Batman: ​Nightwalker – Book Review

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Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

ISBN: 9780399549786

Published: January 2, 2018, from Penguin Random House 

Length: 252 Pages 

Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my opinion. 


Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.


My thoughts:  This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018, and I jumped for joy when I was asked to join the Nightwalker Blog Tour. This book follows Bruce Wayne as a teenager, we get to see the beginnings of Batman. Bruce Wayne is just like any other teenager in the world, except for the fact that he’s filthy rich and gets away with pretty much anything if he wants to. That is until one night. One night is the catalyst for this entire story. 

Without going into too many details, Bruce gets community service, and he has to go to Arkham Asylum to complete his hours. This is where we meet Madeleine Wallace. She’s in a cell at Arkham, but why is she there? And why is it that she only seems to talk to Bruce? The plot is well thought out. This is merely my second Marie Lu book, and I do believe I am officially a fan. She gets the characters right. We get to know Dianne and Harvey his two best friends ( YES, it’s Harvey Dent). I found their friendship to be genuine and refreshing to see in a young adult novel.

Going in knowing that you’re reading a story about a beloved character like Batman can be nerve-wracking. I mean I honestly have no idea how Marie Lu didn’t dig a hole and hide in there when asked to write this novel, but I am glad she didn’t. She took this story to new heights. You get a glimpse into what could have been Batman’s teen years. Yes, I realize how many stories and shows are out there that touch this subject, but Marie Lu does it justice. You see just how vulnerable Bruce is, and just how much he can be like any other teen.

This was well written and entertaining. There is wonderfully written action, and so much raw emotion that pours from these pages. The pacing is terrific as well. I was expecting this book to be much bigger but at 252 pages, this is definitely on the smaller side, and still, the plot and characterization pack a punch. I love Batman, and I was nervous going into this, but I read it quickly and fell in love with it. Almost wish there would be another one.

This book is part of the DC Icons series. The next book will follow Catwoman. Looking forward to it!

I gave this five out of five Metalhorns! I highly recommend it!

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10 Disappointing Books of 2017

Disappointing Books

I read about 72 books this year, some were amazing, a couple were awful, and some were just plain disappointing. So let’s just jump right into the ten most disappointing books of 2017. These books weren’t all released in 2017, I just read them all this year. No disclaimer going in here. We are all adults, deal with people having different opinions than your own.

The Fate of the Tearling

FateoftheTearlingThis trilogy started off so strong. I fell instantly in love with it. I was really excited about the conclusion. Then I finished the book and yelled a chain of curse words I would rather not repeat here. It was the laziest ending and cop out I have ever experienced in a series. It’s like the writer made her own story so convoluted that she had no idea where and how to end it. I HATED this book, and it ruined the entire trilogy for me.

 

 

 

 

Everything Everything

everything everythingLet’s make it understood that I did not hate this book, but the hype around it made it seem like the best contemporary novel out there. It was a quick read, but it was incredibly predictable, and that is basically what made it so disappointing. I think before I even hit the halfway mark on the book, I knew how it was going to end. What’s the fun in that?

 

 

 

 

 

The Sun is Also a Star

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.inddThere’s a chance here that I am not a huge fan of Nicola Yoon’s Writing. I am not always a lover of contemporaries, but when they’re done right, I get into them. For me, there is nothing extraordinary about her stories. This one once again was an instant love story, but it was also predictable. That is where Yoon seems to lose me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Iron Trial

The Iron TrialAll I am going to say about this book is that I should have known better than to read a book from well-known hack and copycat Cassandra Clare. I mean how many ways can she rip other writers off? Let’s find out in the future.

This was a poor man’s, Harry Potter. No escaping that comparison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Are A Badass

15843166I was looking for a book to get me into the fighting spirit. To get me motivated and get me out of the significant funk that 2017 put me in. At first, I felt this book was it, then I realized she just kept repeating herself over and over. Then she talked about how to deal with depression and said that “acting like someone without depression” was the cure. Girl, Shut up.

 

 

 

 

 

Snotgirl

snotgirlThis wasn’t just disappointing, it was annoying as hell. The main character is an idiot and vapid as fuck. I spent the entire time reading it, thinking “What the fuck are you saying and doing?” I have a feeling that maybe that’s the idea behind the story, but she was just too irritating for me to deal with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into the Water

into the waterI loved The Girl on the Train. When I realized that there was a new book coming from the same author I was excited. The excitement lasted through the first chapter because then I was bored out of my mind. Seriously, NOTHING HAPPENS for pages and pages. If you’re going to give me a mystery or a thriller, then let there be some mystery and some thrill.

 

 

 

 

A Wrinkle in Time

a wrinkle in timeWell, say hello to another convoluted mess of a book. This had all that flowery writing and the annoying feeling that you are meant to be confused for the entire story. I was just bored. This has become really hyped because there’s a movie going to be released in 2018, but even with that fantastic cast, this book bored me, and I am not sure the movie will save the story. Who knows though?

