Black Widow: Forever Red Review

I am a big Marvel fan. So when I heard that they were coming out with a Black Widow novel, I was off the roof! Natasha Romanoff is one of my favorite characters, and I think she’s fairly underrated. We didn’t get to hear much about her background story through the movies she’s been in, so I was really excited to finally read a book about her.

I asked for it this Christmas, and my sister was nice enough to give it to me! The first thing I loved about it is the gorgeous cover. I mean, look at that! Doesn’t that look like a great book?

Black Widow: Forever Red

THE PLOT

Natasha Romanoff is sent to stop a big operation involving her old teacher, Ivan Somodorov, the evil man behind the Red Room. While dismantling Ivan’s base of operations, she saves a little girl, Ava Orlova, in the process. Ava has tried to reach out to her saviour ever since, but the Black Widow is not really the big sister type.

Eight years after that night, when children start disappearing again in Eastern Europe, Natasha knows her old teacher has returned. But what she didn’t know is that she would need the help of Ava Orlova to stop him.

THE REVIEW

The truth is, this book is a huge disappointment. I had set extremely high expectations for this book due to my love for Marvel, and none of them were reached.

Natasha, who is supposed to be the central focus of this book (the book is named after her, for God’s sake), is relayed to second place. She has like maybe 5 chapters in the entire book. Not only that, but her characterization is done very badly. The woman I was reading about in Black Widow is definitely not the Natasha Romanoff from the Marvel movies. I barely even recognized her!

The other main character, Ava, who actually was the main focus of the book, was no better. I just couldn’t stand her. I don’t exactly know why, but I just didn’t care what happened to her. She was too stubborn, overdramatic, selfish… and the list goes on. She pretended to be this badass with an attitude, when really she was just a scared teenage girl.

The author tried to alternate points of view. This could have been interesting. It would normally allow us to get inside the head of characters, understand their behavior, but this was done poorly. It was really more of an outside third person narrating the entire story. Specific characters were supposed to get their chapters, but we got into the head of both Ava and Alex whenever the author felt it was the right time to do so. So really, why bother with alternating the points of view if you’re really just going to do as you wish?

The relationship in this book makes no sense at all. Of course, it’s insta-love. Which means that only three minutes after they’ve met, Alex is willing to do to the end of the world with Ava. Ugh. They spent like four days together in total, and they already think they’ve met the love of their life. Like, really?

As for the actual story, the idea is not so bad. It’s actually quite interesting, but I think it could have been better. I felt like it was so slow-paced! Not a lot of action actually happens and most of the time is spent trying to figure out what Ivan is planning. I was actually curious to see what were his plans, but that’s about it. For a book about an Avenger, there ought to be more action!

I have to give the author a thumbs up for mentioning certain famous Marvel characters such as Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner. She even went as far as adding some of them to the storyline! Tony’s presence doesn’t go unnoticed and actually makes the story evolve.

But, sadly, some things just didn’t make sense with the Marvel timeline. For example, the presence of Phil Coulson was simply illogical. The story is a post-Avengers movie one, so Phil shouldn’t be there. Spoiler alert: he died in Avengers, before being brought back to life in Agents of Shield. But, the thing is, none of the Avengers are supposed to know that Phil is alive. All of them think he died trying to save them. So why include him in this book? That simply made no sense to me.

Basically, this book involves a lot of eye rolling, of me saying “Oh, really?” and sighing. There’s not much I liked beside the gorgeous cover and the mention of other Marvel characters.

Marvel fans, stay away from this book. Maybe other people would like it, but for me it was just a huge no.

Rating: 1.5 stars | Find this book on Goodreads

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