ARC Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Written by: Erin Bowman
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Pages: 336, Hardback
Series: Standalone
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Thanks to HMH Books for Young Readers for the ARC!

Book

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.
LetsTalk

I’ve never been a big Western fan, at all. I’ve probably seen a total of two western movies in my life, both of which thanks to my late Grandmother who loved them with an undying passion. But for me it was always more of a meh thing. So I’m not exactly sure what drew me to Vengeance road truthfully. Quite possibly it was that cover(Have you SEEN it?), or maybe it was that the plot sounded interesting? I’m not sure really, either way when I got the chance to get an ARC at TLA I was actually really excited to snag a copy.

I put off starting this one though, half because I’d read bits and pieces and I wasn’t sure about the writing style, and half because admittedly it’s a Western. So when I found the perfect lull in my TBR I decided to just jump in and read it. Well let me say this right up front, I’m so glad I did.

Vengeance Road was completely out of my comfort zone, but it was such an amazing read I’m glad I took the jump. Even if it did mean more than once I looked up from my book to answer a question and found myself talking in absolute old western slang. (It weren’t fun y’all.)

Didn'tWork

Because Vengeance Road was so out of my comfort zone there were a couple things that did bother me about this book. For one the writing style took me quite a while to get into. It worked well for the novel once I got used to it, but until I got into the swing of the book it was hard to just lose myself to the writing of this novel.

There was also a plot twist I’m seriously not happy with. I’m not going to talk about it because spoilers, but I’m not happy.

DidWork

The fact that this book was a standalone was great. I think the story worked so well as a standalone, and I’m glad that Bowman didn’t try to push it into more than one book. Kate’s story was so great, and yes I’d love to see more about her but in something more like a novella than a true novel, but even if not I’m happy with the ending, truthfully.

Another thing I really liked about this book was the pacing. There was just enough downtime to give some wonderful sweet moments, but for the most part it was pretty much action and plot twists and throwing me for loops. In fact towards the end I almost got angry with my family who kept interrupting me. I just loved the way the book flowed so much more than I can express.

And again, there was another great plot twist at the end, but again, I’m not going to talk about it because spoilers but it was fantastic.

Pickup

Even if you’re not sure about western novels, give this one a try. It was completely out of my comfort zone and yet clicked with me so completely that I am absolutely in love with it.

Sondra 

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