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Black Widow: Red Vengeance

Review

Black Widow: Red Vengeance

The sequel to New York Times bestseller BLACK WIDOW: Forever Red, BLACK WIDOW: Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl takes readers back into the thrilling and unpredictable world of Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, and her adopted sister Ava Orlova as they are thrust into a new adventure of suspense, mystery, heartbreak and vengeance.  

Starting almost exactly where its predecessor left off, BLACK WIDOW: Red Vengeance sees both Natasha and Ava in South America, investigating a smuggling operation that has ties to their old enemy, Ivan Somodorov. When an unknown server manages to hack into their secure S.H.I.E.L.D. network, the duo find themselves drawn into an unexpected and dangerous mission that takes them on a high-stakes journey around the world.

"While the beginning was slow, acts two and three really provided a fast-paced and somewhat believable read for a story about superheroes."

Undeniably, the setup of the book worked so much better in this installation than in the previous. The pages of “official” S.H.I.E.L.D. debriefings and transcripts in between chapters offer much needed breaks from the action sequences thus making it easier to process what is going on. Since there are a lot more fast-paced fight scenes in this book compared to the other, the brief diversions from the text allowed me time to absorb and understand what had just happened. As a bonus, they usually ended up summarizing and explaining the previous chapter. It also allowed for the author to insert some much needed humor into the text, since the book itself was very serious.

While the author really nailed the construction of her novel, the way that she decided to write Ava’s character was frankly disappointing, especially where her newfound lightning powers and romances are concerned. There are so many ways that Stohl could have used Ava’s powers, but instead she downgrades them from being used as actual bullets at the end of the first book to a glorified door opener and as a useless Taser sword in the second --- and then there’s Alexi. I can’t even write about that relationship without having a cringe-attack.

Despite the shortcomings of the characters, overall this book was actually really good. While the beginning was slow, acts two and three really provided a fast-paced and somewhat believable read for a story about superheroes. That’s another thing, do not even attempt to read this book if you haven’t read the first in the series, are not familiar with Marvel Comics, or have not watched even a second of an MCU movie, because you will horribly, and utterly lost. Other than that, if you are a fan of Marvel or Black Widow I would definitely recommend this book as a fun weekend read.

Reviewed by Zoe I., Teen Board Member on October 13, 2016

Black Widow: Red Vengeance
by Margaret Stohl