By Cynthia Ayala
“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. 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. 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.” —Goodreads
Bruce Wayne certainly has a type, doesn’t he? Well, Marie Lu was able to capture that type perfectly in her representation of Bruce Wayne, and it’s such a good representation that any Bat-Fan is really going to love this novel.
Nightwalker takes place just after Bruce turns 18, he has inherited his family’s fortune, which has put him on the hit list of the Nightwalkers. But, Bruce being Bruce decides to take the law into his own hands and enter a car chase with a nightwalker, which of course puts him in the crosshairs of the police. Classic Bruce right. That’s what makes this novel spectacular, the fact that Lu is able to integrate specific themes and motifs that are in the comics and shows and level them down to an earlier Bruce setting. It makes it believable, it makes the story captivating and fun, and it highlights the beginning, the elements that go into turning this boy into the hero we all know and love. Bruce even does some detective work, it’s rough, but again, he’s 18, the essential part is that it exists in this novel.
Lu captures the tone, setting, and narrative just so perfectly. It’s hard to find any fault with the representation of the novel because it’s so rich. The fact that Alfred, Lucius, and Harvey Dent are all there and have a strong influence in his life so incredible. Those dynamics work so well towards building up the novel and the Batverse. Especially Harvey Dent. The way he exists in the story, his friendship with Bruce, it’s powerful. They have such a strong bond in the novel and, again, for fans, this is important because Lu also brings in elements that go into the creation of Two-Face. The beginnings are compelling, and this beginning is compelling, fun, and action-packed.
Overall, this is simply an amazing novel because the tone and setting, they are the best representations of this universe and of this character. This is Bruce Wayne, this is Gotham, these are the characters that readers already know. Lu doesn’t let herself be hindered by what already exists, she took those elements that make Bruce Batman, including his taste in women, to make this whole new story that should officially be canon. Nightwalker is just an excellent novel that captures the essence of Bruce. And Madeleine, well she’s just the perfect foil for Bruce. She’s a mild combination of Talia al Ghul and Selina Kyle, She has attitude and wit and is the ideal chess partner for Bruce. It’s hard to say where her influence on him stops which makes their dynamic so good.
Once again, spectacular novel. (★★★★★ | A+)
|Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018||Page count: 272pp||Age Range: 12 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-0-3995-4978-6||Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers||List Price: $18.99|
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