Monday, October 17, 2016

Book Review: Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

Book #1 of the Black Widow series
Genre: YA Marvel Universe
Publication: October 2015 by Marvel Press
Acquisition: received as a gift

Synopsis:
Enter the world of the Avengers’ iconic master spy…

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…
(from Goodreads)
5 / 5 Stars

So, I went into this one with pretty high expectations. I love Marvel and I love love love S.H.I.E.L.D. -- Agent Coulson for life!

And...

I wasn't disappointed at all. In fact, it was better then I was expecting.

Black Widow, aka Agent Romanoff, aka Natasha Romanova was a bit of a unknown for me. All I really knew about her came from the Avengers movies and she didn't get a lot of screen time. However, she is one of those characters you just knew had to come with a pretty hefty back story. In Forever Red the backstory is the story - front and center in all it's horrific glory.

And I ate. It. Up.

Black Widow for life! (j/k Phil)

Lots of details, lots of awesome little bits and pieces of S.H.I.E.L.D. and some well known (to me) characters and some new ones and action and adventure and mystery and really really good storytelling.

So yeah, I loved it.

I wasn't actually too sure of Ava at first. I thought maybe she was a throw away type of character - because this series is being written for young adults and the Black Widow isn't a kid, an actual teenager was needed to make the story work for the YA audience.

That isn't what this is at all though. Ava and Natasha are connected in ways I didn't see coming AT ALL and it made for a hell of a story.

Highly recommend for fans of Marvel, Black Widow, and kick ass female characters :)

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