I’m going to start off by saying that I’m really not one for westerns. Be it books, movies, or anything else in the western genre, they just really aren’t my thing.
So when I heard about this book, I really wasn’t sure it would be my cup of tea. I love young adult fiction, but I just wasn’t sure I could see this working for me.
If your thinking is along the same lines as mine, let me stop you right there. This book is one of the most fantastically original and well written young adult novels I have ever read. It’s different, it’s interesting, it’s simply amazing.
Our novel takes place in Arizona in 1877. It begins with our heroine, eighteen year old Kate, coming home to find her father brutally murdered and their home burned down, and her father’s journal missing (yeah, this all happens in the very beginning of the book, so at least you know what you’re in for with the rest of it!). Kate, grief stricken, decides that she will avenge her father’s death, no matter the cost. So, she disguises herself as a boy (because she fears she will not be taken seriously if people know she’s a girl), and sets off to track down her father’s killers and make them pay for what they did.
On her first stop, she goes to see an old friend of her father, Abe, because as a young girl he had instructed her to go and see Abe if anything should happen to him. When she gets to Abe’s, she finds that Abe has been dead for a while, but his sons take her into their home to give her a letter that had been left by her father. Will and Jesse, who are riding the way Kate is heading anyway, plan to ride with her, even though she wants anything but to have others with her.
What follows on their journey isn’t for the faint of heart. Kate stays true to her plan for revenge, and you can practically feel her desire for it. It’s an angry, bitter, blood and gore filled journey into Phoenix and the Superstition Mountains as she tracks down the Rose Riders – the men that killed her father.
As soon as I finished this, I instantly wanted to read it again. Vengeance Road is a gritty, raw, and exciting book that really tried to be something different than what the YA genre is used to, and it worked out perfectly. It was such a fantastic read, and even the ending of the book was absolutely perfect. As I’ve said before, I’m not one for Westerns, but this book was such a treat that it’s going to be difficult for another book to top it on my favorites list.
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.