Monday, February 22, 2016

Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

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Publication date: 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 399
My rating: 2.5 stars
Ages: 13+

Eight years ago, Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, returned to Ukraine to finish off the man who created her, Ivan. In destroying Ivan's work, S.H.I.E.L.D. inherited his last project--a young girl name Ava. Eight years later, Ava—haunted by dreams she doesn't understand—learns that Ivan isn't as dead as everyone thought. It's up to Natasha and Ava to get rid of him, once and for all.

I was SO excited for this book. I love the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and the women in the movies are awesome. I thought this book would give me a closer look into Natasha's training in the Red Room and perhaps how she came to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. Imagine my surprise when the book wasn't really about Natasha at all. Sure, Nat was in it and played a large role, but really it was about 16 year old Ava. I found the parts with Natasha much more interesting than the rest of the novel.

The whole time I was reading, I was trying to fit the book into the MCU. I don't know if it's meant to, but the inclusion of Phil Coulson as a character (a character who was created for the MCU) made me believe it. But there were too many inconsistencies regarding the Avengers and Coulson.

The book changed limited third person POV, and it would say at the beginning of each chapter which POV it was going to be told through. That was nice. What wasn't nice was that there were at least three chapters where the POV was labeled as one character, but then halfway through the chapter it would change over to another. This was most common with Ava and Natasha. I also felt that the love story was a little . . . strange. I didn't like it in the context of this story--it felt rushed and unbelievable.

There were a few blatant errors that should have been caught by a proofreader before it went to press.

I do have to give some props to the overall story and the dialogue. The characters that we know from the movies sound like their characters, for the most part, with Stohl creating her own twist on them.

No swearing or sex.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

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