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The new, eagerly anticipated BATMAN YA novel is an action-packed thrill ride that could only be penned by #1 New York Times bestselling author MARIE LU.
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.
The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
The city's elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is about to become eighteen and inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Industries and all the tech gadgetry that he loves. But on the way home from his birthday party, he makes an impulsive choice and is sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most nefarious criminals.
Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.
The most intriguing inmate in Arkham is Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. A girl who will only speak to Bruce. She is the mystery he must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?
In this second DC Icons bookfollowing Leigh Bardugo's Wonder Woman: WarbringerBruce Wayne is proof that you don't need superpowers to be a super hero, but can he survive this game of tense intrigue, pulse-pounding action, and masterful deception?
Act fast! The first printing includes a poster of Bruce! Each first printing in the DC Icons series will have a limited-edition postercollect them all to create the full image!
"The trickiest aspect of any Batman narrative is getting into Bruce Wayne's head, and [Lu] doesn't miss a beat. . . . An engaging character piece with enough Batman allusions to intrigue fans and newcomers alike."
About the Author
MARIE LU is the author of the highly-anticipated Warcross, the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. Visit her at marielubooks.tumblr.com and follow her on Twitter at @Marie_Lu. She is a DC Icons author, where the DC Comics super hero icons are written by megastar young adult authors. Forthcoming books include Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas, and Superman by Matt de la Peña.
Read an Excerpt
The blood underneath her nails bothered her.
Cheap, stupid, useless gloves, the girl thought in annoyance. She had even worn two layers of them tonight, but a rare errant slash from the knife had sliced through both layers, and now the blood had gotten on her hands. Stupid. On any other night, she would have stopped and—carefully, methodically—scraped the scarlet flakes out from under her nails, one line after another. But she had no time right now.
No time, no time.
Moonlight cut across the floor of the mansion, illuminating part of the man’s naked body. He bled strangely, the girl thought, compared with the others. The blood just pooled beneath him in a perfect circle, like a disk of smooth frosting on a cake.
She sighed again and stuffed her canister of red spray paint into her backpack, then grabbed a few of the rags strewn on the floor. On the wall beside her was the symbol she had just hurriedly finished drawing.
They had mistimed everything tonight, from the unexpected complications of Sir Robert Grant’s security system at the entrance of the mansion to the surprise of him seeing them first instead of being sound asleep. They were running late. She hated running late.
She hurried around the bedroom chamber, gathering their tools and stuffing them all into her backpack. The moonlight illuminated her features in regular intervals as she moved past the row of win- dows. Her mother used to tell her that she had doll-like features, had been doll-like since birth—large, liquid-dark eyes; long, long lashes; a slender nose and a rosebud of a mouth; porcelain skin. Her eyebrows cut straight and soft across her brow, giving her an expression that looked permanently vulnerable.
That was the thing about her. No one ever saw what mattered until it was too late. Until their blood stained her fingernails.
Her hair had come undone in all the rush, tumbling in a river of black over her shoulders, and she paused to whip it back up into a knot. No doubt a strand or two had come loose and were now ly- ing somewhere on the floor, leaving a clue for the police to follow. But no matter—if she could just escape from here in time. What a messy getaway, so uncharacteristic of her.
I’m going to kill them, she thought bitterly. Leaving me to clean this up—
Somewhere in the night came the wail of sirens.
She froze, listening intently. Her hand flew instinctively to rest on one of the knives strapped around her thigh. Then she started to run. Her boots made no sound—she moved like a shadow, the only noise being the faint bump of her bag against her back. As she went, she pulled her black scarf up across the bottom half of her face, hiding her nose and mouth from view, and fitted her pair of dark visors over her eyes. Through the visors, the mansion trans- formed into a grid of heat signals and green lines.
The sirens were closing in rapidly.
She paused again for a breath, listening. They came from differ- ent directions—they were going to surround her. No time, no time. She darted down the mansion’s staircase, her figure lost entirely in the shadows, then made a sharp turn at the bottom to head not for the front door but for the cellar. The security system had been rewired to seal the front door’s lock from the inside, but the cellar was their getaway route, all alarms cleared and window locks ready for her command.
As she reached the cellar, the sirens outside turned deafening. The police had arrived.
