Vengeance Road

Vengeance Road

by Erin Bowman

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Overview

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

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. 

 
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544466388
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/01/2015
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: HL750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she lives in New Hampshire with her family and when not writing she can often be found hiking, geeking out over good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. Visit her www.embowman.com and on Twitter at @erin_bowman. 

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
 
It weren’t no secret Pa owned the best plot of land ’long Granite Creek, and I reckon that’s why they killed him.
 
I was down at the water, yanking a haul ’cus the pump had gone and stuck dry again, when I saw the smoke. It were billowing up over the sick-looking trees like a signal to God himself. I heard the yelping next—men squawking like hawks attacking prey. The crows were flying frenzied too.
 
I whistled for Silver and she came running from where she’d stooped for a drink. We rode outta there like two bats fleeing hell, but it were too late when we got back to the house. They’d only been hollering ’cus the job were already done. The house sat burning to its timber frame, and Pa were hanging from the mesquite tree out front, eyes wider than the moon. Dust puffed up to the south.
 
I jumped from Silver and pulled my rifle from the saddle scabbard, then dropped to one knee. Eyes on the trail, sight, deep breath, exhale and squeeze. Just like Pa taught me. Just like we practiced for years and years and years. One dark shadow fell from his horse. The rest kept right on riding.
 
“Who’d you say you were looking for again?”
 
I glance up at the bartender. “I didn’t. More whiskey.”
 
I push the shot glass at him, and he don’t seem too pleased ’bout that. But I got some coin and a vengeance strong enough to cut any throat that tries to cross me right now.
 
The bartender tips a bit more my way and I take a slug. Tastes like fire.
 
“It’s too early on a Sunday to be drinking like this, boy.”
 
I ain’t a boy, but I sure am dressed like one. Trousers and boots. One of my flannels. A flat-brimmed Stetson. Helps I got my hair stuffed up under the hat too. When I ran into the house to try to save a few precious items, my hair caught fire. Now, with its singed ends hidden from view, I reckon I look like any other greasy, tired, drink-seeking gent on Whiskey Row. And a scrawny one at that, without so much as a whisker on my chin. But if I’s learned anything, it’s that drunk men don’t notice much in the way of details. Shame the bartender’s sober.
 
“How old are ya?” the bartender nudges.
 
“Old enough.”
 
And I am. I turned eighteen two days ago. What I can’t figure is why they killed Pa only to run off without taking nothing.
 
I itch at my ribs through the flannel and watch the son of a bitch in the cloudy mirror mounted behind the bar. He’s sitting in a corner, one grimy hand clutching a shot glass, the other wrapped round his stomach. It’s well past noon and the heat’s infernal, but he’s got a jacket on over his wool shirt. I can’t see his eyes ’cus his hat’s pulled down low, but his breathing’s uneasy. And he’s shivering. I give him another hour or two. Three tops. He fell from his horse hard when I shot him. That weren’t on account of an arm graze or shoulder nick.
 
I thought for sure I’d shot him dead, but when Silver and I came up the trail after I buried Pa, it were nothing but dust and weeds and a few blood splatters leading to Prescott. The bastard was so hurt, tracking him those five miles were easy. Once in town, he rode up Whiskey Row. I found his horse outside the Quartz Rock Saloon—blood smeared on the saddle horn, another speckle or two showing his move inside.
 
The bartender’s right ’bout one thing—the place is busy considering it’s the Lord’s day. What the stout fella don’t seem to realize is that a strong drink can numb the soul as good as any prayer. Hell, I muttered “Oh, God” ’bout a dozen times after I found Pa swinging, and it ain’t like it brought him back to life.
 
He crumpled like a sack of grains when I cut him down. I had to press his eyelids shut and roll him onto his stomach ’cus I couldn’t bear looking at his face—bruised and beaten, blood trailing from his nose, what looked like a coiling spiral carved right into his forehead from when they tortured him for heavens knows what. They’d cleaned out his pockets and stolen his Colt right outta his belt. It were a beauty of a pistol—polished white grip, engraved barrel, a finish so pretty, it shined. The weapon in my holster matches. They were a set, and Pa split the pair to give one to me, and now I can’t even rejoin ’em.
 
