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.
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.
Before I even start this review, I have to give Stohl a virtual bear hug for writing this book because Black Widow has to be one of my favorite comic book/fictional character ever. So of course I was going to pick up Black Widow: Forever Red simply because it had Natasha in it. I was so glad I picked this book up too not only because it featured Natasha herself, but also two other characters who I quickly began to like.
Black Widow: Forever Red was told from 3 changing POVs: Ava, Alex, and Natasha’s. Now, had I known that fact before buying the book, I might have been a little apprehensive about it because as some of you may know, multiple POVs is a huge turn off for me. However, I loved the way Stohl wrote all three POVs. There was no pattern to the change in POVs so it was always fun to start a new chapter and see whose view it was told from. Personally, I loved Ava's POV because she was an amazing character filled with a lot of emotion. She was the kind of character that you instantly gravitated towards because her story was so sad that you couldn't help but get attached. Ava was also a really strong character mentally. She could have been in the middle of a war zone and not run away screaming like I would have. I really admired that about her, and the fact that she had a free and loving side of her that showed up less often than the stoic side.
Alex was also a really interesting character. I immediately got the sense that he was special somehow and it created a mysterious atmosphere about him that I wanted to uncover. He was a huge goofball sometimes, but also a scary fighter when he had to be. I loved reading about him interacting with the other characters in the book because he always seemed to make everyone love him. I know I did.
Then we have the special characters (AKA the other Avengers) who everyone is wondering whether they show up in the book and the answer is yes. Some of our favorite characters associated with Black Widow made an appearance, and I loved it. It was also hilarious seeing Alex, who happened to be a superhero/Avenger fan react to meeting said characters. They were true to their original comic book characters as far as I am concerned, and it basically felt like I was reading another really long comic book. I would tell you who made an appearance, but that would totally ruin the surprise. However, I can talk about the plot!
The plot of Black Widow was a really complex and interesting one. Some may say that the pacing in the beginning was a little slow, but I liked that about this book. First, we got to know a little about the characters, which was really important, then we got to the action. This book was full of action, mystery, and twists that will have you holding this book to your chest with your mouth dropped open in shock. I only know this because it happened to me. I was NOT prepared for the surprises and twists that this book had in store for me. I honestly did not see them coming, and I loved every minute of it because it had my attention focused solely on the book. The twists and mysteries aren't the only thing that had me hooked, the action had me on the edge of my seat too. I knew this book would be full of badass fighting scenes and awesome moves worthy of the Black Widow, but I wasn't prepared when Ava and Alex started acting like super spies too. Reading Ava's fighting scenes was exhilarating and fun. I loved reading about her fighting like Black Widow. Then I got to the part of the book that crushed my heart and left me in tears. Literally. That twist was one I did not see coming and it hit me like the Hulk. I wanted to cry and rant about it here, but I can't spoil it. Just know that the ending will leave you either hopeful that that certain event didn't happen or broken because you realize that event did happen and there is no going back. I'm in the latter category, and my eyes are leaking. THIS BOOK WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO MAKE ME CRY, AND I LOVE AND HATE IT FOR THAT, Damn it. *walks off crying hysterically*
You guys really need to read this book because it will satisfy every part of you and leave you wanting, no, needing more. I cannot tell you how much I love this book. Ava, Alex, and Natasha were amazing and so was the plot. Those of you who love anything Marvel related, superhero related, or fans of mystery, action, and twists will adore this book. Black Widow: Forever Red has earned its rightful place on my favorites shelf. I give it five out of five stars!
I also had the pleasure of meeting Margaret Stohl at YALLFest 2016 in Charleston, SC and she was so awesome! It made my day meeting her.