 

 

 

 

 

A Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

forest of a thousand lanternsThe hype for this book was STRONG. I actually received an ARC from the publisher. Was pretty excited to read it, but then the story fell flat on its face for me. I thought with a story about the evil queen that there would be more action. Maybe in the sequel, we will see more happening, but this was boring to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevernight

nevernightYUP! and honestly it’s possibly the most disappointing read of all. I follow the author on twitter, and I think he’s great! By the synopsis alone I should have loved this story, but we spend 100 or more pages where nothing happens, and then you have world building happening in really obnoxious footnotes. I started to skip a lot of the notes. Dude I don’t want to feel like I am reading a textbook. I might still continue on because I liked the main character, but I am still not sure.

 

 

 

 

I think the hype around a lot of these books is what ends up killing the story for me. People always make them seem like so much more than what they turn out to be, and I miss the days of just being clueless of the hype, and just picking up a book and reading it because it seems cool TO ME. Oh Well. Here’s to better reading in 2018!

SigJoana

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Setting Goals for 2018

2018Goals

Yes I realize that December to January is just another month that has gone by, but there’s something about New Years that sort of tricks the mind into thinking that you have a clean slate and I am totally down for that at the moment.

I don’t particularly like resolutions, so I want to focus on the things I want to accomplish in 2018.

Writing. I want to continue writing. This year my short story was published and I had some good feedback from Lit Agents to steer me in the right direction. I want to venture into all the new worlds I keep coming up with and finally getting them down on paper. By the end of 2018, I would like to have an Agent for my contemporary novel, and if not, then I will focus my energies on self-publishing. I have no qualms about self publishing my book. I think it’s a legit choice to be an indie author in this day and age. I had a moment recently where a friend who I don’t see quite often asked me about my writing. I post about it on social media of course, but I don’t always believe that anyone pays attention. To have him mention it to me was a very strange and wonderful moment.

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Career. I have come to the realization that I like being my own boss. I don’t like working for people who can’t take criticism or men who think because they’re in a position of power that they can talk to me any way they please. When many German bosses say “we are just straight forward.” and I keep thinking “Sir that doesn’t mean what you think it means.” Usually they’re actually excessively rude and passive aggressive and I know plenty of women who have the same experiences here. To be honest I like having control of my livelihood and my sanity. Having my own freelance business is the best choice for my Mental Health, and there’s no turning back now. My site will launch soon, and I am already working on some freelance projects without my site even being up. It feels good.

Mental Health. The past 12 months while having some ups and downs, have been some of the best ones I have had with my mental health believe it or not. 2018 is the year I want to focus more and more on bettering myself. Gone are the days where my anxiety stopped me from talking more and meeting people. Yea I still have days where it’s a struggle, but that will NEVER stop me from getting to where I need to go.

Physical Health. Well in general I want to eat better. This past year I stress ate…A LOT. I have a thyroid condition that has drastically changed my metabolism and I gained weight quickly, and I lose it slowly. Still there’s no more excuses. I no longer love the way I feel, and that’s an important aspect of mental health as well. So here’s to changes and finding an exercise I don’t hate with every fiber of my being.

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Personal. I don’t like sharing too many personal details of my relationship or certain aspects of my life. I think the most I can say is I would like to get my stuff a little more organized, and for us to take some more trips.

I think in general my goals will update as the year moves along. What are some of your goals for 2018?

SigJoana

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November TBR

Above you will find what I plan to read in November!!

Make sure you like the video and subscribe to my channel if you’d like a more visual representation on what I am up to in my book nerd life.

 

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Booktube: Do I Give It Another Go?

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More than a year ago I tried to join Booktube. What is book tube? It is basically the world of books on YouTube. People have created a large community where everyone comes together to talk about the books they love. I caught onto this community around 2014, and I have loved watching the videos ever since. I gave it a shot myself but quickly lost motivation.

Yesterday I deleted all the videos I had previously recorded, and am now looking into starting it back up. Essentially though I don’t want to JUST focus on books. Mainly because many of the bigger Booktubers all seem to create the same videos. It’s not really a bad thing, but it makes one feel if they’re not making the same content, no one will subscribe. I personally can’t do massive book hauls every month, and really that’s okay.

I just need to find how my creativity and my love for not just books but for music and geek culture can fit in this youtube world. I want to make videos that matter and can entertain. SO it may not be right away, but I am making strides to head back on YouTube. Stay tuned.

Are you in the BookTube community? How has it been for you? Are you considering it? Tell me your thoughts!

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Mental Illness: The Full Time Job

I contemplated writing this for a long time. Not because I am ashamed,no none of that, but because I didn’t want to sound ungrateful or whiney. My anxiety told me an excessive amount of times that this might not be a bright idea. Clearly though, I am not the only one who struggles with mental illness, and I figured if my words can help one person, then that’s good enough for me.

