Book Review: Catwoman – Soulstealer

catwoman soulstealerCatwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons #3)
by Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult – Superheroes
358 pages
Published August 2018

So I needed a “book about a heist” for the PopSugar 2018 Reading Challenge, and naturally, Catwoman fits the bill. It wouldn’t be a Catwoman novel/cartoon/graphic novel without a heist! Several, in fact, in this instance. And she teams up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn to pull them off, even though she doesn’t seem to actually need the girls in this book. I love that Maas chose to include them, because Ivy/Harley/Catwoman is one of my all-time favorite team-ups. The book also delves into the relationship between Ivy and Harley, and Harley’s dysfunctional dependence on the Joker (who’s in Arkham for this book). I loved seeing that.

Interestingly, Batman doesn’t show, other than a few phone calls with Luke Fox, Lucius Fox’s son. Luke takes the traditional role of Batman-as-Catwoman’s-love-interest, but as Batwing, a sort-of Robin. (Maybe I read too many comics? Nah.) The switch was surprising; it’s always Catwoman and Batman, Selina and Bruce. Except when it’s Talia and Bruce, I suppose.

I do wonder if they’re going to do an ensemble cast novel after these first four books. (Wonder Woman: Warbringer, Batman: Nightwalker, and Superman: Dawnbreaker being the other three.) Superman doesn’t come out until January, but the first three have been very disconnected from one another. Wonder Woman wasn’t even mentioned in Batman or Catwoman. It seems odd to have them as a series, but never mention one another in each book? That, or the Superman book is going to tie the other three together, which seems like a disservice to Superman.

Anyway. I really liked Luke Fox as Batwing – the book touched, just a little bit, on racial issues, and how even as an obscenely rich black man he’s not entirely exempt from those. In one scene he worries about the color of his skin being seen through damage to his batsuit, and cops realizing he’s black. It’s a sober reminder that even in a city beset by evil clowns, it’s still set in the United States and we still have those racist systems in place.

The banter between Luke and Selina, and Selina and Harley and Ivy, is fantastic. I haven’t actually read any of Sarah J. Maas’ books – I know, I know – but if they’re like Catwoman, I should probably give in and do so. So far, Wonder Woman is still my favorite of the DC Icons series (which is no surprise, as I love Leigh Bardugo) but Catwoman is really good.

From the cover of Catwoman: Soulstealer:

Two years after escaping Gotham city’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman away on a vital mission, Gotham City looks ripe for the taking.

Luke wants to prove that as Batwing he has what it takes to help people. He targets a new thief on the prowl who has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Together, they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman is clever – she may be Batwing’s undoing.

Selina is playing a desperate game of cat and mouse, forming unexpected friendships and entangling herself with Batwing by night and her devilishly handsome neighbor Luke Fox by day. But with a dangerous threat from the past on her tail, will she be able to pull off the heist that’s closest to her heart?

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Catwoman – Soulstealer

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