Black Widow: Forever Red

A perfect read for anyone who wants to appreciate woman’s footprint in Overall, a decent YA Marvel novel read that explores Black Widow’s current life as a S.H.I.E.L.D agent.


  • Female leads
  • Want to get into, or are already into, the Marvel world
  • Like assassin stories

TitleBlack Widow: Forever Red | Author: Margaret Stohl  | Rating: 3/5

I’m new to the Marvel world, but I’ve been gravitating to the female (badass) characters. Black Widow is one of my first forays into the Marvel female world.

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives.

Not knowing anything about Black Widow’s background, I could still follow the storyline and understand some of her past. Most of the story, though, centers on her present, as she meets with Ava, a young girl who’s neurally connected to Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, and Alexi, who ends up also being a Romanov.

I loved the hints of Red Room training Natasha underwent as a child, though I don’t know details through this book. I thought the story did well to fill in details without going too much into them, and still moving the current plot along.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments—until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type.

Until now.

The story was definitely YA, but even so, I still enjoyed it enough to decide to pick up the sequel, Black Widow: Red Vengeance. I loved Black Widow’s personality, as cliche as the unapproachable, closed off female assassin trope is. There’s something about a woman being so empowered that she’s not eager to please or to pretend to be happier than she is. Black Widow does that well in this book.

If you’re new to the Marvel world, you’ll still understand and enjoy the story. I did feel I missed out on what exactly the Red Room is, how Black Widow came to be an Avenger (I think she did), and how she came to world for S.H.I.E.L.D (or what S.H.I.E.L.D even is). Still, I could follow along enough and I’m sure with subsequent books, I’ll be able to piece things together more.

Overall, a decent YA Marvel novel read that explores Black Widow’s current life as a S.H.I.E.L.D agent.

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