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DNF Review: Black Widow: Forever Red

Margaret Stohl - Black Widow: Forever Red
Published: October 13, 2015 by Marvel Press
Pages: 304
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: Um, DNF?

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. . . .

Black Widow: Forever Red features all the heart-pounding adventure readers expect from Marvel, written by #1 New York Times best-selling author Margaret Stohl. Uncover a new side of the Marvel Universe that will thrill loyal fans and newcomers alike, as Stohl reveals the untold story of Black Widow for the very first time.

Okay, um, no.

Ya'll have no idea how fast I jumped for this. Seriously, though, it's Black Widow. All we need now is a movie. BTW, did you they have action figures and merchandise for all the Avengers except Black Widow? There is not one shirt, one action figure, one anything. I tried to bring this up to one of my guy friends and he said, "Well, what can you do?"

So anyway. This started off amazing. Black Widow – or rather Natasha Romanoff – was appropriately in-action. I practically devoured every page of her badassery. She kicked a sadist's ass, saved a child, and ran out of a burning building with barely a scratch. Literally, keep doing you, Natasha.

The child Natasha saved, Ava, grows an attachment to her after the rescue. As the Black Widow has more important people to get to, she peels Ava off, writes something symbolic on a euro, and pretty much says, “Call me when you're eighteen.” before handing Ava off to a medic and disappearing into the night.

Flash-forward to Ava as a teenager. Not that anyone cares. Ava is mourning because Natasha never came back for her and her life has been one gigantic ball of suck since then. She has called for Natasha to no avail. Then, Alex, another useless side-character is worked into the mess. They meet at a fencing tournament because Alex fancies that shit and I simply couldn't connect. I skipped forward a few 100 pages to see if Black Widow reappeared but nada. (Apparently, she does.)

I wasn't looking for the typical YA. I was looking for the story of Black Widow. Not the two teenagers who hardly knew her. Tony Stark – Iron Man – and Phil Coulson also make teeny cameos. Interesting, but if I wanted to re-watch the Avengers, I would've simply rented it on iTunes.

Although, her particular style isn't for me, Margaret Stohl definitely has talent. Though for now, I have to stamp superhero retellings with a giant NO.


  1. Huh. I've been so much excitement for this book! I personally was never interested in it, but it's nice to see so many people anxious to read a book. Still, I'm sorry it didn't work out for you! But I can see why. Fantastic review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Yeah, it was a real bummer it turned out that way, especially since I'd been seriously looking forward to it. Thanks, Alyssa! :)


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