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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Scrivener's Moon - Audio
Philip Reeve
Batman: The Night of the Owls - Scott Snyder, Judd Winick, Justin Gray, David Finch, Peter J. Tomasi, Pat Gleason, Tony S. Daniel, Scott Lobdell, Duane Swierczynski, J.H. Williams III, Jimmy Palmiotti Worth it if you want an overarching look at the Night of Owls Bat family event. But do you really need to? The answer, unsurprisingly, is, "No, not really."

Most, if not all, of the Gotham related series have an issue here, plus two from the core Batman book and Nightwing (the two books most tied to the event). Every other book is essentially side story, adding nothing really new or interesting to the overall event. There's no attempt to give a hand to readers who haven't been reading every single issue of the New 52. Luckily, there doesn't seem to be much to confuse people being dropped in the middle of an ongoing series, though I can see where being up to date in these books would help. No, I don't know who Catwoman was talking to at the start of her issue, but I don't really care. It would have been nice to know who all those people in All-Star Western #9 were, though.

The quality varies as wildly as you might expect, with no less than eleven writers on board. Batman and Nightwing were the best, of course, (they needed to be) and I also liked the Batgirl issue. The rest? Largely forgettable. This could be partly because it's basically the same story over and over again: A Talon shows up. The star of the book dispatches him. Repeat. It gets dull. And very, very few of the stories add anything at all to the event.

I'm not sure why All-Star Western was in here. Since it's set more than a century before the other books, it can't possibly connect in any real way. It doesn't. So what was the point? Likewise, I'd advise skipping any issue in a series that you already know you don't like. This will not change your mind. And honestly, every single one of these issues will eventually be collected under their own titles. Wait for those, read [b:Batman, Vol. 2: The City of Owls|15752115|Batman, Vol. 2 The City of Owls|Scott Snyder|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1342309403s/15752115.jpg|21446852] and [b:Nightwing, Vol. 2: Night of the Owls|17137617|Nightwing, Vol. 2 Night of the Owls|Kyle Higgins|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1356139939s/17137617.jpg|23539657] (when it comes out) and skip this collection.