It weren’t easy work, digging the grave. Ma’s buried right beneath the mesquite tree Pa died swinging from. He put her there ’cus he said a soul should rest where it’s sheltered in the winter and shaded in the summer. He said it were a peaceful place, and I knew he’d’ve wanted the same. I was sweating like a hog by the time it were done, knowing right well that those men were slipping free as I shoveled earth. But Pa deserved a proper burial. More than any man, he deserved things to be done right in his memory.
 
He landed slumped on his side when I rolled him into the grave, limbs bent at all the wrong angles, but at least he was facing Ma. He’ll sleep for all eternity with his eyes on her. After throwing earth back over him, I fashioned a wooden cross for the grave. I marked it with my pocketknife—HENRY ROSS THOMPSON, DIED JUNE 6, 1877 —hammered it into place with the backside of the shovel, and then rode into Prescott without a backwards glance.
 
“More?” the bartender says, eyeing my empty glass.
 
“More,” I says. But I don’t drink none of it this time. The first two distracted from the pain, but I need my mind sharp.
 
Behind me, prospectors carry on ’bout elusive gold and lode claims businessmen won’t no longer bite at. A pair of uniforms from Fort Whipple sit to my right, hammering ’bout the Apache. And the girls—they’re weaving between the men, kicking up the folds of their dresses and bending down to show off the goods.
 
I’m half jealous. The wrap I got over my chest to keep my shirt from looking suspiciously full is itching like hellfire. I paw at it again, knowing right well I shouldn’t carp. Pa and I rode into Prescott every week for supplies. I’s never set foot in the Quartz Rock before, but now ain’t the day to risk being recognized. Not with the deed my fingers are itching to do.
 
I check the mirror.
 
A whore’s approaching my mark. She bends and says something I ain’t in range to hear. He grumbles a response. She frowns but then slings an arm behind his neck anyways and tries to squeeze onto his lap.
 
“I said I ain’t interested!” he growls, shoving her off.
 
“Aw, come now. Ain’t no reason to be all ornery.” She pushes his hat back and I catch a glimpse of his eyes—narrowed and beady, gleaming like a demon done the devil’s work. “Just ’cus it’s Sunday don’t mean you can’t have no fun.”
 
The whore reaches for his jacket. She’s meaning to haul him to his feet and lead him to the back rooms, but her hand hits where he’s injured.
 
“Yer bleeding,” she says, looking at the smear of red on her fingers. She reaches for him again. “Jesus, yer—”
 
He backhands her so hard, she goes flying into the prospectors’ table. Drinks clatter and crash. Cards fly up like snowflakes. The men take one look at the whore’s welted cheek and then they’re jumping to their feet.
 
My mark draws his gun first. The prospectors freeze solid. The uniforms next to me tense. A stillness spreads through the saloon like a wave of heat rolling over plains, and alls this while I’m stoic at the bar, pretending to be interested in nothing but the glass clutched in my palm.
 
Keeping the men in his sights, the murderous son of a bitch hobbles toward the door. He don’t take his eyes off the men, and they don’t dare draw their guns. It ain’t too early for drinking, but a shootout’s a different matter.
 
My mark slips onto the street. Soon as the doors swing closed behind him, time unsticks. The whore stands. The prospectors right their table.
 
I toss some coins onto the bar and follow the bastard.
 
“Take care, kid,” says the bartender.
 
I shove out the saloon without a word back.
 
The heat’s pressing down like it’s fixing to suffocate, and the pale dirt street gleams up almost moonlike. Stirrups and rigging rings wink at me from the saddled horses lining Whiskey Row. Like they know. Like they’re urging me on.
 
I trail the son of a bitch round the corner, where he stumbles for an outhouse and ducks inside.
 
It’s quiet back here. Not even a breeze.
 
I walk cautious, step nearer. Till I’m so close, I can see every last grain in the flimsy outhouse door. Till I swear I can smell the sweat and blood coming off the wretch on the other side.
 
My revolver hums on my hip.
 
