Vengeance Road – Erin Bowman
When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate.
In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
I don’t have much experience with Westerns – movies or books – so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a quick, delightful read.
What I liked:
-this cover. My gosh, this cover. It’s gorgeous. It was done by Teagan White who also wrote and illustrated the adorable Adventures with Barefoot Critters!
-Kate is a badass heroine. When her father dies, she doesn’t sit around and wallow. She decides she wants revenge and nothing will stop her from going after the Rose Riders. Vengeance was the foremost thought in her mind and, unlike a lot of characters, she stayed vengeful for 99% of the book.
She ran around with her guns a-blazin’ and it was awesome. The entire time, I kept picturing Zee from American Outlaws, except more trigger-happy.
-classic girl-dresses-up-as-a-boy-and-falls-for-her-male-companion. I shipped Kate/Jesse so hard, it was ridiculous. Their banter constantly put a smile on my face, and I liked how the romance was a side plot, not the main focus.
-the writing was also really well done, and even if the plot was fairly simple, the writing moved the story along quickly. It took a minute to get used to their dialect, but it was added a bit of authenticity. There were a couple of things I guessed early on, but it was satisfying to have worked it out. It was gritty but entertaining.
What I didn’t like:
-I would have liked Lil to have a bigger role to play apart from the sidekick/guide, but I don’t think there would have been room for her character to grow in a mostly-accurate historical novel.
-sometimes Kate’s thoughts felt repetitive because she was so focused on getting revenge, but not enough to detract from her overall sassiness.
I really enjoyed Vengeance Road. I haven’t heard of a lot of Western YA novels, so this might be one of its kind, but it was enjoyable with a great female lead.