Book Review: Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl

While browsing in Indigo, our local bookstore, I came across Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl on the sale table. I love superhero stories and my daughter is a huge Marvel fan so I picked up the book knowing that I would pass it onto her after I had read it.

Genre: Young Adult, Superheroes, Marvel


Emotions are dangerous, which is why the graduates of Moscow’s famed spy school the Red Room are taught to keep their enemies close and their loved ones at a distance. Black Widow and Red Widow, also known as Natasha Romanov and Ava Orlova, forgot that lesson once, and they won’t forget it again.

But the Widows have inherited something else from their shared Moscow past: a relentless need for vengeance—Ivan Somodorov is dead, but his network of terror remains.

While the Widows search South America in order to extinguish a smuggling operation with ties to their old nemesis, their own Red Room not only attempts to assassinate them both but also hacks their secure S.H.I.E.L.D. network. As a result, Ava and Natasha find themselves thrust into a trying mission of international intrigue that takes them throughout the world and back to New York City, where their friends Dante and Sana become unlikely targets as well.

Once again, nothing is as it seems, no one can be trusted, and no one is safe—not unless the Widows can stop a conspiracy involving stolen nuclear warheads, mind-altering chemical weapons, and ultimately, betrayal by old friends and enemies alike.

My thoughts:

If you have watched any of the recent Marvel films, you will know that the stories are fast-paced and filled with action. Reading Red Vengeance reminded me of those characteristics as I turned the pages quickly in this novel. As I was reading the story, I could not help but picture the Black Widow as portrayed in the Avengers stories. 😀

Even though this story is a sequel, at no time did I feel lost in the story. Stohl effectively fills in any blanks that may have occurred due to not having read the first book. It helped, too, that I know a little about the main character having watched all the Marvel movies.

The telling of the story in the past tense is interspersed with the recorded conversation in the present tense between Agent Natasha Romanov (the Black Widow) and Phillip Coulson (the agent in command). As the novel begins with a scene near the end of the story, Stohl’s technique slowly brings the reader to an understanding of how the events evolved. The gradual release of information to the reader helps with the tension in the story as well as the readers’ understanding of events.

This read is perfect for those who enjoy superhero stories. It is a well-written novel that is fast-paced and immerses one in the Marvel universe. I would love to see this story as a film.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 61st in my book pledge for 2019)

Book Review: Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

I wanted to introduce myself to Sarah J. Maas and her writing as I had seen so much of her work on Instagram. While browsing her offerings at the bookstore, I saw that she had written a superhero story. I love superheroes, so I picked up her interpretation of Catwoman: Soulstealer.

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Superheroes


When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .

Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.

My thoughts: 

I loved this story and did not regret picking it up. Maas makes Selina’s story real and believable. Through her words we see the true person behind the mask (and no, I haven’t read the comic book so I am unable to compare). We are told of Catwoman’s background and the journey she took to become one of the masked characters in Gotham city. We learn of the obstacles she has encountered, the decisions she has had to make, and the love that she has for the most important person in her world. In the story we also learn about another superhero – Batwing – and I enjoyed reading the cat and mouse game that Catwoman plays with him.

Reading this story made me realise that I do want to read more of Sarah J. Maas. She weaves her story adroitly and sets a good pace for the story. Reading Catwoman: Soulstealer has also made me want to read the rest of the DC Iconns in the series.

I give this novel ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 6th in my book pledge for 2019)

Day-To-Day Superheroes

Five Minute Friday: RealSuperman, Batman, Captain America, Iron Man and the Hulk. Say the word superhero and these comic characters immediately spring to mind. Men with extraordinary powers who are able to save the world again and again …. and again. They always rise to the occasion, never fearing any obstacle and never letting the world down.

But who are the true superheroes in our lives?

These are the people who stand by your side no matter what: during good times and bad. They are the ones who hold your hand when you are in pain and who comfort you when you feel grief. Their encouragement and support are always nearby, ready to move you along towards your desired goal. Our day-to-day superheroes are the ones who save the day by picking up your children when you are unable to get to them on time; the ones who do your grocery shopping for you when ill; the ones who help you when your children are crying and you do not have enough hands to see to their needs. The day-to-day superheroes are the ones who see what your needs are and help salvage the situation.

Does the world need saving by those with superhero powers? Probably. Do we need to wait for the Marvel fantasy to become a reality? I don’t believe so. Look around and you will see many men, women and children who are saving the day for those they are in contact with.

Who is your day-to-day superhero?

(This post was inspired by this week’s Five Minute Friday prompt: Hero)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014