I’ll kill him for you, Pa. I’ll kill him, I’ll kill him, I’ll kill him.
 
I draw the pistol with my right hand, grip the door with my left.
 
One deep breath and I yank it open, sighting the man before the door bangs to a stop ’gainst my shoulder. He’s sitting there on the pot, but his pants ain’t lowered. He’s checking the wound, shirt hanging open, fingers prodding flesh. Alls I can make out is a bloody mess ’long his left side that’s starting to soak the top of his trousers.
 
He goes for his gun but sees mine’s already on him and that he ain’t got a chance. He freezes, showing me his palms. There’s blood covering ’em, and I wonder how much of it’s Pa’s.
 
“Reach down real slow-like,” I says, “and unhook that pistol belt.”
 
His lip twitches, but he does right in the end. The belt clatters onto the wooden seat the pot’s set into. I grab it and toss it onto the dirt behind me.
 
“Who were you riding with?”
 
He grunts.
 
“I said, who the devil were you riding with?”
 
Still nothing.
 
I stare into his dark eyes and don’t see an ounce of remorse. My father died alone. Alone and cornered and in an unfair fight—a gang ’gainst one. This man could be the very same who slipped the rope over his head, heaved him high, and left him swinging. Blood’s pounding in my ears.
 
“Why’d you do it?” I says. “You didn’t take nothing but his pistol. You just killed him and rode on, and for what?”
 
“You don’t know?” The son of a bitch actually laughs. “A man lives with a secret like that his whole life and never tells his own son? Oh, that shines!”
 
“Yer friends,” I says through a snarl, praying I look like I know whatever secret he’s on ’bout. “Where are they headed?”
 
“You’ll never catch ’em, and if you do”—he grins up at me, flashing dark teeth—“they’ll string you up just like yer Pa.”
 
I kick him right in his bleeding side and he howls.
 
It weren’t a random raid. It were a hunt, with Pa being the target.
 
“How did you find us?” I says.
 
The bastard grunts.
 
“I ain’t asking it twice.”
 
“A clerk at Goldwaters,” he says. “Real cordial fellow. He pointed us to yer pa with a smile.”
 
Morris.
 
“Seems you ain’t the only boy ignorant of what’s walking round yer town,” the bastard says. He’s still grinning at me with those tarred teeth, and I wanna knock every last one loose.
 
“Now you listen, and you listen good,” I says. “I’m going to Goldwaters, and I’m gonna get what you ain’t giving up. Then I’m gonna ride after yer friends and do to them exactly what’s in store for you—what’s in store for every yellow-bellied coward who goes round stringing up innocent men.”
 
“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.
 

