“Sometimes it’s only madness that makes us what we are.”-Batman
The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and it seems that no one can put an end to their path of destruction.
One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ own security systems turn against them, and trap them like prey in their own homes. The body count is rising and the police don’t know what to do about it.
Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and is about to inherit his family’s empire, with plans for a better future for the city he grew up in. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do five weeks community service at the notorious Arkham Asylum, a prison that houses Gotham’s most horrendous criminals.
At Arkham, Bruce becomes well acquainted with Madeleine Wallace, a girl as dangerous as she is brilliant, who is suspected to have strong ties to the Nightwalkers. She refuses to speak with anyone other than Bruce, and reluctantly the GCPD agrees to let him assist with the investigation. Madeleine is an enigma, a complex puzzle that Bruce must solve in order to reach the core of the Nightwalkers before it’s too late. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she desperately needs to bring Gotham to its knees? As Bruce plays a risky game of cat and mouse with a girl who could lead him to his downfall, he will walk a dark line between trust and betrayal and will learn what true corruption and evil is in it’s truest form.
I liked the characters in this book, they were dynamic and interesting to read about and they kept the story going, even in it’s more mellow moments.
I would have to say that Bruce was by far my favorite, no surprise there. I think Lu did a great job of capturing his personality, only in this book it was more raw and unrefined since it’s still technically in the developing stages. In this novel, we get to see Bruce in his younger years, before he became Batman, before he decided to take on the responsibilities of being Gotham’s protector as we know him.
But like I said, Lu did a fantastic job of portraying Bruce in his younger years, and it was wonderful to get a picture of him at such an early stage.
As for Madeleine, she was a rather fascinating character to say the least. She was cold and calculating but at the same time strong and resilient and incredibly devoted to her cause and beliefs. She honestly reminded me of a chess player at times, just in the way of how careful she was while picking out her next move or manipulating others around her to get what she wanted, or by feeding Bruce enough information to keep the police happy. She was always vigilant and attentive and never let her guard down once. I won’t say that she’s my favorite female character to read about but I won’t say that she was boring either, she is however, a very remarkable criminal mastermind who knows how to play the game well.
I adored the secondary characters in this book as well, they were surprisingly well developed and always helped to even out the story in it’s softer moments. I think Harvey and Alfred were probably my favorite. I loved how Harvey learned to stand up to his father and finally make decisions that were beneficial to him first. And Alfred was just an all around badass and I can’t help but love the old guy.
Okay let’s start off with the elephants in the room: writing and story line.
I like Lu’s style overall, it’s easy to follow, with a good balance between description and action. I didn’t really find myself getting lost or confused very easily, and her writing is compelling, urging you to read on through even the dullest of scenes (not that there are many).
As for story line, it wasn’t something particularly special, there wasn’t anything I hadn’t been expecting nor was there an earth shattering plot twist that just turned the whole story around. Don’t get me wrong, the book was far from boring, I’m just saying that there wasn’t anything exceptional or distinctive about the plot either. It was just like any other story about Batman you’ve read or seen.
I don’t know how I feel about the romantic element in this novel, in regards to the unrequited love Bruce has for Madeleine. Him falling for her was honestly a bit cliche and personally I think it was an unnecessary component to the plot. The romance felt forced and didn’t really do anything for the story, it was just kinda…there. Personally, I think YA novels are sorta expected to have romantic components to them and that’s why love and romance are often inclusive in YA literature, but hey that’s just my opinion, leave a comment down below about what you think.
But anyway, other than the romance I don’t really have any other complaints about the plot, while there was nothing particularly eye catching about it, it was still captivating and engaging and I honestly found myself enjoying the story overall.
As I mentioned before, the characters were quite wonderful in this novel. I was really surprised with how well developed the side characters were and how they went through their own little struggles alongside Bruce and how the story wasn’t always focused on Arkham (though it was for the most part, that’s where all the fun happened).
(Also Alfred is a secret badass and I love him, no one can judge me)
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this read, it lived up to all of my expectations and it just made me really happy. Batman is actually one of my favorite DC heroes, so it was great to get a chance to read a story about him that wasn’t in a comic book format. But all in all, this was a fantastic book and I would recommend it anyone who is a fan of Batman or just the DC universe in general.
I’m super psyched to read Wonder Woman and I’m counting down the days until Catwoman is released. I’d suggest this series to anyone who is a fan of super heroes, I feel like they would thoroughly enjoy these books.
(P.S fun fact for anyone who didn’t know, in each book of the DC Icons series, there’s a special poster of the hero it’s dedicated to)
But anyway, I’ve taken up enough of your time. let me know what you thought of this post, and as always, happy reading!