Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Genre: YA, Western, Action/Adventure
Format: Arc, paperback
Published: September 1st, 2015
Page Count: 318
Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishing company and Netgalley for providing me with Arc(s) in exchange for an honest review.
"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. "
As soon as I saw Vengeance Road I knew I had to get my hands on it. I had yet to read a YA novel set in the "wild west" and I thought "Why not give it a shot?" As soon as I started VR I knew I was going to love it. This book started out full speed ahead. I mean, the first page is Kate talking about the murder of her father. Yep, I was in for a wild ride.
...And the murder was only the beginning.
Throughout the rest of the book Erin Bowman takes you on a wild adventure filled with saloons, shoot-outs, and, you guessed it, bloody revenge.
I LOVED Kate's character. She was just a kick-butt girl that slowly transformed into a kick-butt woman during the course of the book. She wanted revenge so that's what she would have. The revenge aspect of the story was fantastic. There wasn't any "well, I guess I'll go kill him... someday" No. It was more "The Rose Riders are going down and you can't stop me from killing all of them." I definitely admired her for her enthusiasm toward getting revenge. I also liked how she wasn't one of those main female characters that immediately falls in love with the first guy that talks to her. She was set on avenging her father and she wasn't about to let a guy or her feelings toward a guy get in the way of accomplishing her goal.
Speaking of guys....
The romance was very nicely paced. Definitely no insta-love or bad love-triangles here. The romance wasn't very prominent in the story, in fact it wasn't even truly "there" until about half way through the book, which was great. As the characters slowly realized that they had feelings for each other I slowly realized that #Kesse would become my new otp. Jesse and Kate had very different personalities and I think that was one of the many reasons that they made a good pair. When one was on the brink of insanity, the other was there to bring them back from the brink. Just an overall great couple if you ask me.
I also enjoyed how drastically different the side-characters' personalities were. You have Will, who can be full of himself but is still protective of his family, Liluye, who is headstrong and follows her spirit guide, and, though he was the antagonist, Waylan Rose, who is just a cruel man that kills to get what he wants. Well, at least as far as we know.
It was these characters that added a little something extra that made this story even better.
The different bits of the Lost Dutchman legend that were weaved into the writing were extremely well done. I felt as if I was just reading another legend that people actually told during this time period.
This book transported me back to the old west and I loved every second of it. If your looking for a gritty, action-packed YA with a little bit of roman added in then I highly suggest giving Vengeance Road a try. Maybe it will even make it on your 2015 favorites list as it did mine.
Quotes that I can't not add:
"But the hurt fades with time. You always feel it, but it becomes a duller sting, 'stead of sharp. Course, that's assuming you don't ride the road of vengeance."
"Life don't care 'bout sorry's." Will says. "Bad things happen, and you can't let 'em harden you."
"I don't think I could finish something that thick without dying of boredom."
"Then you ain't found the right book yet."
"But I got some coin and a vengeance strong enough to cut any throat that tries to cross me right now."
Thank you for reading!
Have a great day and remember to pick up Vengeance Road
when it hits stores September 1st!