Customer Reviews

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Vengeance Road 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Old Western book. Loved the story and the characters. It's highly likely that I will read the next story.
Erin_R_Briley 5 months ago
Erin Bowman’s Taken series is one of my all-time favorites, so when she wrote a western I didn’t hesitate. I know what she can do with a character, and in Kate Thompson, again she has written someone who does not hold back. Having grown up with grandparents who devoured all westerns, Vengeance Road read like home. Grit, vengeance, a broken girl-all things I love in a book are woven through the narrative. Kate Thompson is such a raw and vivid character, and it was so easy to connect to her sense of loneliness, her raw pain, and that single-minded determination to avenge her father’s death. The landscape of Arizona and the landscape of Kate's grief parallel each other while she navigates the world with her anger and revenge. She maps out the truth she was never told, secure in her one goal and nothing else. Vengeance is the only word she understands. Plenty of great characters are met along the way, and just the right amount of romance. If you want a fun Wild West ride which keeps you holding your breath until the end- you will not be disappointed!
DarqueDreamer More than 1 year ago
Vengeance Road is fast paced, heart pumping, and highly original! This one is a true Western, full of grit, murder, and revenge. Prepare yourself for a harrowing thrill ride through the mountains of Arizona, on the road to vengeance! The Plot: Eighteen year old Kate returns from town to find her father murdered, and they've left a calling card. Hell bent on justice, Kate disguises herself as a boy and takes off after The Rose Riders. Along her journey, she runs across an unlikely duo of strangers, and an Apache girl, who just might be able to help her avenge her father. But their help comes with a price. Kate's journey on the road to vengeance just might take a fatal turn as she uncovers family secrets, and the realization that men will do anything when gold is on the line. What a whirlwind of a story! I don't think I have ever read a western novel, and, besides Crooked Kingdom, it has been a while since I got this in to a book! Vengeance Road had me shaking in my boots from page one! I don't know why I waited so long to read it! The writing was impeccable, and the world building and intense imagery had me picturing the wild west as if it were my own back yard (actually, it kind of is since I live in Arizona, lol). Bowman did a fantastic job with making me feel like I was part of the story, and putting me in the mindset of our main character Kate.  Kate, Kate, Kate!! Man, I loved Kate's character!! Boy, was she FIERCE! She got the short of end of the stick from the beginning with being a motherless woman in the western time period, and for coming home on a normal day and finding her father hanging from a tree. She handled the situation like a pro though! She allowed herself to grieve, but did not allow it to cloud her judgement. She hit the road in search of vengeance and kicked some major cowboy butt! None of the other characters compare to her! I did enjoy the other characters. I felt that Will and Jesse were both different enough from each, and from Kate, that they added depth to the story. And those Rose Riders were some scary hombres! Not to mention Liluye, the sneaky Apache girl, who added both diversity and intrigue to the book. All the characters fit well and kept the story moving in an exciting pace! If you haven't read this one yet, you need to! I only had one complaint, and it was that I wish the flashback at the beginning were italicized compared to the present day story being told, but it was only in chapter one, so it did not affect my rating. I am giving this one all the stars and I cannot wait to read Retribution Rails!
YAandWine More than 1 year ago
This is not only the first YA western novel I've read, it's the first western novel I've read! I always, very ignorantly, assumed that I wouldn't enjoy books in this genre, and boy did Erin Bowman prove me wrong. I LOVED Vengeance Road! I am absolutely blown away by Erin Bowman's writing ability. It is clear that she not only did a ton of research prior to writing this book, but that she fully immersed herself in the time period and setting while writing it. The dialogue without question is some of the best that I have ever read. It's authentic. The character's each have their own linguistic quirks, and Erin remains true to them throughout the book. The dialogue not only brings the characters to life, but it also immerses the reader further into the world of the story. Truly well-done. The characters themselves are so much fun. They are flawed, yet relatable, and absolutely captivating. The romance is perfect. I love how it's ever-present, yet doesn't overpower the plot of the story itself. The plot is fast-paced, high-stakes, and includes twists that I certainly did not see coming. I am so impressed with this book and simply cannot wait to start reading Retribution Rails. Brilliant!
pooled_ink More than 1 year ago
