Title: Catwoman: Soulstealer
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult
Version: ARC – Paperback Uncorrected Proof
Page Count: 368
Publisher: Random House LCC
Notable Notables: I’m trying but I’m really struggling to think of some…
Recommended Readers: No one, especially not DC fans
I won this ARC of Catwoman: Soulstealer from a giveaway on Tumblr, but I still want to thank the publisher for providing this for early-ish reviews.
The bad cover aside, I think some part of me was still hoping that Sarah J. Maas could at least pull off a standalone book, especially since it was a book featuring characters that aren’t her own. That being said, DC is my preferred comic book universe, and Batman especially means so much to me, so Maas was really going to have to work to impress me.
To put it simply, she did not. Maas exhibits the same flaws and bad writing quirks here that she does in her two main series. The repetitive sentence fragments, the exposition of backstory and actions to retroactively explain why present actions are possible, the attempts to manipulate the reader toward her Perfect Ending–she truly hasn’t grown as a writer at all, and no one on her team seems inclined to push her towards trying, which is super disappointing to say the least.
I wish I could say that this book gradually declined, but the truth is, it failed from the start. Selina Kyle is represented here, not as an independent, quick-witted jewel thief, but as a young woman whose agency is at the mercy of others and whose identity as Catwoman is solely created by everyone except herself.