Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Black Widow: Forever Red

by Margaret Stohl
Format Read: Hardcover & Audiobook
Page Count: 401
Publisher: Marvel Press
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Date Read: November 3, 2015
Natasha Romanoff is one of the world's most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow's infamous academy for operatives.
Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn't really the big sister type.
Until now.
When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava's dreams. . . .

What do you expect from the first ever YA novel about a comic-book superhero? That was the question many of us were wondering upon the news that Marvel was branching out into one of the biggest book markets today.

If I'm being completely transparent, I need to disclose that I had no intention of reading this book. I am a big fan of the Marvel Avenger's movie franchise, but I've never read the comics nor have I invested a lot of time into the characters. And after the big backlash to the Black Widow storyline in Avengers: Age of Ultron, I wasn't that interested to see what happened next.


I did manage to grab a copy at my library and figured I wouldn't actually read it, but I'd at least take a look. 24-hours later, I am happy to say that sitting down to read the first chapter spiraled into reading the entire book in a day. Yes, it was that good.

There isn't much I need to tell you regarding the plot or style of Black Widow: Forever Red. It's the (sort of) origin story of Natasha as well as the rise of a new Marvel superhero, Red Widow. I thought the two women's storylines interwove beautifully and I am truly excited to see more from both their stories.

If you are an Avenger fan, you will not be disappointed, as several of our favorite superheroes make cameo appearances. If you are a YA fan, you will not be disappointed, as their are classic elements and tropes that will give you all the feels.

One of my only critiques comes from the marketing and title of the book itself. The title "Black Widow: Forever Red" leads to imply that this is solely Natasha's book, and it isn't at all. This book is told in multiple perspectives and dare I say that Natasha's is smaller than others. It does all revolve around her but she isn't the stand-alone MC of the book. And if you think this book is going to 100% remedy the problematic storyline from Age of Ultron, I'd say you might be disappointed. As much as the book gave in regards to Natasha's past, we still didn't get the full picture. BUT I do think it's satisfactory and well done.

Also, a tad bit of instalove but I was shipping it, so I overlooked for the most part :P

So all in all, I really loved this book! I am shocked and delighted because I had less than zero expectations going in (I didn't even think I'd finish the book), but I was deeply invested and brought to tears. It was moving and you could tell that the author, Margaret Stohl, truly cared for the beloved character she was writing about.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

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