pooled ink Reviews: 4.5 Stars This book was so good! Unless you hate Westerns, in which case I guess you’d better back away slowly. This book wasted no time getting to the action. Smoke is everywhere, blood is tainting the air, and there’s a girl sighting down her Pa’s murderers who’ve got hell to pay. There was loads of shootouts, saloons, gold mines, sweating in the desert, Apache, folklore, and thirsting for revenge in every page. It held true to all the best parts of a classic American Western. Overall it’s a quick novel. It doesn’t spend pages and pages giving you pounds of paper to bond with the characters or get to know all their deepest secrets and psychologies. Some people interpret this as shallow but I was really okay with it. Honestly it felt more realistic, especially for this specific story. The book felt more focused on the very specific plan for vengeance Kate had as opposed to orienting around the character relationships like many books do. Kate’s vengeance drove the story, the action drove the story. Even so I think I did get to know the characters well enough. This story is filled with the culture and history of 1800s American West and I loved it. A tale of vengeance from start to finish. And best of all it had a classic ending for a perfect Western, sunset and all. Gritty, blood-thirsty, and exhilarating, VENGEANCE ROAD spins a tale of a girl hell-bent on revenge, a lost gold mine, and the devils that stand in her way. A classic Western for contemporary readers that sweeps its audience into an age long lost but still remembered. Read my FULL review on my Wordpress site: Pooled Ink
terferj More than 1 year ago
I had a rootin tootin good time reading this. At first I was thrown off on how it was written. To me, it’s written like how old western movies are. I actually liked that about the book. It made it feel more authentic. After a while, I would put on my western accent to read it. lol. It was definitely an interesting read. I liked the descriptions of that time period; from the land to their speech, to the way of life. I just found it fascinating. I admire Kate. She was stubborn, a badass, and someone I would like to be to avenge her father. She was no yellow belly to go after the men that took so much from her. I’m glad she enlisted the help of the Colton brothers, Jesse and Will, because it made some fun times reading. Like the discovery of “Nate,” shoot outs, sweet romance, and craziness that comes with searching for gold. Overall, I loved this and look forward to read more books like this.
manduhpaigereads More than 1 year ago
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars. I LOVED this book. It was so much fun and so fast paced. I really loved the main character and her take-no-prisoners, totally badass attitude. The side characters were pretty great too and I have to admit I was swooning over the love interest from their very first meeting. I would highly recommend picking this one up, I've never read a YA western before but I'll be reading more in the near future!
TheHeartofaBookBlogger More than 1 year ago
~~~Review posted on The Heart of a Book Blogger~~~ I loved Vengeance Road. I haven’t read too many western novels, but I thought Erin Bowman’s portrayal was great and that it fit the genre well. The writing, setting, plot, and characters were fantastic. Even better, I loved that Kate, the main character, was out for revenge and that you knew it. There was no sugar-coating her need for vengeance. Seriously, you better get out of her way or you’ll be shot, and I absolutely loved that she was this “shoot first, ask questions later” kind of girl. I definitely recommend Vengeance Road for anyone looking for a bada** heroine out for revenge.
books4susie More than 1 year ago
OMG! I loved this book. Never saw that ending coming and I just adored Kate.
Reading_With_Cupcakes More than 1 year ago
As far as I can recall, I have never read a Western before, so this was my very first one. I don't even typically watch Westerns on T.V. So, needles to say, this was a whole new story type for me to venture into. This story is about Kate. In the beginning she discovers her father dead, hanging from a tree and her home burning to the ground. A gang of robbers, known as the Rose Riders, had attacked while she had been away from the house. She had no idea why they attacked her father, for as far as she knew, he had never done anything to anyone. All she knew was that she was going to find them and make them pay. She was going to avenge her fathers death at all costs. Along the way she meets Jesse and Will and a few other characters. She wants go on her journey alone, but they won't let her for various different reasons (that we wont get into here!). Kate learns a lot of things about herself and her family along the way and not all of them are good. The pacing of this book is fantastic. Every time you think it is starting to slow down something new happens. It keeps you on your toes. You never know what is going to happen to our cast of characters next. This particular story takes place during the time when everyone was after gold and I think it depicted that time well. People were willing to do anything and everything to get at it. It also showed the distrust between the "whites" and the "Indians" at the time and the distrust that existed between the two groups. Something I really liked about the book was the way it was narrated. It was written in the way Kate would have spoken to you. The narration really helped me immerse myself into the story and feel as though I were riding along with Kate, Jesse, and Will on their journey across Arizona. While I enjoyed this one, I don't think I will be making Westerns a part of my regular reading repertoire. It was good, but it wasn't exactly my thing in the long run. This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Find more of my reviews here: http://readingwithcupcakes.blogspot.com/
