Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman #BookReview #YA

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Title: Retribution Rails
Author: Erin Bowman
Series: Vengeance Road #2
Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Publication Details: November 7th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA; Adventure; Historical Fiction; Western
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads 

 

REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE
When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.


Review

Vengeance Road was a tour de force, so I was thrilled when I heard there was going to be a sequel (of sorts – more on that later), and although it’s not released until November, I couldn’t wait. I devoured it ASAP.

And you know what, I wasn’t disappointed. Thank the unicorns!!

Retribution Rails is a companion novel, not a direct sequel, so if you missed out on Vengeance Road you need not worry (although you really should read it!), there are two new plucky main characters to focus on, and it’s set around ten years after the first book.

Charlotte Vaughn is a young aspiring journalist who is determined to succeed despite all the odds that are stacked against her. Inspired by her hero (and real-life feminist icon) Nellie Bly she takes matters into her own hands and heads off in search of a story worthy of being her big break. A story so big that the newspapers won’t be able to turn her down. Even if she is a woman.

When Charlotte’s train is targeted by the fearless and ruthless Rose Riders, it could be the answer to her prayers, or it could be the death of her. Her encounter with the infamous Rose Kid sets in motion a whole train map of trouble, leading her on a wild west adventure that’s a little more than she bargained for.

This book was a rip-roaring adventure full of heart. Erin Bowman’s ability to bring history to life with a fresh and modern outlook is nothing short of a revelation, and I really think she’s paved the way for a whole new strand of YA. It’s a great, empowering story for young girls, and full of action for any thrill-seeker.

I couldn’t remember the ins and outs of Vengeance Road going into this (probably because I’m old and drink too much), just that I really enjoyed it, but as we are reunited with Kate and Jessie from the first book it all slowly came back to me. It was so nice to back in their company and see how life had panned out for them ten years on.

I loved everything about it. The adventure, the romance, the historical accuracies, the suspense, the heart-break, the everything. More please!

Have ALL THE UNICORNS.

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This Week in Books 16.08.17 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Wow, Wednesday again! Let’s see what books have been doing the rounds this week…

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Now: Prince of Shadows ~ Rachel Caine //  The Ice Dragon ~ George R.R Martin

I’d been eyeing Prince of Shadows in my library for a while and finally picked it up during a lunch break last week. Enjoying it so far, but early days. I also started The Ice Dragon, which is a beautifully illustrated book by the Game of Thrones author, for younger readers. I found it in a charity shop last week.

Synopses (from Goodreads):

 Prince of Shadows

In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…

… And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

The Ice Dragon

From ancient times the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child — and the ice dragon who loved her — could save her world from utter destruction.

Then:  Retribution Rails ~ Erin Bowman 

As expected, this was a great read. Fun and fast, and something different from a lot of the YA out there.

Synopsis:

REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE…


When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever. 

 

Next: ??? Definitely The Last Dog on Earth .

Synopsis:

Every dog has its day…

And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can be.

Reg, an agoraphobic writer with an obsession for nineties football, plans to wait out the impending doom in his second floor flat, hiding himself away from the riots outside.

But when an abandoned orphan shows up in the stairwell of their building, Reg and Lineker must brave the outside in order to save not only the child, but themselves…

New on the Shelves

Bought: Got a few more excellent charity shop finds last week…

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Netgalley: Continuing my ‘read more NF’ target, I requested this. I also thought it would be a good one for Horror October!

thewitchWhy have societies all across the world feared witchcraft? This book delves deeply into its context, beliefs, and origins in Europe’s history

The witch came to prominence—and often a painful death—in early modern Europe, yet her origins are much more geographically diverse and historically deep. In this landmark book, Ronald Hutton traces witchcraft from the ancient world to the early-modern stake.
 
This book sets the notorious European witch trials in the widest and deepest possible perspective and traces the major historiographical developments of witchcraft. Hutton, a renowned expert on ancient, medieval, and modern paganism and witchcraft beliefs, combines Anglo-American and continental scholarly approaches to examine attitudes on witchcraft and the treatment of suspected witches across the world, including in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Australia, and North and South America, and from ancient pagan times to current interpretations. His fresh anthropological and ethnographical approach focuses on cultural inheritance and change while considering shamanism, folk religion, the range of witch trials, and how the fear of witchcraft might be eradicated.

