Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult | Western | Historical
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.
In the spirit of the original True Grit and written in cowboy dialect, VENGEANCE ROAD is a gritty, dark, and very entertaining story. It is filled with Gold and revenge, villains and good guys, shoot-outs and Apache Indians, bar fights, poker games, and a girl with a Winchester rifle who can shoot a mans eyes out at 100 paces. VENGEANCE ROAD is a story that has a fantastic heroine in Kate Thompson. She's fierce, determined, and seeks retribution for what happened to her father. There is a slow burning romance that doesn't jump out and bite you in the ass, and a setting of 1877 Arizona that is fantastic and breathtaking and realistic.
After 18-year old Kate Thompson’s father is murdered by the notorious Waylan Rose and his Rose Riders over a journal that may lead to a cache of forgotten gold, Kate disguises herself as a boy and goes on a search and destroy mission where nobody will walk away unscathed. After following her fathers suggestion that if anything were to happen to him, she should go live with his friend Abe in Wickenburg, Kate finds out that the man who is supposed to take care of her, has already passed away. Kate chooses to continue on her road to vengeance and not stay where she is supposed to be protected. Along the way, she finds a pair of brothers, Jesse and Will, who refuse to quit riding in her shadows, and believe that it is their job to protect her from her from herself. But, as Kate gets closer to the secrets about why her father was killed, and what is actually in the journal, she must decide if there's room for love in a heart that's so full of hate.
Overall: Not too shabby, Abby! Loved the historical aspects of VENGEANCE ROAD. Kind of a predictable ending, but I am quite alright in that regards.
- Loved Will's sarcasm and humor.
- Loved that Bowman was still able to surprise me when I thought everything was apparent and settled.
- I loved the addition of Liluye, an Apache girl who Kate ends up saving from being burned alive and ends up being her guide.
- I love that Bowman doesn't mess around with the anger that was felt between the White Man and Indians, or how much Kate really wanted Waylan and his men to pay for what they did.
- I love Westerns for the most part, hell, I grew up with John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and movies like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Unforgiven, and Tombstone.
VENGEANCE ROAD takes on a very mature subject, and therefore I don't believe it is suitable for those in the Middle Grade range. It is a story filled with shooting and killing and very despicable men who will do anything to get what they want. There are brutal scenes that I definitely would not consider PG, or even G rated. I dare say, however, that if you do love Westerns as much as I do, then you SHOULD read this book, and pass it on to others with a similar love.
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