{Audiobook} Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

My Review:

You know, for a book called Black Widow: Forever Red, you’d think it would actually BE about… THE Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff.

Instead, Natasha is the side character in this mess. The book is ACTUALLY about these two teens: Ava Orlova, and Alex Manor.

It was very difficult to love either of these characters, as they were two dimensional and frankly very annoying. Ava is a little brat. She thinks that because she has SOME of Black Widow’s skills, that she’s suddenly an expert and can take perfect care of herself. Ava then goes on to yell at Natasha, whine uncontrollably, and throw fits as if she were 7, not 17 years old. Ava had such a “woe-is-me” attitude throughout the whole book. She was constantly crying about how everyone leaves and that she couldn’t trust anybody (honey, Natasha has been through this and more, yet she doesn’t need to complain about it every 5 seconds). If I were Natasha, I would’ve fed Ava to the bad guys a long time ago to rid myself from her incessant whining. Alex is far better  because he brings a bit of comic relief to the story, however he is pretty unbelievable as a character as well. He has a hero complex and a bad attitude. He mysteriously knows how to fight, and he’s coincidentally the boy in Ava’s dreams.

There’s also instalove! The instalove here is so cringe-inducing. Alex and Ava have only known each other for maybe a few hours at most, and Alex is already proclaiming how his life is so different because Ava is in it. They’re kissing by one day of meeting. And they’re thinking of love maybe two days later. It’s ridiculous. 

The world-building is incredible… In the fact that there isn’t any. I don’t know when this book takes place. It’s hinted to be after the Avengers movies, but doesn’t make sense because there are things that should’ve been known beforehand…. There were also some things that went over my head, because the author just assumed that I already knew most of the things she was talking about. 

The only reason I even finished this was because of the audiobook. The narrator made it easy for me to finish the book. If I had been reading a physical version of this book, I probably would have thrown it against a wall and never read it again. Julia Whelan is a great narrator; I had already heard her narration of another series, so I was already accustomed to her voice. Her portrayal of male characters leaves a bit to be desired, but she definitely gave a distinct voice to Natasha Romanoff, Ava Orlova, and Alex Manor.

Overall, this book is not my favorite. I was expecting a story that showed Black Widow’s origin story, not one that featured two whiny, bratty, and angsty teenagers. There’s barely any world-building, almost no character development, and so many inconsistencies that you’d have to ignore everything you ever knew about Marvel to actually even passably enjoy this book.

[rating-report]

16 thoughts on “{Audiobook} Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

  1. *BARFS* OMIGOSH. I did NOT know that Natasha was a side character. What is this?!!? 😡 If I had read it, I would’ve been like, “um I did not sign up for this.” And Ava and Alex sound like total cardboard characters! That insta-love got me like “gtggtggtg.” THANKS for the warning review, because I have no plans to read this – ever. Heh.

    – Aila @ Happy Indulgence

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  2. Ugh this book sounded awful from the get-go, I’m sorry to hear that it sucks as much as I thought 😦 what is even the point of a Black Widow novel if it’s not even about her. Pfft Marvel, any way to make money I suppose *sigh*

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  3. Ever since I first heard of this book I thought it was a bad idea. We don’t really need a book about Black Widow to be honest. Part of what makes her the cool character that she is resides in her evolution in the Marvel universe. Her past is a little mysterious and that’s absolutely fine. Also, it’s not like this book did anything to actually reveal much about her past, lol. And no story can work with Natasha relegated to the side cast bench. Nope. Especially if the book is named after her!!! Great review Marianne 🙂

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  4. WAAAAAAT. No Black Widow?! HOW IS THIS NOT ABOUT THE BLACK WIDOW?!? *collapses in disappointment* Actually I’m really glad I read this review, because I was about to listen to the audio but I was unsure. Now I’m sure. XD Nopity no. Life is too short to listen to bratty teens whine about their lives.

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  5. Such false advertising to lure readers in! You would have thought it would have BEEN about the Black Widow, not two annoying kids that sound like they barely have a brain cell between them to run together. I can’t see how anyone would have thought this one was a good idea and to be honest, it sounds like a right awful mess. I’m so sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this more, hopefully your next read knocks your socks off. Wonderful review nonetheless Marianne ❤

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  6. Such false advertising to lure readers in! You would have thought it would have BEEN about the Black Widow, not two annoying kids that sound like they barely have a brain cell between them to run together. I can’t see how anyone would have thought this one was a good idea and to be honest, it sounds like a right awful mess. I’m so sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this more, hopefully your next read knocks your socks off. Wonderful review nonetheless Marianne ❤

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