Having always enjoyed author Margaret Stohl’s novels, I was excited to read her take on the notorious Marvel Comics character, Black Widow a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff. I’ve always been a huge fan of graphic novels and always loved her character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Getting to read about a badass lady spy written by one of my favorite authors? Talk about excitement. I can say that Black Widow Forever Red is a surprising read, one that leaves you gasping at plot twists, and left with an ache in your chest when the novel finally reaches its’ conclusion.
After being saved by Black Widow as a child and surviving the wicked Ivan Somodorov, Ava Orlova has spent her teenage years attempting to find normalcy. When you’ve been living under S.H.I.E.L.D’s thumb for years of your life, and narrowly managed to escape the Red Room, a Russian school for intelligence operatives, it can prove a little difficult. For years, Ava has resented Black Widow for abandoning her when she needed her most, but destiny has pulled the two together once more. They’re one and the same, and when the two learn that an enemy they once thought was long gone has practically returned from the dead (and with a vengeance), it’s finally time for Ava and Black Widow to discover a long list of secrets that have been hidden from them. Including the mystery behind the boy who haunts Ava’s dreams, a boy she doesn’t know but knows everything about, a boy with an hourglass tattoo…
If you’re interested in a story that will grasp your attention from start to finish,Black Widow: Forever Red is the book for you. Right from the get-go, we’re met with action, danger, and the very real threats that agents like Natasha Romanoff face as a part of their job description. There’s pieces of mystery woven into the plot that slowly begin to build the suspense up, until readers are on the edge of their seats. If there’s one thing I love in a novel, it’s a good plot twist, and you’d better believe that Black Widow: Forever Red has one that will have your jaw hitting the floor.
The characters in Black Widow: Forever Red are unforgettable. If you’re only familiar with Natasha’s character through all of the Marvel movies (a laAvengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), this novel presents her in a way that you’ll have never seen before. We see more of the character’s stoic, ice-cold personality, but we also see the humanity underneath it all. The way that Stohl writes this classic, beloved character is done masterfully. And the way that she introduces new characters like Ava and her mystery dream boy will definitely leave readers eager to see them again.
There is a bit of dependency on readers having some prior knowledge to the Marvel universe considering the amount of background information that is withdrawn. If you’re somehow unfamiliar with well-known characters like Iron Man or Thor, you might be in for a little bit of trouble. If, however, you are familiar with all of Marvel’s goodness, then you’ll be excited to know that there are cameos from renowned characters from the Marvel universe and that they are portrayed excellently. And who doesn’t love a ‘superhero’ novel that actually features some real superheroes?
I would recommend Black Widow: Forever Red to any readers looking for a novel that’s packed with action. Any readers who are blatant fans of Marvel Comics should give it a read if they’re looking for a new take on an old character. Any readers who are looking for a novel that has a bit of romance, a bit of drama, and a whole lot of badass fight scenes and explosions should also give it a read.