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Batman: Nightwalker

Review

Batman: Nightwalker

Marie Lu, the bestselling author of the Legend and The Young Elites series, has returned to continue the DC Icons series with BATMAN: Nightwalker.

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. Bruce is a curious, reckless 18-year-old boy who finds himself in the way of a dangerous group, the Nightwalkers. Gotham City’s most elite and wealthy are being targeted, murdered in cold blood in their own homes. On the day of his 18th birthday, Bruce inherits his family’s fortune, as well as his family’s company, Wayne Industries and WayneTech --- and he is now next on their list.

After attempting to stop a criminal, Bruce is sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, a hospital and prison for the most dangerous criminals of Gotham City. There, he meets Madeleine Wallace, a young criminal mastermind who only seems to talk to Bruce. Is she divulging information the police need to Bruce, or luring him into her trap of giving her the knowledge she needs to terrorize Gotham City?

"I love how this book slowly shapes Bruce into becoming the Batman we all know today....Marie Lu’s writing style entranced me with incredible action and fighting as well as interesting dialogue."

This novel is an amazing addition to the DC universe, and the people behind DC Icons made a wonderful choice of asking Marie Lu to carry Batman’s backstory. I enjoyed the dynamic between Bruce Wayne and Madeleine and they each have distinct and well-shaped characteristics. The author uses dialogue between the two not only to move the plot, but also to create drama and tension.

It is a quick read, but one compacted with action, love and a theme of social hierarchy. Bruce holds a position of power, and he seems to have everything. Yet, in a well stated quote in the book “you have a heavy heart, for someone with everything.” The novel captures Bruce’s dark past as well as the struggle of those in poverty in a crime-ridden city. The line between villains and heroes has been blurred for Bruce when he meets Madeleine. I found myself wondering if not all crime in Gotham city was created through pure evil intent. 

I love how this book slowly shapes Bruce into becoming the Batman we all know today. It shows him in training, as well as his undying curiosity to uncover the mystery. However, there is one character, significant to the plot twist, who was not as developed as he should have been. Other than that, Marie Lu’s writing style entranced me with incredible action and fighting as well as interesting dialogue. 

The cast of secondary characters includes familiar characters such as Harvey Dent and Alfred Pennyworth and new characters, like Dianne Garcia and Richard Price. It is different than what I am used to in a backstory, especially for a character such as Batman, who is already very developed in the DC comics and films. However, I enjoyed the introduction to these new characters and their unique qualities. 

The ending was full of shock and suspense as well as hope for a sequel. Lu did an amazing job in writing the backstory to one of the biggest superheroes of the century.

Reviewed by Jeremy H., Teen Board Member on January 10, 2018

Batman: Nightwalker
by Marie Lu