Review: Black Widow Forever Red

Review: Black Widow Forever RedForever Red by Margaret Stohl
Series: Black Widow #1
Released by Parragon Book Service on 13 October 2015
Genres: Action
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781474836579
Source: Purchased

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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.

At the beginning of last year, I fell into the Marvel fandom. I watched all of the movies, read a lot of comics and basically, I was hooked. I even tried out some of their ‘written’ novels, though that wasn’t a big success. That is until I found out that there was going to be a YA novel surrounding Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. Forever Red was released last year, in hardcover, and I spent a long time waiting for its paperback release, which I believe was a couple of months ago.

Black Widow: Forever Red tells the story of Ava Orlova. Ava has been living in America for the past eight years, after being rescued from a warehouse in Odessa by the infamous Black Widow. Ava is now trying to be a ‘normal’ teenager, who lives in the basement of the local YWCA and practices fencing in her spare time. During a tournament, she comes across Alex Manor, who she has been dreaming about for months now. Then, Black Widow appears again to rescue her from the same danger that she was in eight years prior.

I prefer reading Young Adult books because most of them are just so easy to get into. So when I heard this book would be a YA novel, I was intrigued. The fact that it would feature Black Widow was even better! I picked up the book as soon as I got my hands on a copy, and I can tell you that I finished it within two days!

While the book is titled Black Widow, I did feel like Natasha wasn’t the main character of the story. The main character, imo, was Ava. Natasha did have her own POV and the interviews in between the chapters were with her, but other than that she didn’t have the main part of this story. Still, I enjoyed reading this book, reading about how Natasha kicked ass while dragging the two teens along. The multiple POV didn’t bother me as much as it normally would have, partly because it was written from a third person narrative.

Ava and Alex were nice characters too, but I just didn’t really feel much for them. Maybe it’s because they’re not Marvel official characters (I kind of see this as fanfiction to be honest, though it’s a lot better than the previous ‘fanfiction’ book that I read ;)), but I just didn’t like them as much as I probably should have done. Ava honestly felt like a younger copy of Natasha, and to me, it felt like Alex was just there for the romance View Spoiler » I did not feel the romance at all, it kind of felt like a repeat of the one from Beautiful Creatures (the other book I know Margaret Stohl of) View Spoiler »

View Spoiler »

My favourite parts by far were the ones that involved Tony Stark because I just love Tony and I love Robert Downey Jr. and gosh I really wish someone would write a YA novel about Tony Stark *looks up hopefully to the Marvel gods*. I really loved Tony’s friendship with Natasha and the fact that Pepper was mentioned as well (and Pepper buying souvenirs for Natasha from her trips, ahhhhh). I do wish we’d had a mention of Natasha’s actual best friend, Clint Barton aka Hawkeye – because there was literally nothing. Rogers was mentioned, Thor was mentioned, Bruce Banner was mentioned – but nothing about Natasha Romanoff’s best friend. The guy who was supposed to kill her but decided to let her live. Yeah, bummer.

But yes, I did really enjoy Black Widow: Forever Red. And one day I might perhaps even manage to write ‘widow’ correct in one go (the amount of times I had to retype the word in this review alone is ridiculous). I do hope that there’ll be more YA novels after this one, and I think I will pick up the sequel to this book, Red Vengeance. If you love Marvel and you love YA books, I recommend you pick up this book.

My opinion in one gif: