I am not a huge DC comics fan. I have watched movies based on the comics and enjoyed them, but I have never really geeked out a lot about them.
Knowing not much about Batman, aside from him being that famous superhero, made me want to pick this book up because I didn’t have expectations. Or at least, I didn’t know what to expect. I think it’s a good thing because I didn’t have to delve much into it or get too critical, plot-wise. All I know is that Batman: Nightwalker is sort of a retelling of the young-adult Bruce Wayne, pre-Batman era.
No, no. Not just a kid Bruce Wayne, but the Bruce Wayne at his most vulnerable stage in life.
Batman as a teenage boy.
Before Batman was a superhero, he was just as normal as anybody else. In Batman: Nightwalker, Marie Lu has shown us a different side of Bruce Wayne’s life growing up. The story started as Bruce turned legal in age and about to inherit his parents’ billion dollar fortune. Just like in the original story (as much as I could pick up), Bruce’s parents died when he was still young.
During the night of his 18th birthday party, an annual occasion where he holds a fundraising charity event that his mother has been doing since he was young, he decided to ditch the event. This has led him in a crime scene in the middle of Gotham City, and then found himself chasing a criminal with his new Aston Martin thereafter.
If that doesn’t sound excited to you yet for an introduction, then I don’t know what is.
The brilliant Marie Lu.
This is my second Marie Lu book, which made me super excited. SUPER EXCITED.
The first book I read from her is Warcross – which involves lots of technology. As I go further with Batman: Nightwalker, I discovered how much of a tech-savvy Marie Lu is. I know it took a lot of research, and I so impressed with how detailed and accurate her every word is when it comes to technology and sci-fi world-building, without making it difficult for the readers to understand.
Batman: Nightwalker is only few pages shy under 300. I initially thought that this will make me want for more, and that the story might fall short for my taste. But Marie Lu is just amazing on what she does. The story is fast-paced and precise leaving no trace of dull moments. This book is something that you can finish in a span of one sitting.
Interesting character development.
As I’ve earlier mentioned, I don’t know much about Batman (or any other DC icons). I only know Batman, and the villains, for that matter. I was going blind with the characters, and I thought I won’t be able to relate just as much, but I was wrong.
It was a lot easier for me to connect with the characters. I’ve had a bit of research and found out that only Bruce’s household member were from the original story – Alfred Pennyworth, and Lucius Fox.
The new villains of the story, the Nightwalkers, and Bruce best friends, were new fictional characters. All are interesting ones, especially Madeleine who’s a big part of the story.
Bruce Wayne’s character development is impressive, from page 1 to the end of the story. You can see how well he has grown up from that rich teenage boy you can see at every tabloid’s first page each day, to the curious and determined teenage boy who will risk anything for his family and friends.
Overall, Batman: Nightwalker made me think about the situations, and empathize with Bruce Wayne and even the villain, Madeleine. But most of all, it made me smile a lot on different scenes. The ending was heartwarming, and extremely satisfactory.
Marie Lu neatly confined everything within the 272 pages of a novel. It was a great and exciting Batman journey.
Disclaimer: Huge thanks to Penguin Random House International for sending me a review copy of Batman: Nightwalker as part of the Global Blog Tour. This does not affect my opinion of the book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot.
I graduated from the University of Southern California in ’06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.
Book Tour Organized by:
Penguin Random House