*I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Title: Batman: Nightwalker
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
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.
Review: First off, let me just say that teenage Bruce Wayne is one of the best things to happen to the YA genre. I wanted to crawl into my own bat cave and not come out until I was finished every last page. He’s witty, sarcastic, and breaks all the rules no matter the cost. Marie Lu makes the character so much more accessible and relevant than a brooding adult Bruce Wayne. It’s easier to get inside his head and see how our favourite caped crusader ticks.
Bruce’s attempts to find his own justice quickly land him in Arkham Asylum where all the worst criminals end up. There he meets Madeleine Wallace: a masterful criminal with supposed ties to an infamous crime group called the Nightwalkers. I really loved her character because she was highly unpredictable and super cryptic; I couldn’t decide if I wanted to hug her or smack her. I just wish we got more of her because she was such an intriguing character! Both Arkham and Madeleine test Bruce’s morality and boundaries, and his search for the truth leads to unexpected places.
This book had everything I wanted from classic Batman characters to even a bunch of carefully placed Easter eggs to find if you’re clever enough to look for them. Alfred was honestly one of my favourite characters because I kept reading his dialogue in a British accent and his sarcasm and bluntness made me laugh. I was so happy with how this turned out, but I kind of wished there was more of a danger factor or more action scenes.
This YA Bruce Wayne really contrasts with the Dark Knight we have come to know and I really want to see where it all goes from here! While it was predictable at times, it still had a super satisfying ending. This was my first Marie Lu book and I can definitely say that I’ll be reading more of her books in the future. If you love books with mystery, murder, twists, and teenage billionaires trying to play hero then this is definitely one to watch out for!