Title: Black Widow: Forever Red
Author: Margaret Stohl
Genre: YA, action, adventure
Part of a series? Yes, thank God! This is book one of the Black Widow novels.
Published: October 13th, 2015
I first heard about this book from a co-worker’s teen daughter. The premise sounded really good, but the reviews were all over the place. Miser that I am, I decided to get it at the library and decide if the series is worth my book money. Whoo boy! I bought the second book, and will be getting this one for myself. I loved it so much! Seriously, I am kind of fan-girling here. I loved the fast paced story, the snippets into Black Widow’s past, the other characters… Tony Stark. I loved that there was a lot of adventure, and a great amount of sarcasm ( as expected from a novel featuring parts of the Avengers) but also a whole lot of heart. Let’s get to the summary shall we?
Natasha Romanov is after the man that ruined her childhood. It is rumored that Ivan the Strange is back to nabbing children for the Red Room program. More torture, more killers, more pain. She wants to stop him, and put an end to her old tormentor. When she reaches his base, though, he has just one girl and a machine. The little Russian red haired girl is so like who Natasha was that it’s scary, but she can’t let herself be distracted. In the fight, Black Widow wins, blowing up the machine and, she thinks, Ivan himself. The girl is taken into protective care, and Natasha is gone.
Eight years later, Ava still hasn’t forgiven Natasha for abandoning her. Life hasn’t been easy since escaping S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, but at least she’s free. When she sleeps, though, she sees a boy,. She never met him, but she knows him. She sees him and his friends. Why? At a fencing tournament she sees the boy. They meet, but who could know how important this meeting is? Natasha comes back, grabbing both minors to protect them from Ivan, who is coming for Ava. As the three talk it’s obvious that odd things have happened. Ava has Natasha’s battle experience, and memories. Alex, the boy, can speak Russian and doesn’t remember much of his childhood. What if there’s a reason the three are connected? How? The answer is stranger than anything they can imagine…
Did I mention I loved this book? I loved the characters, though both Ava and Alex annoyed me at times. I felt for Natasha, so in control and secluded having to open herself up. I loved having Stark and Coulson in the book, one for comic relief and expertise and the other to move the story along. I enjoyed that the book was written in three POV’s so you got to know Alex, Ava, and Natasha. I also liked that there would be recaps in the form of exerts from a interview between Romanov and Coulson.
I had a hard time with Alex’s acceptance of everything. Pretty/crazy girl thinks I know her? Ok, I want to. Pretty/crazy girl is getting attacked by some CIA lady? I’ll save her! Wait, we’re being shot at by someone else? Let’s all go together! Life threatening mission with the girl I just met? Sign me up! It was sweet, but frustrating. I feel like he really ought to have had more questions instead of the insta-love “must be with Ava” thing. I did like him though. That said, this is still very much a five star book for me.
On the adult content scale, this isn’t bad as far as sexual content- there isn’t any. No drugs, no alcohol. There is a lot of explosions, violence, and language. I would give it to a young teen, but then I am not as worried about violence in books as some. I would give it a four. Still…
The book is out now, let me know what you think!
Link to book: