Sep 2, 2015
Author: Erin Bowman
Pub. Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
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.
Erin grew up in rural Connecticut, where she spent most of her childhood telling stories. It is rumored that her first words were not “Mama” or “Dada,” but “Once upon a time.” In middle school, when kids were going off to sleep-away camp for the summer, Erin was attending writing camp and penning short stories.
She studied web design (and minored in Creative Writing because she couldn’t stay away from stories) at the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York. After several years working in advertising and designing websites for various brands, she moved from Boston to New Hampshire, where she now lives with her family and writes full-time.
When not writing, Erin can often be found hiking, geeking out over good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter. She drinks a lot of coffee, buys far too many books, and is not terribly skilled at writing about herself in the third person.
She is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, and is the author of the Taken Trilogy (available from HarperTeen) and Vengeance Road (HMH Books for Young Readers).
This book is going to be a big hit this year. There isn’t anything else like it out right now, and I loved it. I don’t normally read Western books, but this one just seemed so intriguing I couldn’t pass it up. Kate is a spitfire and I think anyone would be crazy for not respecting what she’s capable of. No spoilers here as its part of the synopsis, but the book starts as Kate’s father was murdered.
As a reader, you will never see Kate before this event. However it is interesting to read between the lines, and realize ‘before’ Kate and ‘after’ Kate are not that dissimilar. Its just in the first case, she has no reason to go hightailing it out of her town.
Kate learns many things about her family in this book, and none of it is good. It’s the character dynamics and sharp story-telling that really set this book apart from the typical Western novel. I thought it was so fun to watch Kate develop a conscience out of the rise of some truly terrible actions that she can’t even bring herself to regret.
The only downside to this book for me and what loses it a half a star, is the lack of romance. There is a romance brewin’ in this book, but more than half the book is just them dancing around each other. Then suddenly out of nowhere they are apparently a couple and committed to each other. It was just incredibly sudden, given the slow dance they were doing most of the book. Other than that though, I have to recommend this book to readers of every genre. This book isn’t your run of the mill, standard novel. It’s bright, brilliant, and gritty. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4.5/5 – Fabulous Read, Recommended
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
3 winners will receive a finished copy of VENGEANCE ROAD. US Only.
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