Review: Batman: Nightwalker - Marie Lu

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
Series: DC Icons #2
My rating: {★★★☆☆}

YA Fantasy
Published January 2nd 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Source: Purchased
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.
I read Batman: Nightwalker with my squad ladies - Amy from A Magical World of Words and Uma from Books.Bags.Burgers. As always I adored buddy reading with these ladies and you can check out their reviews here and here.

This was my first (and highly anticipated) Marie Lu book, and I'm not so sure that was a good thing. With the dreaded vague 3 star rating, I didn't hate this book but I also didn't love it. It was basically just 'Okay' for me. I expected so much more.

Coming off of the high of the five star read of Wonder Woman I was super excited to dive into this, but I was left disappointed in so many ways.

The book was interesting for the most part but I just didn't feel like it brought anything new to the superhero table where Bardugo really managed to pull that off for me in Wonder Woman. Not only this, but it just wasn't as edgy as I had anticipated! I mean, it's Batman! I expected to see something a little experimental, a lot darker and definitely a lot more engaging...

Even though it has Batman in the title and has Bruce Wayne as the main character I do have to warn you that not really a whisper of Batman is included. This isn't the story of how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman (I guess that story has already been told), but more like the story of how he kind of realises that a figure like Batman might be important to his city. For any actual Batman fans there are other great characters included though, like Alfred and Harvey Dent and I really did like that Alfred was exactly how I needed him to be and I enjoyed Lu's take on Dent.

“How was it today?" Alfred asked.
Bruce cast his guardian a dry look through the rearview mirror. "Had the best time," he replied. "I highly recommend it."
Alfred frowned at him. "Where do you inherit all this sarcasm from, Master Wayne?"
"I don't know." Bruce learned forward and hung an arm over the side of Alfred's seat. "Maybe it's from you."
"Me? Sarcastic?" Alfred sniffed, the barest hint of a smile appearing on his lips. "It's as if you think I'm British."
Despite the long day, Bruce couldn't help but grin at the retort.”
Madeline, the other main character, was intriguing in the beginning and I loved her mysteriousness and how Lu was building her up, but unfortunately all that original enthusiasm faded. It wasn't that her characterisation was bad - it just didn't hold my interest.

It was nice to see the tech, and how a normal guy is able to fit into the superhero pants but sometimes the mentions of modern trends threw me - like taking selfies... I just don't like being taken out of my 'zone' to wonder whether or not I would prefer the book if something like a selfie hadn't been mention (spoiler alert, the answer is yes). I prefer my books to be a little more ageless than that and while I know it's a current contemporary novel for some reason it still got to me.

It was clear to me though that Lu has an actual interest in technology or that she REALLY researched things well here because reading about WayneTech and their innovations was where descriptions really came to life and there was an almost palpable air of excitement and something more.

The plot was a little meh to be honest. I had to suspend a great deal of disbelief and there were some fairly predictable twists which I was disappointed about as well. I will go on to read more Marie Lu books though because the writing was easy to read and I'm interested to see what her real fantasy worlds look like.

Unfortunately, for me, this book was just flat in a lot of aspects. I felt like I was reading a script where I was told all the information to visualise the set, however I desperately needed good actors to bring the dialogue and the world to life. I am still holding on to extremely high hopes for Catwoman and have already pre-ordered Catwoman: Soulstealer and I cannot wait to see what spin Sarah J. Maas manages to put onto that one.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)

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