Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Published: September 1st, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Western, Adventure
Revenge is worth its weight in gold. When her father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies, among them a young Apache girl and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear: some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate’s quest for revenge may prove fatal.
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“And this is where we differ, me and the Coltons, ‘cus for them, walking out of those mountains matters. But I only want to avenge my father’s blood. It ain’t like I gotta live through it to be successful. Besides, what do I got to go home to anyway – a burned house and no family? I just gotta keep my heart beating long enough to fire my pistol six times. Once for Waylan Rose, and once for each of his remaining crew. So long as they go down, I don’t much care if I go with ’em.”
Vengeance Road was a wild western tale filled with bloody revenge, saloons, shootouts, lust for gold and horseback riding across the western deserts. It was such a rush from start to finish and I couldn’t put it down. I could not wait to start book two. Erin Bowman created a tale that I was expecting to really like but not fall in love. This is my first ever western that I have read and I must say if there are others out there like this one I will be giving them a look. The western dialect all the way to that western romance that left me on my toes were magnificent. Oh, but don’t you worry this is not some cute little western with a cowgirl and cowboy falling in love. Oh no. This book is a badass revenge novel from start to finish and I recommend it to anyone who loves those type of shoot first ask questions later novels.
“But I got some coin and a vengeance strong enough to cut any throat that tries to cross me right now.
Kate (Nate) Thompson has just found her father tortured and hanging from a tree. She buries him, dries her tears and sets out after the men who committed this ruthless murder. She learns it is the notorious band of riders called the Rose Riders. Along the way, she gets shadowed by two brothers and an unlikely in an Apache girl. With several twists and turns along the way, Kate gets caught up in a wild goose chase for gold and revenge. The plot picks up right away starting in chapter one and the pacing remains fast and fun and matches a wild western adventure. It reminds me a lot of the amazing western movie Magnificent 7. I loved all the plot twists and some of the deaths were so shocking but it made sense since this was a western. The author definitely kept her story true to the genre.
“I listen to the wind in the brush and the scratch of tumbleweeds and dirt crunching beneath Silver’s shoes.
I loved the western dialect that the author had in the whole story because it made it so much more authentic. The setting felt very vivid and genuine to the genre as well. I could picture the western plains and desserts, the saloons and bars, ranches and mines, and the beautiful south-west mountains. The story is vivid and visual I feel the heat and dryness. My favorite thing about the authors writing was that the kill shot to the real villain was done by Jesse and not Kate even though Kate is the main character. I love when an author makes use of the secondary characters that are clearly more experienced than the main character. Jesse was a better shot so it just makes more sense and makes a story more real.
3) Characters & Romance
“That sounds real nice, boy,” he says. “Now for the love of God, lower that damn pistol.”
“All right,” I says.
And I do.
Right after I shoot him through the skull.
Kate is an amazing character. She is like nothing I have ever read. Her revenge is not sugar-coated. She actually goes after these men with no remorse. Literally shoot first and ask questions later. Jesse & Will are brothers who help Kate make this treck across the open plains. I loved all the characters in this story and what they added to it because you get a real sense of the time period and the long battle between Native American tribes and Americans plus some history with Mexicans who originally had land in some states. The romance was a nice little thing that creeps in and flows nicely. They went from hesitant partners to semi-friends who banter a lot to people who build something more and loving. It was so sweet and cute but don’t worry it didn’t get in the way of this wild western tale. My favorite parts were 269-274 and 317.
We’re in this together, the both of us vindictive and driven and vengeance bound.
“…If we go in blazing and never come out, that’s fine by me. I got nothin to go home to anyway.”
“You got me,” he says…He reaches out and brushes the pad of his thumb ‘gainst my cheek. Then he draws me into another kiss.