The Unstoppable Wasp - Built On Hope Review

Book Review | Unstoppable Wasp: Built on Hope (Young Adult)

The Unstoppable Wasp is back in this all-new young adult adventure from Sam Maggs

After growing up in the Red Room, Nadia Van Dyne is trying to be a Cool American Teen. She’s learning to drive, dealing with her recently diagnosed Bipolar Disorder, working on her project for Stark Industries Like Minds initiative, and having fun with her friends at G.I.R.L. – that’s Genius In Action Research Labs, and becoming a young superheroine. That’s a lot to keep track of. So when Nadia’s step-mother Janet gives her a new Artificially Intelligent assistant named VERA, Nadia decides it’s the answer to all her problems. With the “do less, experience more” motto, Nadia thinks she can do everything on her to-do list. But when she starts becoming obsessed with making VERA better, her friends and family become concerned. Could VERA be the next Ultron?

Unstoppable Wasp: Built on Hope | Written by Sam Maggs

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Set after the events of the second Unstoppable Wasp comic series, Nadia is trying to learn to fit in in America and deal with her recent diagnosis. Nadia’s manic and depressive moods were depicted well. The author does a good job of showing a young woman struggling to come to terms with her diagnosis and not wanting it to define her, which is something I can definitely relate to.

The other G.I.R.L. characters all make an appearance, but this story was more about Nadia’s journey towards managing her diagnosis and learning to trust and rely on her newfound family. While she is a superhero and does use her superpowers on a few occasions, this was more of a personal story that teens can relate to rather than a full-on ‘save the world’ story even though she and her friends do, of course, end up saving the world.

G.I.R.L. Power

Nadia and her friends are great role models for young women interested in STEM fields as they depict positive idols in various fields of study from botany to robotics. They come from all ethnicities, sexualities, and walks of life, and one of them even has cerebral palsy. Showing children and young people with medical diversity is something really important to me as a former kid with medical issues, and it’s great to see that included here.

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While Nadia’s friends aren’t a huge part of the story, I’d love to see each of them get their own book where they come into their own as young women using STEM to be superheroes. Thanks to a lab accident, Priya, the botanist, already has budding (pun intended) superpowers which she uses here to help Nadia save the day. I particularly want to see what is done with Priya in the future.

While STEM isn’t really my thing, it doesn’t have to be to read this book. Just like in the comic, there are “Nadia’s Science Facts” to explain things to the reader. I really appreciated this and I can’t imagine how much research it took Maggs to be able to successfully pull this off in a way that a non-science-minded reader could understand. Footnotes are also included to translate Nadia’s Russian and explain cultural differences.

Unstoppable Sam Maggs

Sam Maggs is the author of several non-fiction books, including The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, Marvel Fearless, and Fantastic!: Female Super Heroes Save the World, Girl Squads, and Wonder Women. She’s also the author of IDW’s Marvel Action Comics: Captain Marvel title. This is her first Young Adult book. Her first Middle-Grade novel, Con-Quest! was released on June 23rd. Maggs also works as a game developer.

I’m really enjoying Maggs fiction, and am going to have to check out some of her non-fiction titles. She balances light-hearted humor with action and adventure well without it taking away from the story, and I love the inclusion of the pop culture references. The Sailor Moon references in Unstoppable Wasp were especially awesome, as were the ’90s movie references. I look forward to more from her in the future.

Unstoppable Wasp: Built on Hope by Sam Maggs is published by Marvel and will be available to buy on July 14th.

 

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Melissa Villy is a regular Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is the custodian of the FOTF Jedi Archives. Follow her on Twitter @JediLibrarian42 where she uses the force frequently!

 

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