Gotham: Dawn of Darkness
Author: Jason Starr
Before the twisted city of Gotham came to know James Gordon, Bruce Wayne, and its greatest foes there was Thomas Wayne: a great man with dark secrets, Harvey Bullock: a hard drinking, dirty cop, and Alfred who was still adjusting to life as a butler.
A break-in at Wayne Manor stirs up trouble in Gotham. Thomas is afraid that it’s connected to his old colleague, Hugo Strange, but Harvey isn’t so sure and he doesn’t really care. Lazily, he chases after the case sure that Thomas should just give it up. The deeper the two of them delve into the crime, the more danger there is. There are criminals lurking on every corner of Gotham and there’s more at risk than their own lives.
While this book was on the shelf with those quick-fix romances and animal themed mysteries, I was extremely thrilled to read it. For fans of Gotham, this is the ultimate prequel before James Gordon came onto the scene of the dark city of Gotham. This is the look at Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father, that I’ve been waiting for. And to discover that he has a part of his past that he’s not proud of much like most of Gotham? That truly put him on an equal playing field with the city, as dark and dangerous secrets are a part of what makes Gotham.
Also, there were new details and stories about each of the characters that were focused on here that I didn’t learn about from the show, which was really cool. It gave me a stronger appreciation for all of it, characters, setting, and the show in its entirety.
The tone of the novel changed with each character’s POV and that was a major reason why I loved it. Each character on the page was true to the one on the TV screen. I swear I could hear their voices, like they were sitting on my shoulder, as I read. Very strong and enticing. Having a powerful voice is very important to me when I read. If you can carry me with that then I’m sucked in.
To see what life was like with the Wayne parents alive was intriguing and it grew even more so to see how they took care of Bruce and how they handled their affairs. They weren’t the perfect parents. Even they had disagreements. Seeing their day to day life and how they, for lack of a better term, survived in the twisted, Gothic city of Gotham was like getting a peek behind the curtain of the great wizard of Oz.
The book is action and tense from start to finish. Though a casual mass market, I enjoyed it very much. If you love Batman and/or Gotham then give this a read.
“…Any two people can read the same book and have vastly different views of it. But science and math are precise—there’s only one answer, and if you search hard enough, you can always find it.” (Bruce, 43)
“…if you want to be a cop in Gotham, you gotta know how to play the game. People who don’t know how to play the game end up with worms in their brains.” (Harvey to Amanda, p. 90)
“Wake up. This is Gotham. There are no good guys.” (Harvey to Amanda, p. 91)
“It’s never right to take joy from someone else’s suffering.” (Alfred to Bruce, p. 157)
“…I think the ability to fight and not kill is what separates us from animals.” (Bruce to Alfred, p. 302)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark by Fall Out Boy.