Disquietus More than 1 year ago
Note: I received this book for free from the NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Oh, gorgeous cover, HOW COULD YOU FAIL ME? I was SO excited for this book. A western vengeance story that was well loved by so many of my trusted friends, “what could go wrong?”, I asked myself. The answer is…just about everything. Admittedly the story started off strong and I pretty much instantly liked Kate. She 100% delivers on all the promised rage, bloodshed, fierceness. Unfortunately every other aspect of the plot and characterization left something to be desired though. The character development was just flat out non-existent. Kate was easily the most fleshed out but she still never felt like a real, fully developed person. Jesse, Will and Liluye were all basically just trope-filled near caricatures. The treatment of Liluye was especially problematic. An Apache girl whose entire character is based on stereotypes and whose only role seems to be as moral compass and guide? No thanks, I’ll pass on your awful representation. And because the characterization was so weak I just didn’t care about them at all which is a huge problem for the type of reader I am. The plot was also a mess. While the pacing was on-point, and I enjoyed how much action there was, everything else fell short for me. The first 40% or so started off strong and kept me engaged, but it became a total train wreck from there. Things got completely ludicrous, to the point where it almost felt soap-operaish. I saw the plot twists coming from a mile away and could have done without them 10000%. Also the romance aspect really bothered me. While I definitely briefly boarded the ship (I’m weak) this was a story that would have been stronger without any kind of romance at all and then the romantic interest turned into such a tool that it derailed into a NOTP fairly quickly. Basically baa baa black sheep.
mollyreads More than 1 year ago
Erin Bowman created a pure western from the cover to the writing - but for the young adult genre. Don't be fooled though, this book is gritty and filled with plenty of those shootouts and bar brawls. The characters are all morally questionable, all shoot-now-ask-questions-later types, there wasn't an overwhelming amount of romance (for those that get turned off by love-triangles, there is no love triangle), the story was consuming and believable and the author didn't shy away from gore and violence. It was a fun, action packed story that really immerses you into that 1877 wild-west world.
Adriyanna More than 1 year ago
What do you get when you combine the West with revenge? Erin Bowman’s Vengeance Road. I don’t think I’ve read a better Western-themed novel in a long time. Her combination of fiction and fact to create this Western-set world is stunning and finishing it gave me that feel-good moment, like watching Old Yeller or reading Little House on the Prairie. Laura Ingalls was one of my favourite authors growing up, so it was great connecting that with Vengeance Road. This novel has tough, gritty characters that are neither black or white, but grey and fast-paced writing that leaves you stunned at every turn of the page. Erin Bowman presents us with the memorable work that is Vengeance Road. The main character, Kate Thompson has been shaped and formed by the world she lives in, giving us this rough character bent on revenge. Kate might even be considered the anti-protagonist, determined to kill the ones who killed her father in cold-blood, aka the Rose Riders. Yet, the reader is still rooting for Kate because her morals are better than the Rose Riders, who don’t care whether the people they hurt are innocent or not. Not only that but Kate grows to have a lot of regrets about her actions, so we see she doesn’t take things lightly. As the novel progresses, Kate reveals more of herself to her companions, Jesse and Will Colton and Liluye, and we see a softer side to this incredibly grey character. I think the most surprising part about her is her love for an edition of Little Women, given as a gift by her father, which ends up being her most treasured possession. Other characters in turn reveal things about themselves. We have Jesse who tells about how he watched his mother die, and how that effected his relationship with his father. Bowman’s characters carry themselves with this hard shell, necessary for surviving, but character development is huge and the cast learns a lot about each other and themselves. Getting to the writing and voice, this was probably one of the strongest parts of Vengeance Road. I was totally and completely inside Kate’s head. This was due to Bowman having the diction represent Kate’s voice and how she’d sound if you had the chance to speak with her – which would be awesome, unless of course you’re a Rose Rider! Kate was taught to read and write by her father so she’s not completely uneducated, but she never went to school (the school having been built when she was 12). Bowman create’s a balance of improper and proper grammar, fitting with the environment Kate’s grown up in. Furthermore, the action is fast-paced and there’s never a dull moment. The plot twists are real, ripping open both the characters’ heart and my own in ways we never saw coming. This heartache and despair is the sort of thing that makes a good Western book or movie – with it we know we’re living in the real world! There was one plot twist that took me by complete surprise, I was hoping the author would come in and say, “just kidding!’