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Black Widow Forever Red (A Marvel YA Novel)…

Black Widow Forever Red (A Marvel YA Novel)

by Margaret Stohl

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Black Widow Prose Novels (1), Marvel YA Novels

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2701842,050 (3.61)1



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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Extremely quick read. I'm not generally into comic book based characters/books, but this is fast paced and very well written, especially the blend of public hero/real world threat plot elements. Shocker, to me at least, at the end, making me want to read the rest of the series. ( )
  sennebec | Feb 24, 2018 |
This was such an awesome book! I absolutely loved experiencing Natasha Romanoff's story in the YA context with a lot of Marvel references and YA stuff.

This shows a different side to her than what it is in the movies and it's amazing. ( )
  BingeReader87 | Nov 22, 2017 |
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 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 until the second part of the book where we found out he was actually Natasha's brother. Hadn't seen that coming. 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) I mean the whole 'I have been dreaming about you and I drew you in my notebook a thousand times part'? Totally Ethan Wade-ish.

Alex's death was probably necessary or something, but honestly I didn't like it. I had seen it coming the moment he told Ava he'd cover her, and I wasn't shocked or sad at all. Then again, no one really stays dead in the Marvel universe. Except for uncle Ben. And Pietro Maximoff. Which brings me to another thing that bothered me. I guess this novel happens somewhere after the events of The Avengers, otherwise they wouldn't have been mentioned at all - so how the hell is Coulson even involved? Coulson is supposed to be 'dead', the Avengers are supposed to think Coulson is dead. That is one of the reasons I kind of think as this book as fanfiction, to be honest, not actual Marvel canon.

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:

( )
  october.tune | Nov 15, 2017 |
3.5 Stars

While full of the action you'd find watching a Marvel movie, it wasn't necessarily on par with one. Granted comparing a book to a movie is like comparing apples and oranges. Black Widow: Forever Red didn't really focus on Natasha Romanoff (and I would have preferred this!) and reading about Ava Orlova and Alexei Manor wasn't as fulfilling, in my opinion. The snippets with Coulson, Tony, and Romanoff were by far my favorite, and I wish it was more of a book on the Avengers. So everything else felt like non-canon filler.

Although this book did do more justice to an under -appreciated Black Widow, characterizing her coldness and inability to show her feelings after the Red Room, and this is something I can say I enjoyed. If only her character was explored more. But we did learn about her past with the Red Room, which is something the Marvel movies have yet to cover in greater detail. ( )
  raisinetta | Sep 25, 2017 |
Received via NetGalley

Marvelous book starring Black Widow that melds nicely between the movies & Agents of SHIELD TV show.

Marketed as YA but really suitable for any reader over 12 especially fans of the comics or movies.

Interesting use of older continuity in new ways that even surprised a jaded reader of more than 4 decades.

( )
  SESchend | Sep 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
*** 3 out of 5 stars
Review by: Mark Palm
The Black and the Red.

Every book deserves to be read and reviewed on it’s own merits, and I certainly intend to do that with Black Widow: Forever Red, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to say how thrilled I am that this book was even written. I have been a fan of Marvel Comics since I was a child, when comics cost a quarter. I am a fan of most of the films, though I have to say that I cannot for the life of understand why we have yet to be treated to a Black Widow film. Perhaps the new Netflix series Jessica Jones will help. Until then I will side with my daughter, who received an Avengers backpack, and will not use it because all of the heroes from the first film are on it; except for the Black Widow. If we are lucky Margaret Stohl’s novel, Black Widow: Forever Red, will help even more.

During a mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Natasha Romanoff, AKA The Black Widow, discovers that her old trainer, Ivan Somodorov, master of the Red Room, the Soviet academy that trains girls to be assassins and spies, was conducting mysterious experiments on a little girl. Natasha wrecks the program, and saves the girl, Ana Orlova, but Somodorov escapes. Placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection Ana escapes, and we find her, years later, living on her own and trying to be just another teenage girl in Brooklyn; except that she keeps having vivid dreams about a teenage boy with a Widow’s Mark tattooed on his arm. Dreams so vivid that she makes detailed drawings of him and his life. Then one day she runs into him at a fencing match, and then all hell breaks loose, as bullets fly and Ava and Alex find themselves running for their lives as both the good guys and the bad guys are trying to find them. Oddly, in the midst of danger both find themselves acting and reacting to combat as if they had been trained for years. And when things look grim, the Black Widow shows up, and the plot kicks into high gear.

I’m not spoiling the plot, but Ms. Stohl dives into the past as the two teens and the Widow try to unfurl a passel of mysteries. This book got better and better as it went along, but there was one singular problem that I just could not overcome, and that is that the Black Widow is a secondary character in a book with her name and picture on the cover. Ava is a well-drawn, but Natasha, outside of a few surprise plot twists, is as unknowable as ever.

I can appreciate that the nature of the Black Widow’s character is that she is distant and aloof, but instead of this being her star turn she is stuck in the role of an understudy. It would be different if Alex were more compelling, but he is a YA love interest with the depth of a kiddie pool. The chapters are interspersed with faux excerpts from the transcripts of an enquiry into the events of the novel, as some nameless functionary interviews Natasha. It gives the book a bit of depth and gives Natasha a chance to dish out some good one-liners, but doesn't add much else.

Action is something that is deceptively difficult to write, and Ms. Stohl get it right for the most part, but never really lands a knock-out blow. I could see the battles in my head, but not in my gut. Ms. Stohl has delivered a solid YA novel, but I still feel like I’m waiting for the Black Widow's debut.

Full reviews available at: http://www.thebookendfamily.weebly.co...

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Margaret Stohlprimary authorall editionscalculated
Whelan, JuliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Love is for children" - Natasha Romanoff
This one is for 
Kate Hailey Peterson
 kicker of butts
builder of worlds
Romanoff in spirit
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Natasha Romanoff hated pierogies - but more than that, she hated lies.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 148472643X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 08 Jul 2015 21:54:48 -0400)

Natasha Romanov, called the Black Widow, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, rescues a young girl from Ivan, the man who once trained her as an assassin--and eight years later she is called upon to protect the teenager Ava has become from a threat from the past--and possibly from S.H.I.E.L.D itself.… (more)

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