Difficult divorce from a cocky jerk got you down? I’ve got a surefire cure: run off to Europe to look for a missing scientist with a handsome sweetie fellow spy. Narrowly avoid death multiple times and stop a potential new super soldier serum from falling into the wrong hands. Perfect right? Well, that might be a bit extreme but it worked well for Bobbi Morse, A.K.A. Mockingbird. Just check out Maria Lewis’s Mockingbird: Strike Out, the newest Marvel Heroines novel for all the details.
[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Aconyte for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review of Mockingbird: Strike Out contains some spoilers!]
A change would do you good, Bobbi
That’s basically what Bobbi’s boss and friend, Maria Hill tells her. Bobbi is stuck deep in a divorce from Clint Barton (Hawkeye) and he’s being a real cretin about the whole thing. Bobbi is having a hard time dealing with him. She’s also leaving the West Coast Avengers because of the breakup. After being overshadowed by Barton, Bobbie is left wondering just who she is by herself.
Hill thinks that sending Bobbi on a solo mission is the perfect way for her to find herself again. And she just so happens to have a mission tailor-made for that. An old colleague of Bobbi’s, Dr. Calvin, has gone missing in the UK. S.H.I.E.L.D. is concerned because Dr. Calvin worked on a project that was trying to recreate Super-Soldier Serum in the past. The offer of a trip to Europe and a case of her own to work is all Bobbi needs to get out of town.
As soon as Bobbi lands things seem off. As she tries to figure out where Dr. Calvin went she meets a S.T.R.I.K.E. agent who has also been assigned to find Dr. Calvin. To Bobbi’s extreme displeasure, S.H.I.E.L.D. and S.T.R.I.K.E. decide that the best way to find Calvin is to have Bobbi and Lance Hunter team up. If Lance had been a little more annoying or a little less hot Bobbi might have been a little less angry about it. But no, Lance is devastatingly good-looking and extremely sweet too. Now Bobbi has two problems to deal with, finding Calvin and avoiding falling for Lance.
Bigger problems in Mockingbird: Strike Out
As much as Bobbi wants to work on her own she accepts that Lance is now part of the equation. As they continue to investigate Calvin’s disappearance things get more confusing. It’s not even obvious whether Calvin took off on her own or was taken. It’s possible that she’s restarted her Super Soldier experiments, but on her own or under duress? Bobbi is sure that Calvin learned her lesson last time and wouldn’t go down that road again.
But the more they find, the murkier the picture becomes. There seem to be both too many and not enough players on the board. Bobbi doesn’t know who to trust. And after her relationship with Barton, she doesn’t really want to trust anyone anyway. But if she doesn’t figure out how to trust someone, and trust the right someone then the whole world may be in danger. Maybe the only real way to find herself is to find the strength to open up to someone again. Bobbi will have to decide, and fast, if she wants to survive her mission.
A truly action-packed Marvel adventure
“Action-packed” is one of those phrases that tend to get overused but this time it’s really true. Even before Bobbi heads off on her adventure she’s vividly visualizing intense fight scenes between her and Barton. While these are just daydreams and don’t technically happen, they give the feeling of a lot of action to the otherwise tense but undramatic divorce negotiations. From there Bobbi heads off to London and gets a tail that she has to thwart the moment she gets to town. I actually lost count of the number of times she and Lance almost get killed (6? 7? Seriously, it was a lot and I forgot). Even when they think that they are safely hidden away somehow they run into trouble. The adrenaline overload those two must have suffered from is insane.
But don’t think that means this is just a bunch of knock-down drag-out fights and impossible escapes. There is a real mystery going on concerning Dr. Calvin’s disappearance and her research. Bobbi and Lance both bring different expertise to the puzzle side of this adventure. As much as Bobbi wishes it had stayed a solo mission, it quickly becomes obvious that she never would have figured it out on her own. Lance couldn’t have done it on his own either. The point is that they need each other.
A great team-up for Mockingbird
Once Bobbi gets over her partner issues she makes a great team with Lance. They are alike in a lot of ways, both thoughtful, neat, and adrenaline junkies. But their differences are just as important. Their weaknesses and strengths mesh together, allowing them to do things together that they never could have done separately.
As great of a team as they made, I was so worried about Bobbi being thrown into another relationship before she’d even finalized her divorce from Hawkeye. We need time to find ourselves on our own after a big breakup before we can have a real relationship again. Luckily Bobbi is a smart lady and what looks like a potential disaster turns out to be just what she needs. By the end of Mockingbird: Strike Out Bobbi is a completely kick-ass woman who is in command of herself. She might not know exactly who she is yet, but she’s ready to find out and it’s perfect.
Mockingbird: Strike Out is a great summer read
The action and romance of Mockingbird: Strike Out is perfect for spicing up a chill day by the pool this summer. The book reads quickly and doesn’t ask any real deep philosophical questions so it’s perfect for just relaxing with. Pretty much anyone, including non-Marvel fans, will enjoy this story. It includes a few familiar characters but there isn’t really anything that requires a deeper knowledge of Marvel canon so it’s accessible for everyone. I highly recommend picking this up this summer and having a fun time with Bobbie and Lance.
My Rating: 9/10
Mockingbird: Strike Out by Maria Lewis is available June 20. Will you be checking this one out? Let us know on Twitter or in The Cosmic Circus Discord. And if you haven’t already, check out our review of The Phoenix Chase!