Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

When Kate Thompson's father is killed by the notorious Red Rose Gang 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.
I'm not really a fan of Western movies and books, but I had a good feeling about this book so I decided to give it a try.

In Vengeance Road, Kate decides to go after a gang of riders who killed her father. Soon enough, she learns exactly why the Red Rose Gang went after her father, but it doesn't stop her quest. It also doesn't stop a pair of brothers coming with her to help her out. The road is fraught with danger, however, and her quest for vengeance may have unintended consequences for everyone.

I loved this book! I think what turns me off of Westerns is the gun fights and the gratuitous violence. Here, there are plenty of gun fights and violence, but it was mostly for character development or to serve the greater purpose of the plot.

The descriptions in the book were quite vivid, and they suck you right in. The author also included descriptions of odors, something that a lot of authors miss, and it certainly added to the feeling that you were right there with the characters.

The book is action-packed, which is always a big plus for me. There were quiet moments, of course, but no dull moments in the truest sense of the word.

The characters were just as interesting. The story is told from Kate's point-of-view, and I took to her right away. She was tough and a fighter. I can't stand heroines who keep crying and waiting for men to rescue her in some way. Kate allowed herself to cry but only for a little bit, then she picks herself up and gets down to business. She actually reminded me a little bit of Mulan. She's passionate and she does most of the saving. I loved the ending too.

I liked the secondary characters as well: Jesse, Will and Liluye. To be honest, when I read the blurb, I thought there was going to be a love triangle between Jesse, Will and Kate. I'm happy that it didn't turn out that way. Love triangles aren't as common in real life, and it would just have distracted from the story. I loved Kate's relationship with the boys. The boys also had some flaws that felt natural to the story and their characters, so it felt like they were quite real. As for Lil, she had a Pocahontas vibe about her, and I don't say that just because she's Apache. She's stubborn, firm in her beliefs and principes, and proud, but when called upon, she will do what's right.

Thanks to NetGalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for the e-ARC. Publication date of Vengeance Road is on September 1, 2015.


  1. The descriptions are vivid and make you feel like you're part of the story.
  2. It's action-packed.
  3. The characters feel three-dimensional. 


  1. It can get pretty violent. 


  1. You like novels set in the Wild West.
  2. You like strong heroines.
  3. You like action-packed stories. 




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