This book went through many rounds of “book cover judgements” before I finally decided the cover was amazing and picked it up. Yes, I judge books by their covers, and in this instance, I’m glad for it.
Synopsis: Kate Thompson seeks revenge after her father is murdered by the notorious Rose Riders, but despite her attempts to disguise herself as a boy to be less noticeable, she finds herself saddled with two brothers and a young Apache girl as she makes her way across the Arizona Territory to hunt down the murderous gang and retrieve the mysterious journal they stole from her father.
Vengeance Road weaves American Western legend into what I might describe as a YA version of True Grit. It’s just gritty enough not to be mistaken for another flowery, happy ending YA romance, and I gobbled this book up in a day and a half.
Romance — It’s no secret that much of YA fiction is heavily laden with romance, and while Vengeance Road isn’t void of it, I loved that it wasn’t the focus of the story.
Dialect — The author’s use of the Western dialect was perfect. It took me just a couple of pages to get comfortable with the narration, but I found it complemented the story rather than overwhelmed, which was perfect for me as I sometimes have a hard time reading different dialects.
Pace — This book proves that you can have endless action without cramming.
Character Consistency — This is perhaps my favorite aspect of the book. The characters grew, but never wavered. Persistently faced with obstacles and distractions, they remained focused and true to their dispositions. This author knows how to write strong characters.
Cliche — There were some “cheesy” bits that, though not cringe-worthy, tended to fluff up the story, and the twist at the end felt too rushed to produce a powerful effect. However, I certainly didn’t catch on to it while reading, so I give the author credit for that.
As I was reading, I could sense the author truly enjoyed writing this story, and I in turn enjoyed and appreciated the book.
I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
For a bit of extra fun, I put together a collage of pictures I felt conveyed the book’s spirit. Perhaps it will spark a bit of interest in yourself to read the book.
Photo Cred: Cover Art by Teagan White/ left to right: Gilles Vranckx (please be aware that the artist’s website content contains adult images) / ? / Evan Michael Olson Photography / Ted Ganiats Cowboy with “Winnepeg” / still from 3:10 to Yuma (2007) / still from The Magnificent Seven (2016) / still from Diablo (2015). I did my best to find and credit all the sources, but I couldn’t find detailed information for all of them so credit where credit’s due, and if you know more please inform me!