First of all, I am not a big fan of DC comics or movies. I am more of a Marvel person. However, I always loved Batman. I personally admire what Batman does and his complex and grave past has influenced his actions every step of the way. He is the bearer of sadness and he can be whatever Gotham wants. That is the moral of the third Batman movie.
The below blog is a Book Discussion so SPOILER ALERT. If you haven’t read this book yet, close the post and read the book first!!
Batman ~ The Nightwalker by Marie Lu is second book of the DC Icon series. The entire series contains four books each dedicated one DC Superhero. The first book in this series is Wonder Woman ~ The Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, the second the current book we are discussing, the third book is Catwoman ~ The soul stealer by Sarah J Maas, my all favorite author and final book is about Superman.
In this book, we see a rather young version Batman and all lot of flavor from other Batman movies and comics has been retained. This book happens before Bruce Wayne chose to become Batman. There are few things which I didn’t like in the story and by all means this book definitely didn’t stand up to my expectations. That said, the plot is good but it was predictable. What depressed me was that I could clearly see the ending right from the beginning.
Madeline and Bruce had really nice yet twisted chemistry. I liked it and it is totally Batman’s style to choose a woman as twisted as Madeline. She was one of the Nightwalker and was suspected to have murdered three wealthy philanthropists. Yet, Batman had to fall for her.
A serious mistake in the story was lack intellectual and strong mind for Batman. Usually, he is the problem solver and the fighter. The first line of defense. Seeing Batman in this light, where he is scared to even step inside the gala hall is unsettling. It was a good effort by the author to show Batman’s history when he was 18 years old. I also understand that Batman was just 18 years old and he is not mature. However, when I am reading a Batman novel I expect more action from Batman.
I totally thought Richard was the inside person in Mayor’s killing because of what happened in the graduation ceremony fight. Clearly Richard says that getting rid of the parents will give you more flexibility in life and he says that Bruce is lucky he doesn’t have his parents looking down his neck all the time. I didn’t think he would do anything right that moment but eventually before the author made the big reveal, I figured it out! My first guess when Madeline said that there was some inside help was – damn Richard! So, when I saw him in the hostage situation holding a gun as one of the Nightwalker, not much of a surprise.
Also, the way the author hinted towards the gala and big security reveal gave away the ending. When Lucius came to the hospital to see how Bruce and Alfred were doing after the attack, he mentioned that the entire security detail was replaced with drones called Ada (Advance Defense Armament), I definitely thought they are going to turn against them or at least something is going to happen. Since, Madeline is like a super hacker and she is just waiting to escape the prison it was totally predictable.
Harvey Dent character surprised me and shocked me to the core. Like, what the hell?! Why Harvey Dent of all people? Where is Rachel?
I really liked Bruce Wayne’s conversations with Madeline. They were intriguing and revealing. He was also trying to figure his emotions through her. I can understand why he is so drawn to her. She experienced something similar and he is connecting with her and searching for answers in his own life. Bruce Wayne’s curiosity to know why everything happens that way it does and his very lame way of trying to understand Madeline were the few things which kept the book interesting.
Ultimately Bruce Wayne did connect the dots and helped the GCPD but not in a way that knocked my socks off. Lot of emotions were there in this book and I would loved to see his two best friends in this book Harvey and Dianne more. Harvey did help Bruce get out of the overnight holding cell but still I didn’t see the connection. The narrator says that they are close but as a reader I didn’t feel it.
I really thought we will see Batman going to high school and how he is when he is not attending one of his charity meets or galas but unfortunately we didn’t get a peak at that.
Other than that the plot was really well made. I absolutely liked reading and if you have never read any Batman comics or watched any movies you would never pick out these differences. The writing was definitely top notch. I have never read any Marie Lu’s books but now I will most certainly read them.
Nevertheless, you should give this book a try. Not much action from Batman but still worth a read. Also, we should read this book from the perspective of 18 years old Bruce Wayne. He is confused and an emotional mess actually but that is how it is right? He is still figuring out and evolving to the current day Batman. So, it is perfectly acceptable for him to confused and scared. It was a weird feeling for me to see him helpless at times, mostly because he is the one who helps everyone including GCPD.