Red Vengeance

448p. ebook available. Disney/Marvel. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484773475.
Gr 8 Up—Natasha Romanoff and Ava Orlova (aka Black Widow and Red Widow, respectively) may have defeated Ivan Somodorov in Black Widow: Forever Red, but Russia's Red Room is still thriving, threatening the Widows and the world. Natasha and Ava, who is now enrolled in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s training program, are grieving the death of Alex, Natasha's long-lost brother and Ava's boyfriend. When S.H.I.E.L.D.'s network is hacked and a new villain appears with a dangerous mind-control drug, the teens must once again save the world from the Red Room. This volume builds on the complex relationship between Natasha and Ava, who are not only connected by their love for Alex and their Red Room past but also by their quantum entanglement link. Despite their similarities, Ava, who has the ability to express emotion, contrasts with Natasha, who has been taught—and forced—to keep her emotions in check. Alex's presence in Ava's mind grows as the story progresses, though readers will hope that the reason for this plot point will be explained in the next series entry. Tony Stark continues to provide invaluable help to the Widows and is joined by Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel), who will be starring in her own upcoming young adult novel. Action-packed, with international travel, political intrigue, and strong female protagonists, this title will not disappoint fans and will leave readers eager for the next installment.
VERDICT Purchase where the first novel and superhero prequels are popular.

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