Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
Penguin Books 2018. ISBN 9780141386836
(Age: 12+) Marie Lu brings Batman into the twenty-first century as an eighteen-year old coming into his inheritance. After an impulsive joyride, Bruce Wayne finds himself doing community service at Arkham Asylum where he meets Madeline Wallace, a ruthless killer with a soft spot for billionaire orphans. Unwilling to talk to anyone else, Bruce and Madeline soon strike up a strange, distrustful relationship as they try and understand one another. Bruce allows her to dupe him multiple times, even getting him arrested for her escape. But Bruce Wayne isn't the kind of man to simply sit in a jail-cell when his friends are in danger - it is time for Batman to emerge and save the day.
This portrayal of Batman is a lot more pacifist than I remember from previous stories. Bruce acts in self-defence or else contains threats with as little violence as possible. While I feel that the films and comics are still superior, this is a much less violent take on a well-known story. Bruce is not only less violent but more moral, weighing up many of the decisions which could lead him into disaster before making them. He is wary and apologetic, yet still impulsive and strong.
With hesitation I recommend this for a mainly male audience age twelve and up. I hesitate only for the violence portrayed throughout, while it is toned back quite a bit, there is a lot of emphasis on punches to the head which should not be encouraged.
Kayla Gaskell, 22