ANOTHER SJM FAVE: Catwoman: Soulstealer Review

Summary (from the publisher):
When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .cs
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.

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I don’t want to use the expression that I am trash for Sarah J. Maas’s books because I genuinely love her writing and stories. But frankly, I would read her grocery list! Still have to love The Fault in Our Stars for giving us readers that line. Anyway, while I am not the biggest DC extraordinaire- does absolutely loving Wonder Woman count?- I knew I needed to read one of my favorite author’s take on Catwoman and Gotham City. I also enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer and found myself heavily addicted to Marie Lu’s Batman: Nightwalker.

Catwoman: Soulstealer reminded me why I love Sarah J. Maas’s writing so much. From the novel’s start, I found myself invested in Selina’s story, living in the slums of Gotham City and trying to support her younger sister who has cystic fibrosis. I liked how the book takes the first two chapters to set this scene, before jumping into Selina’s transformation into socialite Holly Vanderhees and yes, Catwoman. The book quickly transfers from Selina with a East End gang, the Leopards, to her returning to Gotham as Holly. I thought I would want a few chapters dedicated to her training with the League of Assassins, but I loved Selina’s return to Gotham too much. SJM also did a nice job of flashing back to Selina’s training and true to her writing style, alludes to the real reason(s) for Selina’s return. And no worries, much like Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses, she saves a few bombshells for the end.

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Many of you likely know that I get nervous about dual or multi-perspective books, but I absolutely loved getting Luke Fox’s perspective. Like I said, I know the barebones facts of the DC World- I think the only two films I’ve watched from start to finish are Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad– but it was so interesting to read SJM’s take on Batwing. Aside from being Batwing, Luke was a super complex character, from being Batman’s right-hand man to the son of Wayne industries CEO and to a former Marine suffering from PTSD. Luke and Selina are definitely on two different moral compasses, but I loved their interactions as their ‘normal’ selves and as their superhero selves. While Catwoman:Soulstealer is not set in the ‘real world,’ Gotham City’s similarities to reality made me crave more writing from Sarah based in somewhat contemporary settings. Give me Luke Fox and Selina attending glamorous galas and eating pizza any day please.

Another DC addition that I super loved? Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. The two serve as Catwoman’s sidekicks, or villainous companions. I loved exploring SJM’s take on their backstories, finding myself particularly interested in Poison Ivy. Harley Quinn takes on her stereotypical self, from her outfits to her desire to get her man, the Joker, out of Arkham. True to SJM again, Catwoman: Soulstealer highlights female friendship and strength- even though the trio aren’t exactly the most moral of people.

While Selina/Catwoman falls more into the villainous category, SJM does not really make her out to be so. Selina’s motivations ultimately result from her love for the people in her life. I did like all the resolutions at the end (that definitely left me craving another book), but I admit that it was a cheerier ending, much like the other DC Icons books. While I didn’t mind it so much, I really didn’t expect the book’s more sci-fi twist.

Overall, I loved Sarah J. Maas’s Catwoman: Soulstealer, which is my new favorite book in the DC Icons series. I know that this book is intended and likely will remain to be a standalone, but I wouldn’t mind another book or two about Selina/Catwoman. This book also reminded me how much I need Crescent City, The World of Throne of Glass, and ACOTAR #4 as soon as possible.

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Have you read Catwoman:Soulstealer? What is your favorite book in the DC Icons series? Share in the comments !

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