I’m not all that familiar with the DC Universe, and I have to admit (although I’ll probably hear about it) – I’ve never read or watched anything Batman related. Yep, that’s right – I’m not at all familiar with Batman in any way whatsoever, so I kind of went into this book completely oblivious to anything I should expect.
That being said, Wonder Woman was a similar thing for me – I knew nothing about her, but when I read Wonder Woman: Warbringer a few months ago, it instantly became one of my all time favorite books ever. That’s when I decided that I’m totally on board for this series, because I had a feeling they were going to oh so much fun!
Along with not being familiar with Batman in even the slightest, I also haven’t read anything by Marie Lu. I have all of her books, by the way, I just haven’t read any of them until now – and wow, what talent she has for bringing her characters to life. This book was such a delight to read, and I think a good deal of it was based on the writing that Marie Lu brought to the story. Plus, the idea of Batman as a teenager is pretty intriguing all on its own, so I was really interested in reading it.
“‘The first rule of fooling someone,’ she said, ‘is to mix a few lies in with many truths.'”
Bruce Wayne has recently turned eighteen, and along with access to the trust funds set up by his parents, who were brutally murdered years before, he is also now in charge of his parents’ company, which focuses on new security and advanced technologies. Brought up by Alfred, his legal guardian, ever since the death of his parents, Bruce has gotten into a bit of trouble over the years, but has more or less managed to grow up pretty decently. In fact, he even continues in his mother’s footsteps by throwing charity events on his birthday instead of birthday parties. All in all? Bruce Wayne is a pretty good guy.
But that’s what gets him into a bit of trouble when he tries to stop a criminal that the police are chasing, crashing his completely custom Aston Martin into the car so that the police can capture the bad guy, who turns out to be a member of The Nightwalkers, a group of people who are bringing murder and theft into Gotham City. Bruce is given a community service assignment because of the big mess he caused – he is to work at Arkham Asylum, a prison that houses some pretty frightening criminals.
It’s also where he meets Madeleine Wallace.
Madeleine is a prisoner in Arkham Asylum who is under arrest for the murder of at least three people, and while she hasn’t talked to any of the police, guards, or detectives since she has been arrested and put there, she has no trouble talking to Bruce. She seems to know him right off the bat, even telling him she understands his feelings, which causes Bruce to start to find himself getting more and more involved with her. She tells him things that she doesn’t tell the police – things about the Nightwalkers, and of course, Bruce checks them out and finds them to be true, so he believes that she can be trusted.
“But what if the system just needed help? In every mystery he’d ever read the police always stayed one step behind the hero. What if taking things into his own hands was the only real way to fix everything?”
However, when Bruce is up on the hitlist for the Nightwalkers, and after Madeleine escapes, things take a turn for the unthinkable. When an incident at an important gala ends up becoming a life threatening event for many people, Bruce believes that only he can step up and help the police eliminate the threat.
This book was full of so much action and was quite fast paced, making it an enjoyable read that once you start, you can’t put down until you finish. The characters, the plot, the setting, everything about this book plays together to make for an exciting read.
I really loved the relationship between Bruce and Alfred – I thought it was sweet how much Alfred meant to Bruce. Since his parents had died and it had been the two of them for years, they had quickly become family. I also thought the relationship between Bruce and his best friends was a nice touch, as well. Bruce’s questionable budding friendship/relationship with Madeleine was a really complicated one, and it was so interesting watching it unfold.
Marie Lu’s fantastic writing style is, like I said earlier, one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much. The way she writes her characters is like something out of a dream – there is so much to love about them. Needless to say, I’m not going to be hesitating to go back and read all of her previous works.
This book is such a great read, and I think it’s a solid addition to the DC Icons series, which I can’t wait to see more of in the future.
Marie Lu is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy and The Young Elites trilogy. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California (see above: traffic), with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER, US Only.