship between Bruce and Madeleine was handled well, and it’s tense nature had the reader questioning who was in control.
“But Bruce knew the darkness hid him as well as it hid anything or anyone else. The darkness was an advantage.”
For me, the writing style was a bit too explanatory, which made the reading of it quite slow. It took me a while to get through the 250 pages as I actually kept falling asleep! Another nitpick I had was the constant, heavy-handed mention of bats. Once would have been quite sufficient. The storyline itself wasn’t substantial enough to hold my interest and it lacked the punch of Wonder Woman: Warbringer. Hopefully, Sarah J Maas will do a better job with Catwoman: Soulstealer.
A fun addition to the DC Icons series but rather forgettable.
UK Release Date: 04 January 2018
About the Author
Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist and art director. Now a full-time writer, she lives in Los Angeles, California, where she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic.