Okay, so my constant absence has been due to Grad School, which is going great!!! However, its been taking a huge amount of my time, preventing me from posting more reviews and blogs.
With that being said, here is the review of Sarah J. Maas’s new book Catwoman: Soulstealer!!!!
This is the third book in the DC Icons Young Adult series!!!
I’ll try to post more as soon as I can readers!!!
Sarah J. Maas uses her writing talent to create a story featuring one of the most slender and striking character to haunt the alleys of Gotham. Her catlike agility plus her claws and bull whip doesn’t slow down Selina Kyle’s passion of helping the poor and weak against Gotham’s viscous and alarming criminals. Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sara J. Maas is a Young Adult novel about 17-year-old Selina Kyle and her journey of becoming Catwoman. Maas takes the readers back to the beginning showing how strong the woman in black is by focusing on how much sacrifice it takes to walk the streets of Gotham.
The story is separated into two parts, beginning with Selina Kyle and her adventures in Gotham before she become Catwoman. She is working for Carmine Falcone as one of his fighting leopards, doing everything she can to put food on the table. Her mother is a no-good drunk, forcing Selina to care for her little sister Maggie who has a severe case of cystic fibrosis. Working for Falcone, Selina must endure match after match proving her work, loyalty, as well as money to pay for the debt of medical cost piling up. After going twenty-seven rounds undefeated, her reign comes to an end when she loses a fight that cost her everything. Gotham City’s child services show up at her apartment with the police, ready to take the two sisters into custody, but Selina’s instinct in the ring sprawls into action, sending the cops to the ground. She is later escorted to the police station where she meets Talia al Ghūl, who offers her a chance to leave Gotham City and her past behind. Considering her options, Selina ultimately decides to leave, sacrificing everything she’s ever worked for in order that Maggie is given a home away from the criminal tirade of gangs and violence. With no goodbye, Selina departs that night on the plane, leaving her past behind her.
Two years later, Selina returns to Gotham under the alias of Holly Vanderhees, ready to bring the high society of Gotham to their knees. After training for two years at the League of Assassins, she begins stealing priceless jewels and artwork, drawing the attention of other female fatales including, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Bribing the two women with jewels and riches, the trio begin working together, using their wits and talents to rob Gotham’s finest, until they draw the attention of Batwing, or known to the public as Luke Fox, the son of Wayne Enterprises CEO. Although, Selina’s intellect already knows who the masked crusader is, and learns more of the past veteran and his sacrifice in the Marines resulting in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that haunts him every time he closes his eyes. Batwing is determined to catch Catwoman, but she is always one step ahead of him, until the League of Assassins sends their best, Tigris, to put Selina to the test after she stole valuable information about the Lazarus Pit. Just as Batwing unmasks Catwoman, he is shocked to find Holly Vanderhees, his neighbor and lover for the past weeks. The one who has spent countless nights nursing his wounds mentally and physically. When the League of Assassins return for a second time to Arkham Asylum to mark Selina for death, the Joker comes to her rescue, whom Selina has been secretly working with to help handle the League while she goes and creates the Lazarus Pit to save her sister’s life. Batwing comes to the realization of who Holly Vanderhees is and allows her enough time to save her sister’s life, sacrificing his relationship with Batman and the rest of GCPD. In the end, Selina accomplishes everything she sets out to do, using the money from the priceless jewels to pay off her sister’s debt and establish a college fund for her in the future, but most of all, curing Maggie of cystic fibrosis. Together, Luck and Selina make a new beginning in Gotham, knowing their sacrifice will help save the future of the city.
Maas uses first person present to tell this epic story, switching between the characters of Selina Kyle and Luke Fox. She alternates chapters in order for the reader learn more about the characters and their past that includes the League of Assassins training for Selina and the war scars for Luke. The difference between the two characters his how they leave Gotham and then return to the dark city. For example, Selina Kyle leave Gotham City as a broken and battered girl who let the criminals of Gotham second guess her every move. She left as a failure, unable to care for herself and Maggie. Although, when she returns, Selina is not the little girl waiting for another fight to put food on the table. Instead, she is a graceful and articulate woman, using her new skills to show Gotham how strong she has become, ready to take on the whole city.
Nevertheless, Luke has a different journey in Gotham. He leaves the city where he was the top bat of the cave. His whole life has been about the high social elite, until he leaves the city for war. He wants to prove his worth to his parents and the city after becoming lost in the high social framework of the rich. Although when Luke returns, he is broken and abused from the war. He is diagnosed with PTSD as a result from the images and friends he couldn’t save. He uses professional boxing as his only way to escape the dark images, taking each blow as punishment.
However, Maas brings these two characters together, and others, through the theme of sacrifice. Selina sacrifices her freedom and chance for a future by going to the League of Assassins. She does this with pride, knowing her sister will finally be safe with a loving home, knowing she may never see Maggie again. And she does it again, when she returns to Gotham and plays all kinds of games with all of Gotham’s malicious criminals, while waiting for the League to hunt her down after stealing their precious formula for creating the Lazarus Pit. Then Luke shows his sacrifice by putting on his identity of Batwing, knowing that each night he’s out fighting crime may be his last. He knows that this extra-curricular activity could also make his PTSD more unstable. However, his joy for helping Gotham stay safe, is his focus and primary concern that pushes back his worries and fears.
Finally, there is Poison Ivy, a character who made her way into the novel with all means necessary. Her passion and love for botany is the sacrifice she offers after becoming a human experiment by force. The future of plant science and personal love was casted aside after an experiment gone wrong, leaving her alone and dejected. She sacrifices her love for a better future by determined to inform the people of Gotham the ways of a better environment that plants and people can enjoy together.
Sarah J. Maas takes readers on a trek into the emotional minds of characters, focusing on their weaknesses and strengths resulting in their sacrifices for a better future. Her characterization and story plot of Selina Kyle makes readers question whether Catwoman is a hero or villain. I believe that her goal of the story was to reinforce the ideas of female fatales that was greatly used in the past and introduce it to a new generation of literature lovers to discover how much they are willing to sacrifice for their own loved ones. Selina Kyle is a heroine for all to look up to, especially the ones who dig deep in their soul to help make their city and world a better place.