I’m Waiting On…

…A Guide for Murdered Children, because… OK so it was the unicorn that did it initially, but then I read the synopsis and I wanted it even more. It’s available to request on NetGalley now. Fingers crossed.

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We all say there is no justice in this world. But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to return briefly to this world, inhabit adult bodies and wreak ultimate revenge on the monsters who had killed them, stolen their lives?

Such is the unfathomable mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde, fresh out of rehab and finally able to find a job running a Cold Case squad in suburban Detroit. When the two rookie cops assigned to him take an obsessive interest in a decades old disappearance of a brother and sister, Willow begins to suspect something out of the ordinary is afoot. And when he uncovers a series of church basement AA-type meetings made up of the slain innocents, a new way of looking at life, death, murder and missed opportunities is revealed to him.

Mystical, harrowing and ultimately tremendously moving, A Guide for Murdered Children is a genre-busting, mind-bending twist on the fine line between the ordinary and the extraordinary.

 Expected Publication: March 20th 2018 by Blue Rider Press

 

So that was my week in books, how was yours? If you’re participating feel free to leave your link in the comments so everyone can take a look!

This Week in Books 02.08.17 #TWIB

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Hi, Everyone! I missed last weeks’ post (soz) because I was just completely exhausted after going to Truck Festival and being wet, muddy and sleep deprived for 4 days – it was still fun though! I did at least get a bit of reading done since being back.

Here’s what my week looked like…

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Now: Retribution Rails ~ Erin Bowman // Spectacles ~ Sue Perkins

I’ve only just started Retribution Rails – a companion book to Vengeance Road which I loved. I picked up Spectacles from work in a rare quiet moment and was hooked so had to bring it home!

Then:  Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention ~ Mindy Hardwick // The Hate U Give ~ Angie Thomas // The Haunting ~ Alex Bell

These were all completely different, but all really good. The Hate You Give made me cry, The Haunted was totally creepy and Kids in Orange was so interesting. Reviews to follow!

Next: ???

Probably The Way it Hurts by Patty Blount, which is my next ARC review due.

New on the Shelves

Netgalley:

I thought this sounded interesting and fun!

flatbrokeA charming memoir of one woman’s unexpected journey from country chic to backwoods barnyard 

Just as the Great Recession was easing in some parts of the country, Jennifer McGaha experienced an economic crisis of epic proportions. Her home was in foreclosure; she had $4.57 in the bank; and worst of all, she had recently discovered that she and her accountant husband owed four years of back taxes to the state of North Carolina and the IRS. And then things got really bad…

Flat Broke with Two Goats takes readers on a wild adventure from a Cape Cod-style home in the country to a hundred-year-old, mice-infested, snake-ridden cabin in a North Carolina holler. With self-effacing humor and unflinching honesty, Jennifer chronicles the joys and difficulties of living close to nature, and in the process she comes to discover the true meaning of home. 

I was also approved for the new Andy Weir book. Whoop!

 

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Jazz Bashara is a criminal. 

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

I’m Waiting On…

…Charlotte Says, because… I loved Frozen Charlotte and this is a prequel to that.

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The much-anticipated prequel to the bestselling FROZEN CHARLOTTE, a Zoella Book Club title in Autumn 2016.

Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.

Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.

Expected Publication: September 7th 2017 by Stripes Publishing

 So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

This Week in Books 19.07.17 #TWIB

 

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Another busy week this week – I went back to work after a week and half off, and I’m off to a festival at the weekend. I did, however manage to get lots of reading done last weekend which was great. So I feel like I’ve caught up again. Go me!

Here’s what my week looked like…

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Now: Kids in Orange: Voices from Juvenile Detention ~ Mindy Hardwick // The Hate U Give ~ Angie Thomas

Kids in Orange is a memoir from a teacher/writer who did poetry workshops in juvenile detention centres in the U.S; about her time with the troubled children she worked with, the work they produced, and reflection on her life on the whole. It’s really interesting and relevant to my job so I’m enjoying it, but it’s not the kind of book I could read all in one go!

So I also picked up The Hate U Give which I loved by proxy before I’d even started it, and love it even more already. Can’t put it down.

