Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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 knowledge of Westerns is limited to bits and pieces of The Quick and the Dead, the animated movie Home on the Range, and middle grade books such as Little House on the Prairie and May B.. I’ve never seen any of the older Westerns, but definitely want to now because this book was AMAZING. Like, one-of-my-favorites-this-year amazing. I couldn’t stop reading it! I really loved Erin Bowman’s Taken trilogy (although I still have yet to read the final book Forged) and so when I knew that she had a new book coming out AND it was available on NetGalley, nothing could stop me from hitting that request button. I will admit: I’m usually absolutely terrible at reading books before they’re published, but with Vengeance Road I just couldn’t hold off any longer. So glad I plunged in because I got a fabulous read out of it.

Man, Kate is a total B-A-D-A-S-S. I love her character so much! Although I don’t think revenge is the best option, I loved her quest to avenge her father by hunting down the villainous (and extremely dangerous) Rose Riders. I wish I had guts like her! Will and Jesse were such great characters as well. I was afraid that there was going to be some sort of love triangle where Kate would have to pick between the two brothers, but luckily it didn’t turn out to be that way. I did enjoy the fact that romance takes a step back from the action in this book. Kate, although she does start to have feelings for Jesse on their journey, she totally dismisses it and puts her mission first. Tons of great characters pop up along the way–some even based on real people. It was great learning about some of the legends (and people from those legends) that inspired this book, as explained in Erin Bowman in the author’s note at the end.

I love stories of revenge, and this one is historical fiction, so that combines two of my loves! The book takes place Arizona during the 19th century, which is a time and place that not many YA novels are set, unfortunately. Hopefully Vengeance Road will spark a flurry of Westerns! There was also the vernacular or particular way that these characters speak that’s characteristic to the time and place. It’s pretty easy to understand and get to, thankfully, but as I was reading I was really amazed thinking about how much Bowman would have had to check her language, whether it was the proper terms or not, as well as facts regarding the setting and atmosphere.

The descriptions are absolutely gorgeous! You really get to “feel” the setting–the heat, the endless stretch of desert, the tense build-up during shoot-outs, the sweat running down your back, the never-ending and tiring sway of riding horseback for ages and ages. Same as the Taken trilogy, Erin Bowman puts a lot of heart and effort into making sure details are effective in creating this historical world and sweeping readers into a wonderful journey.

Damn it...I wish that I’d taken my time with this one! Filled with shocking twists and heart-thumping action, Vengeance Road is most definitely a favourite of mine this year. Dangerously addictive and enthralling, heed my advice: READ THIS BOOK. Erin Bowman has struck gold again by creating yet ANOTHER book I couldn’t stop reading from start to finish–I’m looking forward to (and afraid of) what she’ll come up with next.

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  1. I'm so excited for this one! The cover is absolutely gorgeous and it sounds soooooo good! I recently read UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee (you should seriously check it out) and I loved it like crazy which then got me crazy excited for this. Thanks for the review :D

    Asma @ IceyBooks

  2. This book looks really good! A girl avenging her father in the Westerns sounds very exciting. I will have to check it out.
    ~Chioma @ Blue Books and Butterflies

  3. Sounds good... why does this have to be YA though?? Try as I might, I can't get into YA anymore. Can you imagine I just DNF's Falling Kingdoms?!?! Something's wrong with me!!


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