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The Struggle is All Too Real

I struggled a really long time without medication. I listened to a lot of people who assumed a little bit of yoga and a good night’s sleep would get me on the road to recovery. All the lavender/chamomile tea in the fucking world couldn’t calm me down. I was stuck in this cycle where I panicked, I didn’t sleep, I snapped at everyone the next day, drank coffee to stay awake, went home, and hit reset on the WORST video game in the world: MY MIND. It was awful. Ever had a panic attack and cried in the middle of the street? It’s not a good time.

Anxiety also has this friend, Depression, and he can sense your brain’s vulnerability from 1,000 miles away. A super villain worse than Voldemort, and let’s face it, that guy is a DICK. When depression would hit me, the only place I wanted to be was in my bed with the blinds completely shut, and just let myself dissolve into pure darkness. I am not saying that to sound artsy, it’s the complete truth. There were many days where my boyfriend would come home to a completely dark apartment, and I would be sobbing in bed. Simple tasks like taking out the trash or taking the laundry downstairs to dry would feel like grand journeys. I would say “I don’t want to run into any neighbors.” The idea of seeing or having to speak to people terrified me. It was quite isolating and while I knew that, it didn’t do anything to get rid of that fear inside. 

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Gotta Get to Work

So you’re probably wondering how in the hell did I make money? For a long while I worked as a freelance writer. I worked from home, so I could schedule my tasks around my panic or my really shitty days. It was when I lost this opportunity that I hit rock bottom. I could no longer function properly. I cried and panicked practically everywhere I went. I had an extremely hard time dealing with simple tasks. I can’t really explain it. My brain just felt jumbled. You know when you put your headphones neatly into your bag, but the minute you go grab them they’re a tangled mess? That was my brain. I’d go to make breakfast and I would crumble. I would try to grasp onto any rational thought, but my brain was busy trying to untangle itself.

I finally went to the doctor. I have been on medication for almost a year now. Have things gotten easier? Definitely. Am I magically cured? Absolutely not. I have bad days, the problem with those bad days is the fact that I now work full time, and not from home. That freedom I once had to hit pause and nap for a bit because my brain couldn’t take it anymore? That’s gone. Sure it’s easier now that I am treating it, but I have bad days, and I have some rough days. The rough days are incredibly difficult for me. When you’re in an office environment, you don’t want people to see you with makeup stained tears streaking down your face. The Alice Cooper look works for one person…Alice Cooper.

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I currently work with some of the kindest and most understanding people I have encountered. One boss in particular is really good at listening when I am basically panicking and in tears. At this point hiding it when I feel anxious would mean hiding away in the bathroom for long stretches of time, and I am not ashamed of my mental illness. It is what it is. I am not weak because of it. I am much stronger for it. Yea I have days where I am plagued with crippling self doubt. I want to do the best I can at work, but anxiety will constantly whisper that my best isn’t good enough. 

How Do I Handle It?

Honestly, I am still trying to figure that out. I come home some days really mentally drained. I can’t lie and say it’s easy for me because it certainly isn’t. I always have the thought in the back of my mind that maybe people just think I am being dramatic, and that I don’t feel all that bad. But when my chest begins to feel like it is caving in and I want to scream or cry, I know what I feel is valid. How I deal with it shouldn’t be questioned, and I think every work place should be trained and informed on how to handle those of us who struggle on a daily basis. Maybe handle is the wrong word, all most of us really want is for people to just understand that this isn’t really under our control. So that’s why I am open about my mental illness with my employer. Understanding goes a long way, and can ease some of that anxiety we feel.

When I get home I just try to wind down as best as I can. For me it can be a nice bath, a good book, or just snuggling and watching tv. But I haven’t gotten to a point just yet where I have a good balance. I know that, and I am working towards bettering that. I know I can be too hard on myself, and that can spark a really awful cycle for me.

So maybe I’ve cried at work, and maybe I’ve had a panic attack, but I am moving forward every single day. Life is precious, I am aware of that now, and I have to keep it going.

 

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Stalking Jack the Ripper – Book Review

StalkingJacktheRipper

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

Review: When this book first came out there was A LOT of hype around it. Sometimes this makes me a little skeptical because I’ve had some bad experiences with overhyped books. Stalking Jack the Ripper just worked! It’s not perfection, but it was such a fun and entertaining read. It was extremely gruesome, bloody, and insane–everything you would expect from a story that features Jack the Ripper.

The writing was imaginative and taking bits of history to make this story made it that more interesting to read. It wasn’t a five star read for me because the big reveal wasn’t that big for me. I guessed it pretty much at the beginning of the book. I also found the main character a little dumb for someone who’s supposed to be quite intelligent she seemed bitterly clueless until the end.

Still, I loved the fact that she was going against the norm, and what of what was expected of her as a lady at that time. Mind, this takes place in 1800’s London. A lady of somewhat high birth shouldn’t be sneaking around learning about dead bodies, but she did it anyway. Her curiosity was contagious.

I think this is a well written fun YA novel, and if you’re looking for a somewhat creepy and thrilling read for the fall or halloween season, then this could very well be it.

I gave it 4 out of 5 metal horns!

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