. Bowman’s writing captures both Kate and the West extraordinarily well. There were a few things I disliked about Vengeance Road. In the beginning of the novel, after Kate sets out on her search for the Rose Riders, she’s in search of a man called Abe. I was originally confused with this because I thought he was a member of the gang, but it turned out he was a friend of Kate’s father, and if anything were to happen to him, Kate was to find Abe. *Review condensed to fit within 3500 characters.
Kiara More than 1 year ago
Review: This book took me where no other book has. I was completely immersed into this world, this story, and fell in love with its characters. Lookin’ at you, Jesse. *wink* But really, I have never read any other book like it. Never. And I am writing this down so there is proof, Vengeance Road is one of my top five favorite books ever. So let’s talk about the world. A gritty western set in the Arizona plains; dust storms, hidden lakes, and beautiful mountain ranges. Cowboys, gun fights, bar brawls, this book has it all. The west during this time period was not the best place to be, but with the way Erin described the setting and the story, I want to live in the 1800s. Seriously. I mean, I wouldn’t survive but I sure would like to double fist it with twin Colt pistols. *pew pew* The plot was so rich and developed, I never lost interest. It kept me turning page after page. I seriously got mad when I had to do something else besides read VR. The whole idea of avenging someone’s death always grabs my attention, so I was hooked from the start. And when Kate meets the Colton boys, I’m like super hooked. Vengeance Road is such a deep, rich book; full of messages that reign truth, and characters that aren’t perfect but real. Lessons that teach much more than about vengeance, but how to fight, how to stand up for what you believe, how to receive help when you think you don’t need it, and ultimately how to take another breath and keep going. I highly, highly recommend picking this up. See full review at www.anerdandherbooks.wordpress.com!
KaylaRose More than 1 year ago
"You gotta be quicker than quick, ace high, the best." SUMMARY 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 THOUGHTS PLOT: Thank you, thank you, THANK you, Erin Bowman, for writing a truly diverse YA novel. When you try to find a Wild West YA novel, the closest you can really get is Blood Red Road by Moira Young, or maybe a few others that I can't think of that aren't really the Wild West- they just encompass the feel. But Vengeance Road is authentic to the core, from the characters to the perfectly detailed landscape of Arizona. Kate is bent on vengeance of the gang that killed her Pa, and that theme carries through the book. Unlike many heroines out for revenge, Kate doesn't get sidetracked by boys or fear or doubts in herself. She's got one goal, and that goal is to kill the man who killed her father. The plot only thickens- no, really, it does get thicker- with the addition of Liluye to their group and then a surprise new character turning the tables. There's a few HUGE twists near the end of the book which I won't spoil for you, and it was AWFUL, but in a good way, because it made the book that much more realistic- no one escapes unscathed. Anyway, the plot was absolutely delicious- lost gold and revenge and all kinds of cowboy action, just my style. I'll be rereading soon with my HC, no doubt. Five stars. I loved this book. I do wish that the ending felt less abrupt- there was a lot going on, and it seemed like it could have been drawn out into more of the book. Especially the final, most important plot twist was a little bit abrupt and unexpected- I would have liked to see hints of that more through the book. Maybe I did and I just missed it- I was sick yesterday when I read it. But I really did love everything else about this book, and I would recommend it to everyone, not just those who love Westerns. Thanks to HMH and NetGalley for my ARC of Vengeance Road, released September 1, 2015! Full review at www.getabookmark.wordpress.com!
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers Publication Date: September 1, 2015 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: I don't like Westerns. At least, I haven't liked the idea of Westerns in the past. I also didn't quite love Bowman's debut trilogy - Taken, Frozen, Forged. However, given that I've read all of the author's published books to date, and I don't read enough Westerns, I thought I'd give this book a try. Maybe it was fate, maybe it was timing - The Quick and the Dead was on TV late one night, and I watched it because I couldn't sleep (I don't watch TV, very rarely). So perhaps I was coincidentally primed for this book - because I loved it! Kate is bent on revenge after she comes home one day and finds her father murdered - hung from a noose - the house burning. Her father left a note to find a family friend who can help her should he ever die, and Kate will stop at nothing to