My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First Published: January 4th, 2018
Publisher: Penguin BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Action, Mystery, Coming of Age
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 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.
This is not an important story, because this is not the story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman.
That story already exists.
But this an interesting moment in Bruce’s life. This is his coming of age, and an account of the first time his heart blossoms for someone.
This is also the first time he realizes how much Gotham City needs—and deserves—protecting. It’s his home, and so, his being involved in the Nightwalker issue is sudden, accidental, not quite realistic… but nothing if not necessary.
Bruce and Madeleine are the two main characters. The other ones do not matter—except Alfred since he’s the best person in Bruce’s world and utterly hilarious. I doubt I’ll ever have a butler, but if in another life I do, I want an Alfred replica.
Bruce is sometimes one-dimensional, seeing that here and there his personality fails to come off the page (perhaps it would have been different if the narration had been in the first person) but he has a true heart, courage and determination.
Madeleine is… a cat-less version of Catwoman. Smart and seductive, but not at all innocent.
So wait, I take it back. This *is* an important book.
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