“Window A open,” she muttered into her mouthpiece. At the other end of the room, the rewired window unlocked with a soft, obedient click. The police would gather at the front and back doors, but they wouldn’t think to look on the side of such a huge house yet, not without knowing there was a tiny window at ground level. She ran faster.
She reached the window and started pulling herself up and through it, snaking her way out in the span of a second. On the front lawn, she could hear a police officer shouting into a mega- phone, could see the heat signals of at least a dozen guards in heavy body armor crouched around the mansion’s perimeter, their faces hidden behind helmets and their assault rifles all pointed toward the door.
She leaped to her feet in the darkness, pulled her visor up, and prepared to dart away.
A blinding light flooded over her.
“Hands in the air!” Several voices were shouting at her at the same time. She heard the clicks of loaded weapons, then the furi- ous barking of police dogs barely restrained by their partners. “On your knees! Now!”
They had found her. She wanted to spit out a curse. No time, no time. And now it was too late. At least the others on the mission had already fled. For a fraction of a second, she thought about pull- ing out her knives and throwing herself at the closest officer, using him as a hostage. But there were far too many here, and the light had blinded her enough to make her vision inaccurate. She didn’t have the time to make such a move without the police unleashing the dogs, and she had no desire to be mauled to death.
So instead, she put her hands up.
Officers shoved her hard to the ground; her face scraped against dirt and grass. She saw a glimpse of herself reflected in the police’s opaque helmets, and the barrels of guns pointed directly in her face.
“We got her!” one shouted into his radio, his voice hoarse with excitement and fear. “She’s in custody! Stand by—”
You got me, she echoed to herself as she felt cold cuffs snap onto her wrists. But with her cheek pressed against the ground, she still allowed herself a small, mocking smile behind her scarf.
You got me . . . for now.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When I heard of this series I was HYPE! Especially since Wonder Woman was the first one! I was a bit worried about this one tho because I haven't had much luck with Lu's writing. (Yes, I'm the black sheep...) But after reading this, I realize I didn't have anything to worry about. Bruce Wayne has just turned eighteen and inherited his parent's millions and their technology company. But after a joyride, he lands in the middle of trouble with the police and having to do community service at Arkham Asylum. There he meets Madeleine, a girl who could either be really good for him or really bad; he hasn't decided yet. I already knew I would like this a little because of Batman. I've been a long time fan of his forever and it was so cool to see him in this type of story. I think what I loved most about it wasn't an origin story since Batman doesn't really have powers lolol It was just a story of what Bruce Wayne was like before he had the title of Batman. And though that seems miniscule, it made a huge difference. I also really liked the way the little nuggets of information in there. Batman was rich so he was definitely privileged in many different ways and I LOVED the fact that Lu wasn't afraid to say mention all those ways. It made a difference to this African American reader who doesn’t know much about the sort of privilege that Batman (or anyone else for that matter) has. The only thing I didn’t really care for was some of the middle part. At some point the middle seemed a bit repetitive, but in the end I knew it was for a reason. It all added up in the end it all added up and it was obvious that it was needed in some way. This was a bit of a surprise for me, but it reads like some of my favorite tv shows. I know what part of it that I liked so much. I just wasn’t expecting it.
There were parts that kept me guessing, moments of true insight into the characters, and a story that left just enough wiggle room for more of the Bruce Wayne we know and love. The only thing that made this a 4 star review instead of 5 was a personal dislike for how Madeleine’s storyline ended. However, it was still a fantastic read and I would (and already have) recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA.
I really enjoyed this hook, more than Wonder Woman: Warbringer. I didn't expect that, seeing as I love Wonder Woman so much more than Batman. There's something about Marie Lu and the way she writes that just pulls me in. Not my favorite book of Lu's but I loved seeing a young Bruce Wayne and the action in this book. The only thing I really didnt like was Madeleine. I couldn't understand the connection they had, and couldnt bring myself to care about her.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book.
