Title: Catwoman: Soulstealer
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: DC Icons #3
Audience: Young Adult
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hours (384 pages)
Publisher: Penguin Random House Books for Young Readers; Listening Library
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Source: Library (Libby app)
Recommended for fans of: DC Comics, Batman, Sarah J. Maas
When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .
Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.
Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.
This was the second book I read in the DC Icons series after Wonder Woman: Warbringer. I thought that book was okay, and I heard mixed things about the rest of the series, but this one is definitely the best of the DC Icons books. Probably because Sarah J. Maas is behind it.
Catwoman is always such an interesting and complicated character, and she was the perfect icon for SJM to take on as this version of Selina Kyle is tough and sassy yet vulnerable and passionate (reminds me a lot of Celaena). I know Maas’s fantasy series have been criticized for a lack of diversity, but this book had excellent representation. Selina initially gets involved in crime because she has an addict mother and a sister who needs medical treatment. Luke Fox grapples with the contradictions of being a wealthy black man, experiencing privilege in some settings and bigotry and fear in others. It was fascinating how this background affected his actions as the vigilante Batwing. The book also features a positive queer romance between Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.
This book had everything I love about SJM’s writing: enemies to lovers romance, sacrifice for loved ones, and batsh*t plot twists that lead to an explosive ending (pardon the pun). If you are a fan of superhero comics and characters, this one is worth the read.