Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Little Lit: Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

Ava Orlova hasn't had what you might consider a normal childhood. She was experimented on by the evil Ivan Somorodov, the same man who trained and tortured Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, until Natasha rescued her and turned her over to S.H.I.E.L.D. Ava grew up in isolation until she ran away. Now she's a teen living on her own in Brooklyn, trying to have a normal life, despite the weird dreams she keeps having about a boy she's never met. Her best friend drags her to a fencing competition and Ava finds herself face to face with Alex, the boy from her dream, and then finds herself on the run from someone trying to kill her and reunited with Natasha. As things start to spiral out of control Ava has to decide if she can trust Natasha after she abandoned her years before and if she has the strength to face the weight of her past before it catches up and destroys her.

What I Liked:

  • This fit well into the Marvel movie canon. I thought that Natasha, as well as Coulson and Tony (who make brief appearances) were written really well. I could hear and see them in my head.
  • I liked the format of the book with the official investigation transcripts. They did give away where part of the book was going, but it worked more to keep a certain event from being there just for shock factor.
  • I liked the revelations about Natasha's past that came out through the development of her relationship with Ava.
  • I liked Ava's character. I enjoyed her sass and completely understood her distrust of Natasha and struggle to trust Alex.
What I Would Have Liked:
  • I would have liked for it to be about Natasha instead of about Ava, but I can understand why to some extent. I'm just really glad that I read a review that said the book wasn't about Natasha  before I started reading. I think I would have enjoyed it less if I'd had different expectations going in.
  • I would really really have liked for the book to actually be copy edited. There were egregious copywriting mistakes throughout. Repeated lines, double or missing punctuation, sentences that were rewritten, but both versions of the sentence were still there. Stupid mistakes that ruined a book that deserved much more, especially being put out by such a big publisher and connected with Marvel by a fairly high profile YA author.
  • I enjoyed this. It was like watching a teen Marvel movie - which is basically what it was.
  • People who enjoy superhero movies or television shows should enjoy this, as long as they realize that this isn't the Black Widow origin story we were hoping for.

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