Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
THE STORY (from 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.
Vengeance Road is gripping from first page to last, sucking us immediately into Kate’s story as her world burns down and revenge rises from its ashes. From the moment she finds her father’s body we’re taken on a darkly beautiful journey, the richness of the setting and the authenticity of the dialect drawing us even deeper into Kate’s life as she seeks to return the brutal favor bestowed upon her father.
Kate is a young woman who could have made it exceedingly difficult to really like her, revenge having a way of casting a character in so many shadows and shades of gray that it becomes nearly impossible to find the real person they mask. Instead, what we find is a girl who sets out with dark purpose but who isn’t so blinded by her need for vengeance that she literally rides in with guns blazing without the benefit of any kind of plan or forethought. While she might have done just that without the Colton boys there to intervene, she listens to them and allows their logic to filter through the haze of her anger until she sees reason.
The romance between Kate and Jesse is woven beautifully into this story, the two of them at odds for majority of the book (due in large part to the fact that both Jesse and his brother Will believe Kate to be a boy when they first meet her), but while they take verbal swings at one another on a daily basis, their relationship never comes across as frustrating. Rather than drama for the sake of drama or a couple that runs hot one day and cold the next, Kate and Jesse feel utterly genuine, caught up in a number of emotional and physical conflicts that never once act as a reminder that we’re reading a piece of fiction thanks to the over the top nature of what unfolds.
Overall, Ms. Bowman delights with Vengeance Road, giving us a heroine to root for with every fiber of our being, a villain to hate with gleeful intensity, and a subtle romance to keep a dopey grin plastered to our faces just when we need it most.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.