Published by Marvel Press on October 13th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Adventure
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository
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.
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...
Natasha Romanoff did not have a happy childhood, forced to train in the brutal Red Room under Ivan Somodorov. When Natasha returns years later to kill him, she uncovers Somodorov’s secret project, OPUS.
While I’m not really a big comic reader, I do enjoy watching the Avengers movies and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV series. When I first picked up this Black Widow story I thought it was a graphic novel, but in fact it is a proper novel. There are some familiar faces here – in fact it seems there can’t be an Avengers-related material without Agent Coulson being involved, which is awesome because he’s one of my favourites. He’s in fine form in this story!
There’s been a bit of consternation around the internet that most of the rest of the Avengers got their own origin story films, but not Black Widow. I’m not sure this book has enough of the high-stakes action to be made into a film on its own, but it gives a great insight into Natasha Romanoff’s back story and broken childhood in Odessa.
The story itself is very well paced, although it took a little while to set things up at the start. Once S.H.I.E.L.D started getting involved, I had a lot of trouble putting it down. Natasha is such a badass, and in the films you can never be quite sure how much of her vulnerability is just put on to get her into or out of situations. In this story we get to see that she certainly does have a vulnerable side, but its very well hidden.
Fans of the Avengers should enjoy this Black Widow story, but also anyone who enjoys an action-packed thriller. I hope there are more Avengers tie-in novels planned!