Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 3 stars
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.
What did I think?
Initially, I liked the premise of this book. I had also been dying to read it ever since I read and loved Wonder Woman: Warbringer but sadly, Batman: Nightwalker didn’t quite meet my (very high!) expectations.
From a distance, Batman: Nightwalker seemed like the kind of book I would enjoy reading. I love Marie Lu’s writing style. There’s this interesting female villain (Madeleine!) and at first, I could tell she was having a great time toying with Bruce. It made me curious about how that would play out. And of course I loved Alfred (who doesn’t!) and how protective he is of Bruce while also being encouraging him to do his thing..In fact, I was a bit surprised that Alfred didn’t stop him at certain points in the story (and that also felt unrealistic). There were also frequent descriptions of cool techy things (like drones). Batman: Nightwalker wasn’t as suspenseful as it could have been but I did want to know how it would all go down in the end.
Bruce’s character was a little too…vanilla for my taste. He seemed so innocent and trusting at times (particularly in his interactions with Madeleine) and that didn’t make sense considering he saw his parents murdered in an alley. I liked how determined he was to save the people he cared about and how much he cared about justice. But he was also a little too predictable in how he reacted so I found him boring at times.
I liked the action scenes towards the end of the book but it felt like too little, too late. I wanted to see more of that earlier in the book because they were more engaging than the pages of backstory or the #deep-meaningful-conversations between Madeleine and Bruce.
So yes, I definitely had some good reasons to keep reading this book. However, I was tempted to DNF because I expected it to be an more fast-paced and darker read. I felt like it took forever for things to actually happen in this book. And when there’s finally some action, Bruce never seemed to be in actual danger. He’s not seriously injured. The stakes weren’t high enough for me to become invested in the story or worry about his safety.
The book also focuses on developing Bruce and Madeleine’s twisted relationship and…I couldn’t bring myself to care about what happened between them. It seemed unnecessary to me. This is probably a matter of personal taste and I’m sure there are people who enjoyed this aspect of the book but it just wasn’t for me.
Would I recommend it?
I wish I could say yes (because I loved Marie Lu’s Legend series and Warcross) but this was a disappointing read.