Book Review #41: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

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.

I listened to this book on audio, and it was narrated by Amy Rubinate. The audiobook didn’t add a whole lot extra to the experience, but it was good all the same. I think it might be better to check this out on audio if you don’t like Kate’s way of speaking while reading. It is much better to listen to; I really enjoyed her turn of phrase.

Vengeance Road was everything I needed in a western and much more. Too long have westerns been a sausage fest of cowboys and filled with damsels in distress. Kate Thompson shows that not only women can be tough and stop at nothing to get what they want, but they can also have flaws, moments of weakness, and make mistakes. Pretty much every woman we meet in this story has their own strengths, and they are not flat characters.

The plot was just enough kicking ass and taking names as much as it was a survival story. Kate had nothing left to her life, other than the urge to take revenge for her father’s murder, and that really showed in the initial tone of the novel. Kate didn’t really care for what happened after she would take revenge on the Rose Riders, nor did she care if she died as long as she would take the leader with her. She thought she would never care about anyone. There is a budding romance in this book, and it was enough of a slow-burn for me to actually root for them and care whether or not they actually got together.

This novel had so much action packed into it and it was so easy to invest in the characters lives. I’m saddened that it only has 3.88 on GoodReads because it deserves so much more. The cover is gorgeous and the story is the same.

I keep flipping my rating from four to five stars and back again; when I lowered it to four, I couldn’t think why I should leave off a star because there is nothing I would change about this novel. It is truly that good. Bowman really has crafted a genuinely amazing story, one that I would be glad to pick up again.

 

★★★★
Five Stars!

 

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