Review: Black Widow: Forever Red

Black Widow: Forever Red
Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**Thank you to the Disney Book Group for providing me a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley for the purposes of review**

I’ll be honest: the last time i read a novel based on preexisting media, it was when I was in elementary school and I read the novelizations of various STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episodes. Yeah, let’s just not talk about that. Anyways, ever since then I’ve never had even a wish to read something akin to those novels.

I’m really pleased I chose to read BLACK WIDOW FOREVER RED.

First off: the writing is superb. It’s simple and straightforward writing, but the voice of Black Widow — whom I forever now hear as the husky, sarcastic quipping of Scarlett Johansen — is spot on, and if they could manage to snag Ms. Johansen for an audiobook version, I guarantee you it would make a good story even better. The capture of the Widow’s voice is a highlight, alongside other familiar faces such as Agent Coulson (a personal favorite of mine) and even Tony Stark/Iron Man. It’s just good fun and I couldn’t help but smile whenever those players were on the page.

But the other great highlight of this book is its action. There’s a lot of it and it’s very well-written. There’s something in the way Ms. Stohl writes the various action set-ups that keeps the reader engaged and excited. I could easily envision the shootouts and stunts in my mind’s eye without ever feeling like things were getting drawn out or repetitive — something I’ve often found as an issue when reading action.

If I have any criticism, and it is a small one, it’s that I felt the ending didn’t quite live up to the rest of the novel. I usually tout that “The Ending is Paramount” and, yes, I still firmly believe that to be the case. However, in this case, the rather “meh” ending to BLACK WIDOW FOREVER RED, didn’t bother me as much as it could have. Everything was tied up neatly, but I was left feeling a little let down; however, in that same vein, I can’t exactly explain how the ending could have been improved or altered. So, I’m left just throwing my hands up in the air and saying that it wasn’t my favorite ending, but it didn’t spoil the novel in any way.

This is such a fun read, especially for those who are fans of Marvel, their MCU, or just good old-fashioned fun, kick-butt superhero action novels.

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