Review: Catwoman: Soulstealer - Sarah J. Maas

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas
Series: DC Icons #3
My rating: {★★★★☆}

YA Fantasy
Published August 9th 2018 by Penguin

Source: Purchased
The highly anticipated coming-of-age story of kick-ass super hero: CATWOMAN by international bestselling author Sarah J. Maas.

When the Bat's away, the Cat will play. It's time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .

Two years after escaping Gotham City's slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing's undoing.

In this third DC Icons book--following Leigh Bardugo's Wonder Woman: Warbringer and Marie Lu's Batman: Nightwalker--Selina is playing a desperate game of cat and mouse, forming unexpected friendships and entangling herself with Batwing by night and her devilishly handsome neighbor Luke Fox by day. But with a dangerous threat from the past on her tail, will she be able to pull off the heist that's closest to her heart?
I buddy read this book with my #squad - Amy from A Magical World of Words and Uma from Books.Bags.Burgers. We had a lot of fun with this one and it inspired a lot of deep conversation however I'm still trying not to take it personally that my squad doesn't love SJM like I do!

“There are good people in Gotham. Protect them.”

Anyone who knows me, even a little bit, knows that I love SJ Maas, so to say that I was looking forward to Catwoman is an understatement. Thankfully I enjoyed this one a lot and found it a lot of fun - I loved the dynamics and I loved a little hell raising and the same girl power emphasis I've come to love (even expect!) from Maas.

Something that Maas manages to do so well and something that resonates so deeply with me is her genuinely imperfect characters; the ones who have been broken down and hurt so badly in their pasts and yet they are still so full of good, still dreamers, still willing to fight for a better world. They are fierce and loyal and will stop at nothing to protect those that they love.

Selina, while diverting a little from the normal comic book cannon, is just one such character, driven by her love for her sister and being far less of a sassy, witty character than we normally see portraying Catwoman and even for Maas. I really enjoyed the fact that this version of Catwoman was a little more sensitive and had a lot of complex emotions. While others might find it too calm and quiet, I thought that she was a better character for it and that she didn't need the posturing and the swagger when she had her calm confidence and intelligence.

Luke was the other POV character and I have to admit that I wasn't a huge fan of Luke. I can understand that there was a great rep with him being both a POC and having PTSD but I didn't feel like his character 'popped' enough for me. He just wasn't as well fleshed out as the women in the story.

“Being normal is a trap . . . Don’t let it cage you.”

Some of my favourite scenes came from the addition of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. I loved the fun, the diversity and the banter between the team but what I really appreciated was getting to know Ivy's and Harley's backstories in this version of their story. They were fleshed out well each character was distinct and individual.

Even though this was Selina's story, I also enjoyed that there was a still a mystery and some things were only revealed in the climax. Information is distributed to the reader through flashbacks to her training with the League of Assassin's (scenes that I LOVED!) and sometimes through the actions of Selina herself. I loved that Maas has such confidence in her readers that she doesn't feel the need to force things and that she let's the reader piece together the mystery until the very end.

PLUS! I have to tell you - I counted. Selina/Catwoman herself only purred a total of four times the entire book. So fear no more! Go forth and enjoy this fun, and frankly refreshing take on a well known character.


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