Review: Catwoman – Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas

Reviewed by Elise

Catwoman: Soulstealer is book three in the DC Icons series. Let me begin by saying I picked up this book because of the author, not because of the content. I have never really been a fan of the DC Universe so I wasn’t expecting to love the book as much as I did. Sarah J Maas is a phenomenal story teller and her retelling of Catwoman was no different.

For fans of the author, the premise may sound a little familiar. Young girl forced into the life of an assassin, turns into blonde, beautiful and frightening intelligent woman who makes men in her life frustrated and in desperate need of antacids. Name of Selina. Does this sound at all familiar? The similarities end at this superficial level and the book is all the better for it.

In the past, the author has been accused of lacking diversity in her work. This book is more representative of the real world and in a positive manner. None of the minority characters are killed off nor are their lives or relationships treated as anything less than normal. There is no ‘big reveal’, the relationships are what they are. Just as it should be.

Luke Fox is a black man living in a privileged white society. While he definitely benefits from the privilege of his wealth, the book does superficially delve into some of the prejudices and discrimination faced by black people in America in 2018. It gives authenticity to the novel, however, not facing these issues, I feel less than qualified to be the judge.  I am more than happy to take any feedback from readers who have better insight.

The book also touches on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the difficulties faced by those returning from conflict. It was a little more political than what is typical from this author. Being set in the current day, this makes sense and it was fabulous to see so many current events being acknowledged in the story.

I would disagree with the notion that Selina is an ‘antihero’. A kick ass assassin she may be however she is moral, idealistic and brave. She is doing what she needs to do to create change. Her methods may be less than ideal (okay, okay downright criminal) but her crimes tend to be without casualty and rooted in pro social motivation. She is even a positive influence on her less than heroic side kicks.

The relationship between Selina, Catwoman, Batwing and Luke Fox is an interesting dynamic. There are many twists and turns in the book that I wasn’t sure how the author was going to resolve. Being a master of the fantasy genre, the author bring her own mystic flair to the retelling and this does end up playing a pivotal role in the development of the story. The book had a very open ending with plenty of possibility for both the characters in the story and for more stories to be told.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Catwoman and indeed I finished it in less than a day. I think it might have to go on my favorites list and that is a a strong recommendation for me. Catwoman: Soulstealer was an unexpected delight.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Catwoman: Soulstealer
by Sarah J Maas
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

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