By: Marie Lu
Book #2 (standalone) in DC Icons Series
Content Warnings: Violence, blood, PTSD, mention of abuse, mention of alcoholism, mention of suicide, language
Joining the online world of readers has brought so many amazing books to my attention. My latest read, however, was influenced by my son! He’s currently into Batman, so I checked out Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu from the local library. I’ve yet to read anything else featuring the hero and was pleasantly surprised by this book!
The book kicks off when young Bruce Wayne interferes in a police chase and ends up doing community service in Arkham Asylum as punishment for his reckless behavior. You could say sending someone to work at one of Gotham City’s most notorious facilities is a bit much, but it definitely makes for an interesting story. Although Bruce managed to stop the baddie, his own life takes some incredibly sharp turns nearly throwing him off balance.
Bruce mops the floors of Arkham Asylum when he’s not at school or doing work for his company. Yet at this point in his life, not even the hero-in-making can clean up the inmates’ act. All he can do is ignore their jeers and catcalls and hope to finish his work unharmed. He still manages to entangle himself in trouble though. Bruce volunteers to help investigate a series of murders when an inmate named Madeleine starts talking to him after resisting her interrogators for months. She’s part of the Nightwalkers, a group that’s taking out the wealthy one by one and using their funds for their own devices.
The bulk of the book is dialogue between Bruce and Madeleine. There’s surprisingly not a whole lot of action, but there’s plenty of mind games and tension that had me questioning Madeleine’s motives while anticipating the Nightwalkers’ next move. There’s also some interesting discussion about corruption and the disparity between classes.
Bruce may be quick on his feet, but Madeleine is highly perceptive to the point that it’s unnerving. As the two feel each other out and keep their walls up it begs the question: who’s actually getting information from whom? The tension finally erupts in the last third of the novel with plenty of close-calls and well-timed punches that will keep you on your toes. This was easily my favorite part of the novel and I enjoyed the plot twist at the end.
I could have done without the romance between Bruce and Madeleine though. Sometimes novels force relationships between two main characters, and this one is no exception, in my opinion. I liked how Lu gave Bruce some solid friendships to keep him grounded, however. The banter between Bruce and his guardian, Alfred Pennyworth, was awesome as well. Alfred deserves his own book!
Overall, this is a pretty solid story. It’s nothing spectacular, but still a good choice if you’re looking for a relatively short and fun read.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must don a mask and head towards the kitchen. The trash isn’t going to take itself out, you know. 🦸💪
More Musings & Magic
Has anyone read any of the books from the DC Icons series? If yes, what did you think of the authors’ portrayal of the characters?
Please keep the magic alive and share your comments below!