find the Rose Riders that murdered her father. She strikes a deal with the family friend's sons - help her to Phoenix, and they can reap some serious rewards. But Kate must stop and think - is vengeance worth it? This is easily my favorite YA Western. I've read another in "recent" times - Relic by Renee Collins - which was good. I really REALLY liked this one though. There are so many awesome elements of this book! This is (in my opinion) Bowman's best novel to date. I enjoyed it so much more than I enjoyed her Taken trilogy. I feel like Bowman captured Kate really well. A huge difference from the Taken trilogy, because that series was written from Grey's POV (and he's a male). Kate is a likable gal! She is very tough, very independent, very ornery and prickly. Seriously, the girl wants to be left alone at all times. She doesn't like when Jesse and Will (the family friend's sons) tag along to help her find the men (and something else). Kate is prickly as thorns, and there is nothing wrong with that! I liked her so much, and I think Bowman did an amazing job of developing Kate's character. The same goes for many of the secondary characters. Jesse is the male protagonist. He is the older son of Abe (the family friend), about twenty years old. He has a serious protective streak, as he has been the "man of the family" for years. He is smart and loyal and considerate, and he has a slow-burn temper that is kind of funny, especially clashing against Kate's prickly nature. I like Jesse a lot! Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"If you think you can't do something, you won't. If you believe you can, it's only a matter of time before you will." Kate Thompson's father is killed by the treacherous Rose Riders for a journal that reveals the location of a hidden gold mine. Desperate for justice and her own share of revenge, Kate sets out after her father's murderers. But the Arizona territory is not hospitable to strangers in 1877, or eighteen-year-old girls, so Kate disguises herself as a boy before following the Rose Riders' trail. On the road to vengeance she finds deception, betrayal and two brothers she who refuse to let her finish her ride alone. As Kate gets closer to the Rose Riders and the truth about her father's murder, she will have to decide if getting her revenge is worth losing herself in Vengeance Road (2015) by Erin Bowman. Vengeance Road is a fast-paced western adventure that follows Kate as she struggles to get revenge. The novel is written in Kate's dialect as she narrates the story. Her voice has a twang and verve that immediately brings the old west landscape to life. Bowman provides evocative descriptions of mining towns, saloons and riding on through the plains to help bring Kate's journey to vivid life. The addition of real historical figures and an author's note detailing the inspiration for certain aspects of the story help to flesh out the story even further. Kate is a tough-talking, no-nonsense heroine. Her singular focus on revenge ensures that Vengeance Road is an action-heavy story with a clear destination. While there is a romance subplot, it is very much secondary to Kate's quest for justice. Throughout the novel, Kate spends a lot of time on her. Although she is not the most introspective character, this solitude does give Kate the opportunity to contemplate what getting revenge will entail and what it might cost her in the end. Unexpected twists and surprising reveals in the final act of this novel make Vengeance Road a page-turning adventure. Kate's quiet and unique voice make Vengeance Road a novel to ponder and savor. Possible Pairings: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen, No Surrender Solider by Christine Kohler, Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, Twist of Gold by Michael Morpurgo, Daugther of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan, Montmorency by Eleanor Updale
L_Tincher More than 1 year ago
There really isn't enough words in the English language to describe how amazingly wonderful VENGEANCE ROAD is. Full of action, intriguing characters, and a setting straight out of the past, this book was fun to read from beginning to end. I started and finished it in one sitting, and it left me wanting more! (Although, if you're looking for a great standalone, pick this up! As much as I love a good series, sometimes, you just need a story told and wrapped up in one book. VENGEANCE ROAD does that beautifully!) Without giving any spoilers (because that's never any fun!) the premise is about an eighteen-year old girl who seeks revenge against the Rose Riders, who ruthlessly murdered her father for his mysterious journal. Along her path, she meets the rough-around-the-edges good guys, Will and Jesse Colton. Agreeing to assist her, hoping to find gold in the wild west of Arizona in 1877 (a very dangerous job, indeed, during that time period!) While under the blazing west sun on her trusty old mare Silver, Kate will stop at nothing to avenge her father's death, knowing it could mean her own in return. Like I said earlier, I can't say enough good things about this book! I was intrigued from the get-go. Westerns in YA are rare, and this is just the book YA needs! Also, the cover is simply stunning!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You really can't read it with the nook because you have a nook password to get a free sample. So don't try a nook.