I really enjoy superhero novels. I’ve probably read more than 200 of them—some amazingly good and some worthless pieces of excrement. This one ranks among the best. It is marketed as a Batman novel, but Batman doesn’t exist yet in this book. Instead we have eighteen year old Bruce Wayne who has not yet settled on his obsession to fight crime as the Batman. Wayne has just come into his billions when he tries to help the police in a high speed chase by using his sports car to stop the bad guy. They thank him by charging him with interfering with the police and he is sentenced to probation and community service—which he has to complete mopping the floors in Arkham Asylum. The novel than takes a turn toward Silence of the Lambs or Broken Time. An eighteen year old murderer, believed to be connected to the notorious Nightwalkers, will speak to Bruce when she’s refused to speak to anyone else. So the detective in charge of Bruce’s probation tries to use him to draw her out and the whole situation gets out of control. This was a hard book to put down. While Bruce at eighteen is not what I imagined, he was a likeable character I could relate to. And having people like Harvey Dent showing up in the book really added to the enjoyment. This is Bruce before he’s lost to his life’s mission as the Batman and we get to watch him move closer to that vocation as the novel progresses. Hats off to author, Marie Lu, on a novel very well done.
I think I’d mentioned when I read and reviewed Leigh Bardugo’s Warbringer that one, I’m not a huge DC fan and two, I tend to avoid extended universe books but I don’t think they tend to be very good books. But as was with the case of Warbringer, I had to read Nightwalker, as I’ve been a huge Marie fan since first reading Legend back in 2013 and who doesn’t love a good Batman story…especially teen Batman? What I love almost immediately about this book is that this isn’t Batman. We don’t get Batman for many more years. This is Bruce Wayne the teenager, orphaned, immensely rich and privileged, a path laid before him in running Wayne Enterprises but wanting something more than that. I think we see that in the very beginning when he uses his brand new Aston Martin to stop a criminal from escaping. It gives way to the building blocks that will take Bruce Wayne the teenager to Bruce Wayne the masked vigilante. The story is so so good. Most Batman stories that I know, movies and cartoons, makes Bruce sort of dark and mysterious and held down by his parents death. We don’t know Bruce, we don’t get to know who he is and we get so much of that in this book. I love seeing the relationship he has with Alfred and Lucius and with his friends, Harvey Dent (loved it!) and Dianne Garcia (fantastic original character). I loved to see that, yes, he was privileged and a little spoiled but he also was a genuine person, loyal to those he cares for, and determined to do the best he can to uphold what his parents believed in. I even liked watching him struggle to have relationships with those who would use him for what he can offer. Marie made him a complex and genuine person and it’s the first time I’ve felt an actual connection with Batman or Bruce Wayne. I also loved Madeleine. She’s an incredibly antagonist. She’s complicated and incredibly hard to figure out. She’s done these terrible things but she doesn’t seem to get sadistic joy out of it. There’s more to her than what is on the surface. It’s what draws the reader in, it’s what draws Bruce in. I love a good female villain and we don’t get them often and Marie rocked at giving me one. I especially loved that when we do learn more, when we do get the twist, it’s definitely not what I had expected in the slightest. I 100% recommend this book, either as a Batman fan or not. I think it’s a well done prequel to the Batman that we are going to know in the future, whatever incarnation is your favorite, and it’s also just a good thrilling novel, with some seriously fantastic character studies. Must must read!
Marie Lu is one of my favourite authors of all time and I was very excited for this book, but ultimately I was let down. The beginning was quite slow and I wasn't really invested in the plot until we were already 100 pages in. I liked that the book was so short because it was quick to binge read and the end got pretty exciting! Nevertheless, I felt that the book lacked the action that I liked so much in Wonder Woman: Warbringer. Overall, it was a good book with lovable characters, but it did not live up to my expectations.
“‘Bruce Wayne’ she said softly. Her eyes were strangely warm now, the hazel shining brightly through. ‘Two kinds of people come out of personal tragedy, you know? And you’re the kind that comes out brighter.’” This book was done perfectly, with a mixture of darkness, and levity that suits a young Bruce Wayne. I especially loved seeing him deal with high school dynamics and having Alfred as an adult guardian. My only small complaint is it felt like the book was cut short and could have gone a little deeper and further. I give this book 4 stars and think it is perfectly entertaining for any superhero fans or batman lovers out there.
