Published on September 1, 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
[This book was given to me by the Publisher but this in no way affected my opinion.]
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.
When I first picked up Vengeance Road I didn't knew what to expect, I'm not big into historical fiction and had never tried a Western book but I had nothing to worry about. This book turned out to be a page turner for me and I was captivate by its characters since the beginning.
Kate is an amazing lead to this book, she starts the story searching for vengeance but the good thing is that she is talking seriously about revenge - you know how there is some books where the MC is gonna be like "I want to kill them all" but will actually not do anything, well Kate doesn't thinks about killing people she goes and shot them straight in the head (or hearth, she isn't picky) - I loved her determination and strength since chapter one and getting to know her more through the book made me like her more and more.
Other characters that won my heart were Will and Jesse, these stubborn brothers that ride with Kate and made the story lighter a lot of times making me laugh, but also adding a more emotional tone to the story at a lot of times. We do have a romance between Jesse and Kate but it was a slow burn, full of a funny banter between them before they released they didn't actual hate each other (yes, it is a kind of hate-to-love thing) and it was a welcome thing in the middle of all the killings and quests and desert roughness.
We also have an Apalache girl, Liluye, that rides with their group for a time and let's say the relationship of her with the others was hard. Liluye comes from a different culture, a culture that Kate, Will and Jesse do not understand and it's show on the book a lot of the prejudices there was at that time between these two races. One thing that really bothered me on this front was the fact that Kate keeps calling Liluye as Lil', even thought Liluye keeps asking her to not call her that way - this bothered me so much because it was such a lack of respect from Kate's part! I guess it was supposed to seem that way to show their differences maybe, I don't know, but each time Kate said Lil' I would cringe.
But taking that away Vengeance Road was a compulsive read for me right from the start, the vengeance quest and the later on mysteries kept me wanting to read more and more, its characters were complex and well developed and that ending, guys I think I said about 1 gazillion of "shits" and "what" on the last 30% or so of this book, it happens so much stuff and god the action scenes!
So yeah, you should definitely check this one out, it's an great read if you like adventure or historical fiction.