Book Title: Vengeance Road
Book Author: Erin Bowman
Page Count: 327
Publishing Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date Read: July 29, 2017
Vengeance Road is fast paced, heart pumping, and highly original! This one is a true Western, full of grit, murder, and revenge. Prepare yourself for a harrowing thrill ride through the mountains of Arizona, on the road to vengeance!
“The fog of whiskey’s long gone, and yet I unravel like a drunken fool.”
The Plot: Eighteen year old Kate returns from town to find her father murdered, and they’ve left a calling card. Hell bent on justice, Kate disguises herself as a boy and takes off after The Rose Riders. Along her journey, she runs across an unlikely duo of strangers, and an Apache girl, who just might be able to help her avenge her father. But their help comes with a price. Kate’s journey on the road to vengeance just might take a fatal turn as she uncovers family secrets, and the realization that men will do anything when gold is on the line.
What a whirlwind of a story! I don’t think I have ever read a western novel, and, besides Crooked Kingdom, it has been a while since I got this in to a book! Vengeance Road had me shaking in my boots from page one! I don’t know why I waited so long to read it! The writing was impeccable, and the world building and intense imagery had me picturing the wild west as if it were my own back yard (actually, it kind of is since I live in Arizona, lol). Bowman did a fantastic job with making me feel like I was part of the story, and putting me in the mindset of our main character Kate.
“There’s boot marks and gouges in the dirt, marking a struggle. A few drops of blood are now so dark, they mostly look like drying mud.”
Kate, Kate, Kate!! Man, I loved Kate’s character!! Boy, was she FIERCE! She got the short of end of the stick from the beginning with being a motherless woman in the western time period, and for coming home on a normal day and finding her father hanging from a tree. She handled the situation like a pro though! She allowed herself to grieve, but did not allow it to cloud her judgement. She hit the road in search of vengeance and kicked some major cowboy butt! None of the other characters compare to her!
“Hell, I’ll be safest pretending I’m a boy the rest of my life. The frontier ain’t for the faint of heart, and it certainly ain’t king to women.”
I did enjoy the other characters. I felt that Will and Jesse were both different enough from each, and from Kate, that they added depth to the story. And those Rose Riders were some scary hombres! Not to mention Liluye, the sneaky Apache girl, who added both diversity and intrigue to the book. All the characters fit well and kept the story moving in an exciting pace!
If you haven’t read this one yet, you need to! I only had one complaint, and it was that I wish the flashback at the beginning were italicized compared to the present day story being told, but it was only in chapter one, so it did not affect my rating. I am giving this one all the stars and I cannot wait to read Retribution Rails!
“A lazing sun rises up over the Territory, and I feel a spark of promise I ain’t sensed since before Pa died. It hums at my core…It rings and it echoes and it glistens like gold.”
* All quotes used are from the book, written by the author.
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