Title: Vengeance Road
Author: Erin Bowman
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Published By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: ARC from publisher
Genre: Western, YA
Rating: 4 out of 5
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.
My, my, my I was not expecting Vengeance Road to be so tough and raw. Now I normally don’t read western novels at all because quite frankly, I think they’re boring, but the cover of the book just reeled me in and I had to read it. Boy am I glad I was able to review it. Kate is the main protagonist with which she is seeking out vengeance to avenge her father’s death. She has no idea as to why her father was hung by a rough gang called the Rose Riders, but she goes to seek out answers as to why they killed him and wants to kill those bastards herself. Kate is tough as nails. She has no remorse for the killers and is hell bent on killing each and every single one of them no matter what it takes. Along the road to vengeance, Kate meets two men of her father’s old friend. She does not want their help, but they tag along anyway because they feel it is right to help an old family friend. Boy they were in for a ride that they were not ready for.
I really liked Kate even though she was in over her head as to kill a whole gang of muggers. She was feisty, independent, and through all her tough exterior she did have a softer side to her. As the story progressed she thought more rationally, getting along better with Jesse and Will, and even befriending an Indian named, Liluye. Now, not everything is all roses as the story move along. There’s shoot outs, brawls, and even a surprising twist at the end that caught me off guard. I really liked how Kate handled herself through everything though. She really grew as a person which is what I liked about her.
One thing I was a little worried about was a love triangle between Kate and the brothers. I don’t care for them at all. Luckily, that was not the case. Will is a good brother with a sense of humor. He’s what kept the book from getting too dark. He was also a good protector of his brother, Jesse, always trying to look out for his well being. I thought Jesse was both good and bad, but that’s only because of personal beliefs. He tried to be level headed to the best of his abilities whether he liked Kate’s ideas or not. He and Kate did not get along well until about halfway through the book. They did not even fall madly in love with each other. They grew to care for another first. Even when they had a disagreement, they forgave each other and worked through it. I really liked their relationship. I just wish they had a couple more romantic moments, but that’s just me.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were moments when it slowed down a little bit, and then there were times where I was on the tips of my toes wondering what was going to happen next! Rose was a ruthless man who did not care about anyone but himself. I was rooting along for Kate to get her vengeance on him because he was truly a horrible person. If you want to read an adventurous book with lots of shoot outs and treasure hunting, then look no further. I highly recommend it. Plus, the southern drawl catches on and you start talking with an accent in real life. Go get yerself this book when it hits shelves. I reckon you’ll be in for a wild, wild ride!
**Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC to me in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my view of the book.**