Fear clears the mind. Panic clouds it.“ This Bruce Wade is an 18 year old orphan, caught between graduation and College, living in Wayne Manor as the ward of Alfred Pennyworth, a tech geek’s fascination with computers and how things work, and a strong sense of justice. After crashing his company’s latest tech into a criminal’s van, he’s sentenced to probation working at the local Asylum, where he meets Madeline, a young woman in the high security “ward”. It seems his age has given him an edge over the cops as he gets her to talk after the police have struck out numerous times. She takes major advantage of him as the Nightwalkers wreck havoc in Gotham City. Needless to say, good wins over evil- it IS Batman after all, and although this is part of the DC Icons 4 Book series, it ends as it should, with a huge window of opportunity left open..... I really have loved this new series of “teen aged super heros”, BatMan being the second. Marie Lu has developed a wonderfully well rounded all American teenager with enough money to change the world, and enough sense to do it differently. Highly recommended 5/5
This was incredibly... underwhelming. I will start by saying that yeah, I’m pretty picky about Batman. But I was really willing to love this book, and it just didn’t happen. Which is sad because I love Marie Lu! In my opinion she’s one of the most consistent YA authors out there right now. So what happened with this book? Well, for starters, it didn’t feel like Batman. And yes yes, I know, it’s an origin story. So by the end I should have been like, “This dude is so gonna be Batman someday.” I didn’t feel that at all. There was a bit of forced Batmany imagery at the end that I guess was supposed to evoke all the Dark Knight vibes? Didn’t work for me. This Bruce Wayne was adorable, yeah. But he couldn’t even figure out the very obvious bad guy plots and twists. His character just felt too sweet and nurtured and naive to spawn The Batman. I’ve always love Lu’s writing, but for this book the pacing was horrible. I trudged through it, and it’s only 250 pages. The buildup to the climactic fight scene wasn’t enough to get me excited- and this also may have been hindered by the predictability of it all. I do think she wrote the character of Madeleine Wallace well, and I wish her character could have been drawn out a bit more. Bruce was well written if I just think of him as a smol cupcake with cool tech. Overall, I think some people will enjoy Batman: Nightwalker. Maybe not die-hard fans of the Dark Knight, but if your just looking for a super hero kick before the next Batfleck movie? Then this is the book for you.
Na-na-na-na-na-not the Batman book I was looking for. There is no denying Marie Lu is a batastic writer. This was simply a breeze to read. I've been still struggling to combat a three month reading slump, and I simply flew through this book, well, like a bat. Her writing was quick, easy to understand, and superhero-ish as usual. The writing was not an issue at all - it's, well, the other things that I found to be quite lacking. I suppose my biggest issue with this book was with the characters. Bruce was our main character, and while I did like him, there was never a strong, strong connection to him. Yes, he's usually a pretty chill, broody individual, and I totally got that from what I read, but I never really supremely felt for him. He was just okay, and him and Alfred were the characters that I actually enjoyed the most. The problem is with the other characters. The supporting characters like Dianne, Harvey, Richard, Detective Draccon, and more just felt...well, they just felt like the cartoon characters in the background. They were just there? At times, I honestly forgot Bruce had friends and that they had real life problems. And then there was Madeleine. I read 250 pages about her, and I still don't fully grasp her as a character/villain/antihero. I simply don't get her. I read another book blogger's post the other (I AM SO FORGETTING WHO IT WAS AND I AM SO SORRY) about how YA struggles with antiheroes. By the end of the book, if you have any slightly villainish character that is doing anything immoral or evil, it usually gets explained away to make them "dark, complicated, complex" but ultimately squeaky clean. I didn't enjoy her as a love interest, a character, or a villain. I never fully got her motives and motivations, and I so didn't feel the ship between her and Bruce. Honestly, Alfred and Bruce had the best chemistry, and it should have just been about their epic platonic love story. If you're looking for a story with a lot of Batman action, it's quite light on all things bat and action and Batman. It's his origin story and basically it's more psychological on how he gets to the superhero stage. I definitely didn't mind that at all, and it was quite intriguing and entertaining to see how Bruce Wayne might have grew into the Dark Knight that he is. There is some action, but I swear this book felt like a weird hour TV series episode focused on trying to add in a little bit of this and a little bit of that instead of the big action sequences you might be looking for. The setting was quite intriguing, too. I loved Arkham, and the glimpses that we saw of Gotham was done nicely. If you're looking for a light, easy to read Batman book, this is it. If you're looking for an easy to read book period, this is it. It doesn't have an extremely strong superhero story feel to it, so if you're not usually into superhero stories but enjoy action and some psychology, this could be for you. It never really fully dives down deep, but I mean, Batman and Marie Lu are here for some fun. It just wasn't really the holy hit show I was looking for when I picked this up. 3 crowns and a Belle rating!
This is a great book you need to read it.