Title: The Unstoppable Wasp: Built On Hope
Author: Sam Maggs
Publisher: Marvel Press
Age Range: Young Adult
Release Date: July 14th, 2020
One of the greatest things about the Marvel universe is its cast of diverse heroes and accompanying characters. And The Unstoppable Wasp: Built On Hope is no different. In her YA debut, Sam Maggs introduces readers to Nadia and her sassy, genius G.I.R.L. gang in this super novel!
The Unstoppable Wasp: Built On Hope follows the newest, high-flying member of the Avengers:
Nadia Van Dyne is new to this. New to being a Super Hero, new to being a real friend and stepdaughter (to one of the founding Avengers, no less), new to running her own lab, and new to being her own person, far, far away from the clutches of the Red Room—the infamous brainwashing/assassin-training facility… So, when she’s gifted a virtual assistant powered by the most cutting-edge A.I. technology that the world has to offer, Nadia jumps at the opportunity to “do less, experience more”—just like the advertisements say. The device works— really works… But it’s never quite that simple, and not everything is as it seems. This thrilling adventure finds Nadia confronting her past as she tries to shape her future, and learning that sometimes the best way to effect big change is to think small—maybe even super small, Unstoppable Wasp-style. She’ll need the help of her genius G.I.R.L. (Genius In action Research Labs) squad and found family to save herself and (not to be too dramatic) the entire world as we know it.
The Unstoppable Wasp Take Flight
The novel is so full of character, it’s bursting. The Unstoppable Wasp: Built On Hope is, more or less, from Nadia’s perspective and her positive quirkiness shines in each page. Nadia is surrounded by a mostly female cast, each with their own bold personality and inspiring aspects. This girl gang is constantly hyping each other up and celebrating the individual things that make them so great, and the world needs more of this! Not only are they bold, but is a group of diverse characters that celebrate and accept their differences.
Not only are the characters bright and full of life, but the artwork and illustrations are gorgeous. The book is packed with visual elements, like character cards and science facts, that really lend to the character of the story. It’s almost like the book itself is made by Nadia, because her stamp is all over it from start to finish.
Same Old Song and Dance
As enjoyable as it is, there aren’t any serious twists or turns in The Unstoppable Wasp. And, to be honest, there doesn’t have to be. I think it would have just added something even more special to the story if there were some higher stakes. Some serious twists would have made the story seem more real, more grounded, but it’s not any less satisfying of an ending.
The overall story for The Unstoppable Wasp: Built On Hope is predictable and bit old-hat when it comes to super hero tales. However, I wouldn’t really call this a complaint, because I don’t think the story is really about the AI bad guy. This novel is more about Nadia finding a place in her small community while learning to handle her mental illness and other responsibilities. And it does this incredibly.
Grief, finding your place, mental illness, the lack of female representation in STEM fields, and the loss of a parent are just some of the topics Maggs discusses in this super hero tale. These topics are tackled flawlessly while maintaining Nadia’s light, quirky perspective all the way through, so the story consistently has a sort of ease to it.
Verdict: The Unstoppable Wasp: Built On Hope is a short yet entertaining romp great for your summer reading list or to fill the gap until the next Marvel film. It’s almost entire female cast is full of spunky, diverse characters that really enhance the somewhat generic super hero tale. And I don’t necessarily say generic as a bad thing. Somewhat devious AI technologies aren’t a new super-villain, but, that doesn’t make this story any less enjoyable. The visual elements and writing full of character and spunk work together to set The Unstoppable Wasp apart from the rest. Paired with a plethora of important topics, this is a must-read for Marvel fans young and old.
- Spunky characters
- Great artwork and visual elements
- Deals with a lot of important topics like grief, females in STEM, etc.
- Writing with lots of character
- Somewhat predictable ending
- Usual super hero tale