Marvel's Black Widow: Forever Red

Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Series: The Black Widow Novels, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (499 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Enter the world of the Avengers' iconic master spy.

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.

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.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned - and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava's dreams....

Black Widow: Forever Red features all the heart-pounding adventure listeners expect from Marvel, written by number-one New York Times best-selling author Margaret Stohl. Uncover a new side of the Marvel Universe that will thrill loyal fans and newcomers alike, as Stohl reveals the untold story of Black Widow for the very first time.

©2015 Marvel (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about Marvel's Black Widow: Forever Red

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not a guilty pleasure - a waste of a credit

I had suspected this was a YA novel, and was trying to keep an open mind. Unfortunately, this book was terrible. A story that focuses not on the Marvel heroes but on a couple of teenagers. The plot was largely uninteresting with a series of ridiculous and overtly convenient plot points and ultimately undermines the drama of the story and the heroics of the characters. Pass by this one.

12 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly, I really liked it

I really wasn't expecting to like this book. I'm a hardcore Scarlett Johansson fan, but I do go for anything Black Widow, so after staring at it for a while, I decided to give Forever Red a listen. It felt surprisingly like Black Widow, to the point I forgot I wasn't watching a movie or TV show. Occasionally, the narrative did feel a bit out of character, but I was too absorbed in the story that it really didn't bother me. The story was well done, and although I'll take the plot points as an AU or something, I'm really glad I bought it and will probably listen to it again.

12 people found this helpful

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My first marvel book

Where does Marvel's Black Widow: Forever Red rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I really liked the story. It makes me wonder why we haven't seen a Black Widow movie. There are so many types of stories for her character that can be told.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really liked learning more about Black Widow's history with the Red Room

Have you listened to any of Julia Whelan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I thought the reader did a good job. I like her as a performer on the book

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A great story

I love seeing a more human side of black widow and this story does it without betraying the character. It's a great shield op narrative.

3 people found this helpful

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Origin story… Not the one you expected.

I’ve read some reviews in this book seems to be polarizing. Overall, if you’re a total comic book wonk like me, this was very enjoyable. I’m especially excited to see Disney/Marvel invest in these novelizations of their characters. I thought the author did a wonderful job capturing the wit and one liners from the black widow of the MCU. You could kind of hear it in your head. The characterization of the characters are slightly more rooted in the comic book universe, I don’t think there’s a tie in to the MCU waiting to happen here. Some reviewer’s have complained that the story was too much of a young adult plot line. But I don’t think that is fair. If you’re looking for massive twists and turns and rich literary excellence, you might want to veer away from superhero books. Keep in mind, the source material was written for teenagers. Biggest downside to the book, is the narrator’s performance. It’s not bad, but occasionally she switches between a very Russian Natasha and a very American Natasha accent. In addition, her ability to do male voices is limited. They seem to be pretty much the same, with maybe the insertion of some marbles in her mouth while she voices their dialogue. That said, it’s a very professional performance… And certainly doesn’t ruin anything. It’s just not amazing. Her female characterization in the overall narration I think is quite good. If you are a fan of the MCU and Marvel comic books, this is a great addition to the marvel universe.

6 people found this helpful

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put me in mind of twilight

Ran too much like a teen novel with the avengers , even Black Widow, as a background

5 people found this helpful

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I enjoyed it but it wasn’t what I expected.

I’ve seen a lot of people say that this Black Widow book didn’t focus enough on Black Widow. I think it might be easier to just change what you’re expecting going into it. It is a Black Widow story told primarily from the POV of people around her. Her POV makes up about 1/3 of the novel. If you have ever listened to the Wolverine podcast it is similar to that type of storytelling. None of this is to say that I didn’t enjoy it. I thought it was a good story, the writing was there, the characters kept my interest. At the end of it all I was still interested and excited to read the sequel. My main complaint I guess is that I felt like this story should have been a sequel story and not the first book in a series. I think starting with something more Natasha centered would have been a better jumping off point instead of introducing other characters immediately. But I haven’t read the sequel yet so maybe it was a great set up. Overall I enjoyed it and would recommend it if you’re looking for a Marvel fix.

1 person found this helpful

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Really gave life to the character

I won't give this five stars because it didn't blow me out of the water, but for a comic book to novel transition, it's pretty good. This author really gave life to Romanoff, which is not an easy feat. The role of Russian spy has been thoroughly explored lately, and really poorly in a lot of other instances, but not here. The exterior characters do a great job of toning back the stereotypical spy story with their own problems. The narrator does a great job, though I'm not a fan of how she narrates for the males in the book. Picked this up because it was on sale, but definitely not disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Ware is the movie!!!!??????

It was amazing! Thay need to make a movie! I mean black widow needs a movie!!!!!

3 people found this helpful

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Forever Red will stay with me for a very long time

This story, and the characters within it, will stay with me. I found it intriguing and credible, scarily so.

1 person found this helpful