Book Review: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

BatmanNightwalkerBatman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on January 2, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Superheroes

Pages: 272 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

3/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

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.

After Leigh Bardugo’s brilliant first installment in the DC Icons series I was super excited to pick up Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. While I’m not big on Bruce Wayne I’ve always been a fan of the bat fam and the streets of Gotham are pretty familiar to me. While I was expecting a fresh take, this story ended up falling kind of flat and leaving me with plenty of mixed feelings.

Surprisingly I actually really loved this iteration of Bruce Wayne. He’s attractive and charming with such kindness in his soul. Sure he makes rash decisions and jumps into dangerous situations but Bruce has got a heart of gold. Madeleine though was the mystery. A super intelligent girl with questionable motives, she definitely keeps Bruce on his toes. And of course there’s Alfred who provided plenty of wisdom and sass.

Gotham itself stood out within these pages as Lu truly set the stage. Locales like Arkham Asylum are explored and characters with plenty of bat history like Harvey Dent and Lucius Fox make appearances. From shining buildings to decrepit streets, the vast differences in privilege and poverty are on display. While Gotham is constantly rehashed Lu definitely made this world her own.

The biggest fault of this book was the lack of story. It appears even Lu’s stellar writing couldn’t make something out of nothing. The origins of Batman are pretty dull and he doesn’t have superpowers so there wasn’t a lot to work with. I expected more action sequences, less talking, and a longer story, to be honest, so the narrative left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Overall Marie Lu’s Batman: Nightwalker was just alright. I enjoyed Bruce, Alfred, and even Madeleine as well as the setting of Gotham City and all its memorable denizens and sights. Unfortunately there was no spark to the story as Batman’s origin isn’t all too exciting to begin with. I was expecting more but if you’re a big fan of this vigilante I’d say give this book a shot.

Have you read Batman: Nightwalker? Which superhero would you like to have their own novelization?

Let me know in the comments below!


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