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Mini-reviews: Batman Nightwalker + The Queen of Hearts

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) by Marie Lu
pub 1/2/18 by Random House Books
for Young Readers
Young Adult - Superheroes
Borrowed ARC from Alexa
I’m really loving how my favorite YA authors are taking on DC superheroes. Marie Lu really humanized Bruce Wayne / Batman and gave him a teenage voice that felt authentic and true to what we all know about him. Bruce Wayne has just turned eighteen and inherited his family’s entire legacy — money, Wayne Enterprises and access to some very cool tech. But Bruce is still a teenager. In other words, he has good intentions but is reckless and searching for something he can’t put his finger on yet. Then after he “assists” the police, he’s forced to do community service at the infamous Arkham Asylum. It’s there that he meets Madeleine Wallace, a teenager girl and in-mate with ties to the Nightwalkers terrorizing Gotham City. They connect or so he thinks until he begins to wonder if she’s truly willing to talk to him or manipulating him to get what she wants. I thought it was smart of Lu to bring in new villains instead of using ones we’re familiar with. It’s clear it gave her more freedom, which allowed it to fit better with the story she wanted to tell. In fact, overall I enjoyed how she combined familiar characters (Lucius Fox, Alfred, Harvey Dent) with brand new ones (Wayne’s BFF Diane, Madeleine). But most of all, I enjoyed seeing how a teenage Bruce would take those first steps towards becoming Batman.

Do I recommend? Whether you’re a fan of the Dark Knight or not, I would recommend checking this out!

pub 2/13/18 by Berkley
Fiction - Contemporary
Received from pub via Netgalley
The Queen of Hearts alternates between Zadie Anson and Emma Colley, who have been best friends since medical school and who are now a pediatric cardiologist and trauma surgeon, respectively. The book also alternates between past and present, giving us insight into the intensity of juggling med school, friendships and messy relationships and showing us where they are now as wives, mothers and respected doctors. I’ve always been drawn to medical stories (at least on TV — Grey’s Anatomy fan for life!) and that’s what drew me to this book initially. I did think the story got off to a rough start though and even when it eventually got its footing, what ultimately made me keep reading was this “secret” from the past that threatens to come out into the open in the present when a former colleague of theirs returns. That’s where the author succeeded. My curiosity was beyond peaked and I wanted to know what happened. And oh man, is it a doozy. However, the resolution was far too neat and quick and honestly, unrealistic. Which is disappointing because I think with all the build up and getting readers to sympathize with certain characters (I don’t want to give anything away but personally, I was far more invested in Zadie than Emma), I expected a far stronger ending than the one we got.

Do I recommend? I personally wouldn’t recommend it but if the plot intrigues you, check it out from the library.

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