Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu
The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: BATMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu.
Returning home from his lavish eighteenth birthday party, Bruce Wayne stops a criminal’s getaway – disobeying the police and crashing his car during the chase.
Sentenced to community service in Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum, he encounters some of the the city’s most dangerous and mentally disturbed criminals. Among these, Bruce meets the intriguing Madeleine who has ties to the Nightwalker gang that is terrorizing Gotham City.
She’s a mystery Bruce has to unravel but can he trust her? The Nightwalkers target the rich, and Bruce’s name is next on their list.
I am the mother to a HUGE Batman fanatic, my son Lil Ste. My son is autistic, and Batman has been an obsession since he was 3yrs old. The obsession led much further than books, comics and movies. He has held a membership to the Bat Conservation Society and knows pretty much, everything there is to know about DC comics, the creators and the characters.
So essentially, I was drawn to this novel so that I may share it with my son. I don’t confess to be a knowledgeable fan of Batman. But due to my son’s love of the Dark Knight, I have seen all the movies multiple times and read several comics.
So here goes…..
‘No one saw what mattered until it was too late. Until their blood stained her fingernails’
The novel opens with a mysterious woman’s arrest at the scene of a violent robbery. We the reader, are unaware at this moment who she is and what part she played in the crime.
Across Gotham, Bruce Wayne is celebrating his 18th birthday in style. With a brand-new Aston Martin, fitted with the latest and greatest WayneTech security. He is heading to a charity event in his mother Martha’s honour. There is atmospheric writing with the details of bat silhouettes in the distance. The author has done a fantastic job of not missing any of the little details, that make Batman so iconic.
At the charity event, Bruce is acquainted with friends Dianne Garcia, Richard Price and Harvey dent. Harvey is struggling with a violent father and the groups ‘coming of age’ struggles are further explored throughout. Despite being orphaned, Bruce struggles with his feelings of loneliness and guilt, due to the lifestyle, his parent’s legacy has afforded him.
‘If he were just Bruce Wayne, the boy next door, would anyone care?’
Upon leaving the charity event, Bruce passes by a crime in progress. With police on the scene, there is no need for Bruce to intervene. However, when one of the criminals flees in a car, Bruce knows the GCPD can’t give chase.
He rev’s the engine and gets his first taste for fighting crime……
Charged with interfering with a crime scene, disobeying a police officer and obstruction of justice. Bruce finds himself on the wrong side of the law. When he is given probation for 5 weeks and community service, he believes he may have had a lucky escape, that is until he finds out the location of his community service…… Arkham Asylum!
Detective Draccon is to supervise Bruce’s community service, often goading Bruce about his wealthy status and lifestyle. Bruce is obsessed with crime rates in Gotham and often listens to the police scanner, so being able to attend the asylum may give him an insight into the criminal mind.
Dr Zoe James is the head warden at Arkham Asylum she walks him through explaining the layout and how female and male patients are held in separate wings. But she gives Bruce work in the basement.
where the intensive treatment inmates are held……..
Bruce is taunted by the inmates, has Draccon watching over him and must make it through five long weeks of community service. Whilst carrying out his service, he begins to learn of the nightwalkers. A criminal gang with a symbol and a code of honour. None of the caught low levels members have spoken, leaving the GCPD desperate for more clues. The nightwalkers are a network of criminals, whose motto is to steal from the rich to give to the poor. There is one inmate at Arkham, who is yet to speak,
When Bruce stumbles upon Madeleine’s cell, he is surprised to find a young, good-looking woman held up in an asylum. She makes an effort to befriend Bruce. It is through this ‘friendship’ Bruce learns more of her background and history. But can Bruce trust her? What does Madeleine hope to gain from their conversations? Is she truly being genuine? Is she truly insane?
“You have a heavy heart, for someone with everything” – Madeleine
Madeleine is a clever, master manipulator and she already is aware of Bruce’s history. She uses this to get close to him and in turn reveals clues to him, that may apprehend the nightwalkers. There are moments when they talk, that their conversations are incredibly deep. This is when, you have to remind yourself, that they are just two 18-year olds, who have known substantial emotional pain. Madeleine forces Bruce to understand a different upbringing and choices. A life he has never known.
“Would someone like you ever understand desperation?” – Madeleine
This novel is simply brilliant. It has the emotions of a novel and the action of a graphic novel, combined to make one hell of a read! I didn’t move from my sofa and read the whole novel straight through.
Perfect for fans of Batman and mums of fans of Batman!
‘The darkness was his ally, not his enemy’
*Alternative cover. I own the black & gold edition, which my son is currently reading.
Happy reading everyone!