Book Review: Catwoman: Soulstealer

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

First line: The roaring crowd in the makeshift arena didn’t set her blood on fire.

Summary: Selina Kyle lives in the slums of Gotham City. In order to take care of her ailing sister she enters the underground-fighting ring of Carmine Falcone. However, when the chance for a better life for her sister comes along she takes it even if it means she has to sacrifice everything. Two years later, she returns to Gotham in order to bring her own brand of justice to the city that let her down.

Batwing, the secret identity of Luke Fox, is doing his best to keep the streets of Gotham safe for its people. When a new villain arrives and starts wreaking havoc on the city, he realizes that he may have met his match in Catwoman.

Highlights: Sarah J. Maas is one of my favorite young adult authors. She writes great stories with interesting characters and lots of action. I have never been a big fan of Catwoman (other than in the show Gotham) but since Maas was writing her story, I decided to give her a try. I am glad I did.

We get a backstory for Selina that helps flesh out her character and give her a reason for her villainy. This is one of the reasons I have enjoyed the TV show Gotham because we get to see how our villains came to be. I loved the inclusion of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy as her sidekicks/cohorts. Their brand of chaos and camaraderie was fun to read.

I had never heard of Batwing and therefore had to Google his character. Even though I have seen most of the movies and TV shows in the DC universe there is still so much I do not know. I am slowly wanting to pick up some of the graphic novels and comic books here at the library and get to know the stories better. I am looking forward to the next in the DC Icons series, Superman: Dawnbreaker, coming out in March 2019.

Lowlights: I wish we could have gotten more of the Joker. He is mentioned several times and Selina met him once. He is such an iconic DC villain and with Harley in the story, it would make sense. But maybe one day we will get a Joker book?!

FYI: If you like this try Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo and Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu.

Book Review: Batman: Nightwalker

First line: The blood underneath her nails bothered her.

Summary: As an eighteen-year-old Bruce Wayne is graduating high school and inheriting his families company and fortune he becomes entangled in the crimes of Gotham City. When trying to stop an escaped criminal Bruce lands himself on probation at Arkham Asylum. While cleaning floors he meets an elusive member of the group called the Nightwalkers, a group determined to kill the rich of the city and use their money to help the under privileged. Madeleine has been arrested for the murder of three prominent Gotham citizens but refuses to talk to the police. However, something about the young billionaire starts her talking. As Bruce gets more involved in the case, he sees that he could be in danger too.

Highlights:

“The darkness was his ally, not his enemy.”

Batman was probably my first superhero. I remember watching Michael Keaton play the caped crusader and being a little scared of the dark plotline. I continued to follow the Bat of Gotham through the Dark Knight trilogy (Heath Ledger as the Joker—AMAZING). Now I currently watch the show, Gotham on Fox, which follows the younger years of Detective James Gordon, Bruce Wayne and the villains like Penguin and the Riddler. Lu’s depiction of Bruce reminded me a lot of the boy in Gotham. She does a great job of bringing him to life and carefully crafting him into the superhero he is to become.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Bruce and Alfred his protector and guardian. It is one of my favorite parts from the movies and TV show as well. They have a bond that is deeper than blood. Alfred takes care of him but also has respect for the man he is becoming. At the same time though Bruce realizes that Alfred means more to him and that without him he would not be who he is. The story also touches on themes of the times. The struggle between the upper and lower classes, racial tensions and the need to equal rights for all. Batman is a symbol that something good can live in such a dark place.

“The world would always have the liars and traitors and thieves, but there were still those who were good at heart.”

Lowlights: I missed not having the normal Batman villains. Madeleine was okay. Most of the Batman villains are flashy with lots of humor thrown in. She was smart but a little dull. I am looking forward to the villain story in Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas later this year!

FYI: Check out Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo!