- Age Range: 12 - 17 years
- Grade Level: 7 - 12
- Lexile Measure: 580 (What's this?)
- Series: A Marvel YA Novel
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Marvel Press (October 13, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 148472643X
- ISBN-13: 978-1484726433
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 110 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Black Widow Forever Red (A Marvel YA Novel) Hardcover – October 13, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Beautiful Creatures (Little, Brown, 2010) coauthor Stohl and Marvel team up for a brand new Black Widow story with two original main characters. Once a lethal assassin for Russia, Natasha Romanov (aka Black Widow) strives to atone for her past mistakes. Working with S.H.I.E.L.D, Natasha is ready to kill her former teacher, Ivan Somodorov, but does not count on rescuing a little girl from a planned explosion at his lab. Without realizing it, Natasha and Ava are caught in Ivan's latest experiment, which gives Ava access to Natasha's abilities. Years later, their lives converge when Ava meets Alex, a boy she has been having dreams about, and is reunited with Natasha, who turns their normal lives upside down. Natasha reluctantly involves Ava and Alex in her mission to kill Ivan and save the world, but the cost may be too high. Black Widow: Forever Red can be enjoyed without prior knowledge, and for those who are familiar with Black Widow, Natasha's history is expanded in new ways. VERDICT Great fight sequences, plenty of action, twists in the plot, and characters motivated by strong emotions will keep readers engaged and entertained. A great addition for most young adult collections.—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ
* "Every aspect of this book is terrific, from the concrete details and rich language to the interactions among Alex, Ava, and Natasha . . . . Here's hoping for a sequel!"―Booklist, starred review
"Action-packed . . . [Stohl creates] a complex tapestry from which emerges the story of the origins of the Black Widow."―VOYA
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Top customer reviews
Likes: The insight it gave me to Black Widow, secondary character even though she was. And she had some awesome kick-butt moments. By far my favorite moments were with Coulson (please make a book series about him, Marvel; I know he has a show, kind of, but it's not really about him that much anymore and we never get his back story, really) and Tony Stark. I could have read about Tony and Black Widow all day. The writing was well done, and I really liked some of the prose. I thought I'd mostly be annoyed by Ava, and she was a bit irritating and ungrateful at times, but I warmed up to her a bit. The other main character Alex was fun to read about, until he wasn't. Which brings me to
Dislikes: (kind of a spoiler? A tiny one?)
Mild spoiler here, although the beginning of each chapter does mention a line of duty death (LODD) multiple times so in my defense it's not that big of a deal. But really all I want to say without giving it away is that it was stupid and it made no sense and it basically ruined the book for me. Otherwise, I would have been pleasantly entertained instead of massively annoyed. But the character that died took the book from an interesting character study to a YA trope of killing a character without any reason except to make the reader sad. It didn't do anything to further the plot or the characters.
This has little to do with the book, but it was also poorly edited; I just found a few spelling mistakes and misplaced quotation marks, that kind of thing. This book was not self-published, I have standards you know.
In this book, she is a secondary character behind two older teens named Alex and Ava. The book goes back and forth between each of the three as each chapter is told from one of their perspectives. The story is about Natasha trying to kill somebody from her past, and of course the main characters get intertwined as well.
While it was off the Black Widow book was not mainly about Black Widow, it honestly wasn't a big deal early on. It still felt like a good spy story with shield and Avengers tie ins. It started to fall apart about half way through, when the "young adult" part of the book kicked in. We get romance, which I usually enjoy, and we get some really off backstory on Natasha that tries to humanize that character. Now I know this book giant considered cannon, or part of,the actual marvel universe, but it still seemed very out of place with this character. Without going into spoilers, I can't really explain why I didn't like it. But it just felt cheesy and seemed almost like they only did it to tie the 3 characters together.
The book wasn't bad, and I really enjoyed the first half of it. I loved every interaction Coulson had, and the cameo by a certain Avenger early on. But finishing the book was difficult. It was on sale for a dollar, I easily got that out of it But I have no interest in reading the next book.
Ava Orlova would never forget the red-haired woman who rescued her from the clutches of Ivan Somodorov. She owed her life to this woman who’d called her sestrenka, little sister. This hero who promised she’d be there for her whenever she needed her. But after years spent locked up in one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s military bunkers with no answer to her many requests to see her and years spent on the streets of Brooklyn fighting for her survival, Ava wanted nothing to do with her. She might never be able to forget what the Black Widow had done for her, but she wasn’t going to forgive her for what she didn’t do.
Natasha Romanov had no intention of coming back into Ava’s life. As long as she was safe there was no reason to. But when it appears that the man responsible for both of their tortured pasts is alive and going after Ava, she is forced to step in. Because if she wants answers as to why Ivan is coming for Ava after all these years, she’ll need to keep Ava alive. And, even if she won’t admit it, she cares whether Ava lives or dies.
Author Margaret Stohl created a fantastic new addition to the Marvel Universe with her Black Widow story - a story that is just as much Ava’s story as it is Natasha’s. She expanded on the character that is the Black Widow, bringing more of her past and her family’s past into the light, allowing her to show just a tiny bit of humanity, and giving her another dangerous mission to complete, this time with two untrained civilians in tow.
The author created two new key characters - Ava and Alex - whose connection to and with each other is fascinating, bewitching, and a bit of a mystery, and allowed for a touch of romance in this otherwise action-filled tale. And she paired them up with the Black Widow, but made no promises that the outcome would be a happy one.
The story alternates between three of its most integral characters’ points of view - Natasha’s, Ava’s and Alex’s - allowing for a more expansive view of what’s going on. The start of most chapters begins with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Line-of-Duty Death Investigation transcript that teases information about what happened to the three of them and where things might have gone wrong. And throughout, it offers cameos of one of the most charming of the Avengers.
BLACK WIDOW: FOREVER RED is a thrilling and riveting and heartbreaking read. It delivers two kick-ass heroines, one of whom is legendary, a surprising hero, a world that is both familiar and new, a villain who is beyond evil, a deadly mission, and some comic relief in the form of a much beloved Avenger. There will be surprises. There may even be a few tears. And it will be impossible to put this story down before the adventure ends.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm a huge sucker for everything Marvel. Comics, movies, merch. Everything. But when it comes to the famous Black Widow, I'm going to slay.Read more
Thanks to NetGalley, Disney Book Group and Marvel Press for the opportunity to read and review Black Widow:...Read more