Then:  White Cat ~ Holly Black // Strawberries at Wimbledon ~ Nikki Moore

I loved White Cat and definitely want to read the next book now. I also enjoyed cute little read, Strawberries at Wimbledon. I’ll try and review both in the next week or so.

Next: ???

Probably (still) Retribution Rails which isn’t out until November but I’m really eager to read it.

New on the Shelves

Netgalley: The only new book I added was The Silent Companions which I got approved for. It was my WoW pick last week. Sounds amazing so I’m chuffed with that one.  It’s also out in October so I’ll probably save it for my annual Horror October!

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Inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill and set in a crumbling country mansion, The Silent Companions is an unsettling gothic ghost story to send a shiver down the spine…

Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.

With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. But inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself

 

I’m Waiting On…

…Artemis, because… I enjoyed The Martian (but didn’t LOVE it) and I’m intrigued by what Weir has come up with next.

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Jazz Bashara is a criminal. 

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

Expected Publication: November 14th 2017 by Crown 

 So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

This Week in Books 12.07.17 #TWIB

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Hi Everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week. I’m afraid my answers are the same as last week because even though I’ve been off work I’ve been having all of the fun (mainly at Wimbledon watching the tennis) and not had much reading or blogging time. Normality should resume next week. Although I am going to a festival next weekend. Too much going on. LOL!

Anyway, here’s what my week has looked like…

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Now: White Cat ~ Holly Black

Almost done with this. It’s great – just no time!

Then:  The Horse with My Name ~ Colin Bateman

Loved this. After a long break from Bateman’s books it was a welcome comfort read. Funny and action-packed with a perfect balance of violence and silliness!

Next: ???

Probably Retribution Rails which isn’t out until November but I’m really eager to read it. Might sneak Strawberries at Wimbledon in first though.

How have you got on this week? Don’t forget to leave the link to your post or just a comment so we can all come take a look. 

 

This Week in Books 05.07.17 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! This week has gone so quick I totally forgot to schedule this post! Oh well, it’s here now. Today is a good day because it was my last day at work until a week on Monday. Yayyyy! I can’t really afford to go away, but my friend Conny is coming over from Germany for a few days and we’ll be spending most of it at Wimbledon to see the tennis, so I’m excited! Whoop.

Anyway, here’s what my week has looked like…

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Now: White Cat ~ Holly Black

It finally happened! I’m about half way through and really enjoying it but it’s taken a bit of a backseat since Wimbledon started on Monday.

Then:  The Horse with My Name ~ Colin Bateman

Loved this. After a long break from Bateman’s books it was a welcome comfort read. Funny and action-packed with a perfect balance of violence and silliness!

Next: ???

Probably Retribution Rails which isn’t out until November but I’m really eager to read it. Might sneak Strawberries at Wimbledon in first though.

New on the Shelves

Netgalley:

I’m weirdly not a fan of dogs (apart from Manchee) but I thought this sounded funny and interesting…it’s not out until September.

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Every dog has its day…

And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can be.

Reg, an agoraphobic writer with an obsession for nineties football, plans to wait out the impending doom in his second floor flat, hiding himself away from the riots outside.

But when an abandoned orphan shows up in the stairwell of their building, Reg and Lineker must brave the outside in order to save not only the child, but themselves…

Bought: 

This cute-looking short novella is currently free on Amazon so I couldn’t resist. Good time of the year for it!

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The one that got away?

Sipping Pimms and eating fresh strawberries at Wimbledon are the perfect start to the British summer for Rayne. Immersed in her career as a journalist in the City, she’s been too busy and distracted to give men – or other outside interests – much of a chance lately. That’s something her friend Lily thinks she should correct, coming up with the perfect ‘sex with an ex’ solution – much to the amusement of the crowd on Centre Court!

When Rayne runs into old flame Adam, former good guy who is now all grown up with a hint of bad boy about him, it’s a tempting thought. But is that such a good idea, when she knows that four years ago, she broke his heart?

Back from travelling the world and settling into running the family business, Adam never expected to see his university girlfriend again. And he definitely didn’t think he would still be angry with her for running away, or that she would still have the same stunning effect on him. But she does, so maybe the perfect way to get her out of his dreams and from under his skin, is to have a hot sex-filled night with her? The only trouble is, one night might not be enough…

First love – can you ever go back?

