Following DC’s tradition, after Leigh Bardugo’s delivers a strong Wonder Woman, now it’s time for Marie Lu to write her version of Batman ! If it was to fall on co-blogger’s hand, Lashaan would have probably praised this book just for the fact that it’s Batman LOL #diehardfan but unfortunately, it went through me, a personal hater of Batman from the start. So let’s see how this novel perfom !
What I can tell you is this: Marie Lu has officially succeeded to make Batman less irritable and more bearable.
The backstory of the villain. Madeleine is a complex character and it is one of the focus of the novel. She’s a criminal, detained in Arkham Asylum after being seeing on a murder scene of a billionaire. However, there’s so much to her. She’s only eighteen but extremely smart too. The prologue was so good and it starts from her perspective and if I’m being completely honest here, I wish all the book had her POV. LOL Madeleine reminds me a younger version of Eurus from Sherlock. She can trick people even if she’s in jail.
If the book didn’t have that much downsides, her character’s development alone could have all the stars in my rating.
The action-packed scenes. Marie Lu always nailed that part, whatever the story she always makes it interesting, writing it with detailed and pertinent information like a script of a movie, you follow the action from afar while being able to see the emotions on the characters’s face.
The plot. It was extremely predictable. I could’ve seen all the answers to the story right after Bruce met Madeleine in the Arkham Asylum. That was around 50 pages to the story if I remember correctly. The insta-romance was just so weird to read about. Harvey and Diane are not even that noticeable and Bruce’s character development was totally absent from the book. We get to read about his personality and how he has problems with the justice system but I didn’t see any real evolution of the character.
Arkham Asylum. I don’t like Batman but I love everything about The Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally insane, from its history to the people contained between its walls. Personally, Marie Lu missed a big point about this institution. She turned it to a real prison with a few levels where Madeleine is contained in the most restricted area. What I like about the original asylum is that.. it’s a psychiatric hospital. You don’t just turn this popular institution to a normal prison…That’s just disappointing.
The psychology and criminology behind this novel. I already expressed how I was let down by Warcross’ visual neurosciences representation and again, I’m sorry but I find a lot of misrepresented psychology facts in this one. To my rescue, I also got some criminology experts to check up some other facts with me aka Lashaan 😉
I intended to write a big rant about it but I’m just going to tell you guys some additional facts that the book just seems to forget mentioning because the author might think it’s too much for the young readers but I believe they are all smart enough to understand :
- “Doctors” in this book are referring to prison psychiatrists, their role is to maintain and evaluate the mental health and state of the prisoners. They usually treat inmate mild to severe mental issues.
- They never mention Madeleine’s issue or why she needs Dr James under her supervision but from the details the book gives me, my guess is she has Antisocial Personality Disorder. Because of their manipulative tendencies, it’s hard to see if they’re lying or not.
- Antisocial ARE NOT Asocial. Antisocial = disregard of rules in our society like laws and go into the violation of the rights of other people (often criminals) . Asocial means avoidance from other people (so if you like to read at home and avoid all events of going out and see your friends, it’s being asocial) .
I would still recommend it because it was more than 3 stars , which means it was enjoyable! If you’re not strict on the psychology and criminology parts, you will have plenty of fun discovering Madeleine 😉 She’s my favourite part of the book!
Big thank you to Penguin Random House for Young Readers for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest review ! 🙂