review: black widow forever red by margaret stohl

January 2, 2017

“Enough!” Romanoff barked.

This is a spoiler-free review which can also be viewed HERE.

I’m a huge sucker for everything Marvel. Comics, movies, merch. Everything. But when it comes to the famous Black Widow, I’m going to slay. Natalia Alianovna Romanova is one of my warrior queens and so I was absolutely hyped when I found that Black Widow: Forever Red was actually a thing. Maybe this was my biggest issue. So first things first – this book shouldn’t be read by hard-core Marvel fans. Like – seriously, you should trust me. I feel like I’ve had way too high expectations.

When I think about Natasha Romanoff, I think about a fierce woman. A fighter with so many bruises on the inside and the outside that you could barely believe what she achieved. But actually Natasha is so much more than that. And just because she’s one of the most feared and deadly assassins of the world it doesn’t mean she has no feelings. And that was one of the worst problems I had with the book. In Black Widow: Forever Red the avenger is nothing like herself. She gets characterized as robotic, heartless and stoic. Most of the time she even is described as awkward or helpless. WHERE IS MY QUEEN? I’m totally serious. The Natasha in the book is by no means the redhead I knew until now. I could rant about this forever, but what is even more disturbing – Natasha is a secondary character in her own book. She has almost no chapters of her own. LIKE WHAT? You realized the book is called Black Widow right? Yeah, don’t get intrigued by that. The book is not about Natasha Romanoff. It is about teenage wannabe-spies.

Talking about that – again what? Yes, you’ve read right. The whole book is basically about two teenagers who resemble wannabe-spies. Even worse is the whole “romance” – if you really want to call it like that – that’s taking place. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good written romance. But this is only one thing: instalove. The kids know each other physically for like 5 minutes when they decide they found the love of their life. Furthermore they behave extremely immature when it comes to the whole love story. My little cousin has a more grown-up relationship with his primary school friend. As you can see, instalove is something I personally can’t deal with. But romance or not, in my opinion all of the characters – may it be Natasha or Ava or Alex – were too flat. I had no chance of connecting with them to get a better view of their emotions or thoughts. Most of the time they acted strange but some kind of being predictable all along. At some points it seems to me that the author tried to hard to give her characters emotions and something unique which didn’t work out very well.

I haven’t read anything from Margaret Stohl before, so I don’t know whether this book resembles her actual writing style. But talking about Black Widow: Forever Red and my point of view, her style isn’t even mediocre. It’s horrific. I know how hard writing can be – for me as a non-native English speaker even more – but her writing seems to be something one could manage as a nine-year old. Also it seems to me that there have been a lot of spelling mistakes. Was there a proof read? I do understand that there are always small mistakes in books. Like exchanged letters or something like that. But missing initials at the start of a paragraph? This shouldn’t be happening.

Either way, Black Widow: Forever Red is just no my kind of book and sadly gets the “disappointing” label from me. As I said before – if you’re a hard-core Marvel and/or Black Widow fan, you shouldn’t buy this book. But if you’re interested in teenage spies and a fast pacing romance or the script of an explosive action movie, this might be your next to-read project. As every review, this one resembles my very personal and specific opinion. Maybe you’d love this piece of literature more than I did. Feel free to leave a comment whether you disagree with me or not.

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