Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu | Book Review

Sunday 3 November 2019

Did you know that DC is releasing books based on some of their characters? So far they’ve done Batman, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Superman (Coming Soon). These are in the DC Icons series by Random House an they’re aimed at a young adult audience. But like most YA books, they can be enjoyed by people of all ages, so is this book for you? Check out my review for Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu.

Remember my Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda review where I had an issue with the title? I kind of have a similar but very small, minor, almost ignorable, problem with this title. Batman isn’t even in this book. Bruce Wayne is. Many of you may think I’m splitting hairs, and I kind of am, but I direct you to this comic snippet from Wonder Woman Annual from the DC Rebirth event.
Even when holding the lasso of truth, he still calls himself Batman. Of course, this book takes place before he ever donned the cape and cowl but still, if you put Batman in the title, I want see Batman. But lets put this minor gripe behind us and talk about the book as a whole.
Batman: Nightwalker is the story of an eighteen year old Bruce Wayne who gets into trouble with the law after getting into a high speed chase after a criminal escapes the police. Bruce gets community service for his infraction and must go to Arkham Asylum and do janitorial work as his form of penance. It’s there that he meets a young woman connected to The Nightwalkers who are a group of criminals that have been robbing and murdering the richest of the rich in Gotham. It seems like fate brought them together as only Bruce can help stop the murderous group before they strike again.
I know. Most of you may expect something different from anything involving Batman. But it’s important to remember that this is a young Bruce Wayne in, what could be, the first case that helps him on his way to becoming the caped crusader. A Study In Scarlet may be the first Sherlock Holmes book, but you know that somewhere in his past there was some event that made him realize he wanted to be a detective. Same goes for Batman. Is this the case that makes him want to become a badass vigilante? Maybe.
Batman has always been different than the other DC characters. Though we all love to see the Dark Knight in action, there’s always a lot of mystery and detective work in his stories, which makes sense because of his origin in Detective Comics 27 back in 1939. This book focuses on that aspect. There’s a lot of legwork from Bruce in this one and without the freedom that the cape, cowl, and years of experience will give him later on in life. But instead of his wonderful toys, he has the help of his friends.
There are some new characters added just for this story, all of whom I’m assuming are now DC cannon, but there are also old friends that return as well. On top of Bruce we have Alfred (of course), Harvey Dent (pre-Two Face), Lucious Fox, and another which would be a spoiler for the story, but this book has the perfect mix of old and new. If it had something borrowed and blue we’d have a wedding on our hands.
This is an easy to read book which will probably get it looked down on by book snobs, but you know what? There’s nothing wrong with an easy to read book. It’s the story that matters, not how many sesquipedalian words an author uses. (Sesquipedalian is an adjective that describes a long multi-syllable word. I had to look it up.) So if you’re looking for an easy to read book with a good story, this is for you.
I only had a couple problems with the book and both of them are just me nitpicking the writing itself. There are certain things I view as “bad writing” that Marie Lu obviously doesn’t view the same way.  An underdeveloped side story and an overabundance of adverbs were annoying to read but the overall enjoyability of the story far overshadowed the negative aspects of the book. Marie Lu is a talented writer who wove a great first adventure for a young Bruce Wayne. No guano here, only pre-Batman goodness.
Batman: Nightwalker gets an 8 out of 11

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