 

I’m Waiting On…

…The  Cruel Prince, because… I need more Holly Black in my life. Plus, if it’s anything like The Darkest Part of the Forest then it’s going to be epic!

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Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Expected Publication:  January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

 So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me Authors of 2015 #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: The Top Ten New-to-me Authors of 2015.

I discovered lots of wonderful new authors in 2015, as well as reading some of my all-time favourites. It’s been a good year!

Here is my top ten books I read in 2015 by authors I’d never read before…some were completely new to me, and others I had been meaning to read for a long time!

  1. Benjamin Alire Saenz ~ Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
  2. Rosamund Lupton ~ The Quality of Silence
  3. Victoria Aveyard ~ Red Queen
  4. Erin Bowman ~ Vengeance Road
  5. Rachel Hawkins ~ Rebel Belle
  6. Joe Hill ~ Horns
  7. James Dawson ~ Cruel Summer
  8. Kim Newman ~ An English Ghost Story
  9. Alex Bell ~ Frozen Charlotte
  10. Natasha Carthew ~ The light that Gets Lost

Top Ten Tuesday: Please Sir, I’d Like Some More…

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel (because when you love a debut you just are ITCHING to get your hands on the author’s second book).

Hmm I didn’t even know what a ‘Sophomore Novel’ was until this topic came up, but now I know! However, I’m still going to change my list up slightly and look at authors that I’ve only read one book by but desperately want to read more of.

That’s pretty much the same, right?

In no particular order…

1. Rachel Hawkins: I loved Rebel Belle and would like to carry on the series…but just haven’t. Sigh.

2. Benjamin Alire Saenz: LOVED, LOVED LOVED Aristotle & Dante and now I need to read EVERYTHING this guy writes.

3. Kim Newman: I’ve been meaning to read Anno Dracula since it came out but still haven’t gotten round to it. After recently reading and loving his An English Ghost Story, I want to read more by him more than ever.

4. Erin Bowman: Loved her recent YA Western, Vengeance Road and would love to see more from her.

5. Joe Hill: Horns was great and I’ve heard great things about his other books too. I really want to read Heart-Shaped Box and Nos482.

6. Devon Hartford: I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed the steamy Fearless, and I bought the second book in the series straight away but haven’t got to it yet.

7. Rosamund Lupton: I absolutely adored The Quality of Silence earlier this year. It was the first one I’d read of hers but I now need to go read everything she’s done!

8. James Dawson: I’ve only read Cruel Summer so far and it was great! More please.

9. Victoria Aveyard: Red Queen was awesome, I loved it, despite being bored of all the YA Dystopia out there at the moment. I can’t wait for book 2!

10. M.R Carey: The Girl with all the Gifts was a great horror read, I wouldn’t hesitate to read more.

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

vengeanceroadTitle: Vengeance Road
Author: Erin Bowman
Series: N/A
Edition: Digital Review Copy, 336 pages
Publication Details: September 1st 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads

Revenge is worth its weight in gold.

When hers 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.

Review

Vengeance Road is a fast-paced, action-packed, tale of adventure and revenge in the shape of a good old-fashioned Western.

Plucky protagonist Kate thought her father was hung for the sake of it, but when she makes her way to Abe’s ranch, someone her father instructed her to seek out should anything happen to him, she discovers that she didn’t know him as well as she thought.

Hell-bent on seeking revenge for his death, Kate, along with Abe’s children – for he too is dead when she gets there – heads off across the arid plains on the trail of the Rose clan – the notorious band of outlaws who killed him.

Hurrah for this is basically what I want to say! It’s not often you come across new and exciting strands of YA, and Vengeance Road was definitely that. Bowman weaves a thrilling, old fashioned yarn of an adventure and makes it look all shiny and new.

Kate is a wonderful character. She’s strong-willed, resourceful, and presents herself as fearless. But deep down she’s just like any teenager, lacking in confidence, and feeling lost in the world.

I really enjoyed this book the whole way through. I enjoyed Kate’s banter with the brothers, and her unlikely friendship with Lilulwe, an Apache girl. It has a bit of everything.

There is of course some romance too, this is YA after all.

This was my first helping of Erin Bowman, and I think she’s certainly one to watch. I look forward to seeing what she comes out with next, and I might even have to check out her previous books on the strength of this one.

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