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327 pages, Hardcover
First published September 1, 2015
"That sounds real nice, boy," he says. "Now for the love of God, lower that damn pistol."
"All right," I says.
And I do.
Right after I shoot him through the skull.
"See you in hell, mister."
And that's where I'm going, sure as the sun will rise, 'cus I feel nothing. No remorse. No guilt. Not even a sliver of doubt. He deserved it, and I'd do it again.
“Sure, sometimes you gotta let things go, but other times you can't till you set things right.”
→ what I liked ←
“The frontier ain't for the faint of heart, and it certainly ain't kind to women. Sometimes I think the whole world's 'gainst us.”
→ what I disliked ←
“Gold makes monsters of men.”
→ final thoughts ←
I’m starting to wonder if I’m doomed to have the worst reading year of my entire life because nothing is working for me!
Here’s something you probably don’t know about me, but I grew up watching westerns thanks to my Dad (Bonanza was my favorite), and my first introduction to audio books were tapes of Louis L'Amour (One For The Mohave Kid is the one I remember most), but I don’t go out of my way to find western based books – and I haven’t watched westerns in probably 20 years now.
These things might be easily forgiven for many people but they snagged me every single time and tossed me out of the story. The vernacular was another area in which I was constantly correcting in my head then going back and saying it the way it was written – which, again, leads me to disjointed reading. I feel like this needed more editing, both line and developmental.
He pauses, lifts his head to look me in the eyes.That’s how you do consent, folks! Wouldn’t it be grand if the real world understood this simple concept, too?
“I think we should stop.”
He sits up slow and watches as I start fastening my shirt.
So, Wild West
I am sure every one of you watched at least one western in your life. Or may be you are a fan of westerns and have seen the best of them. I personally am not a fan, but I sure would like a good western about revenge.
Imagine: western and revenge in one book. I haven't read any westerns before and Vengeance Road was my first. And it was a hell of a read!
This book is about revenge, then about more revenge, and in the end a couple more drops of revenge. MC Kate wants to avenge her Da. Revenge is in her blood now, and it substitutes food, rest and occupies every thought in her head. She is a heroine I've never met before in YA.
“Who’d you say you were looking for again?”
I glance up at the bartender. “I didn’t. More whiskey.”
I push the shot glass at him, and he don’t seem too pleased ’bout that. But I got some coin and a vengeance strong enough to cut any throat that tries to cross me right now.
She has only one purpose in life: to kill every one of the men who hanged her da. And she takes her job seriously.
“See you in hell, mister.”
And that’s where I’m going, sure as the sun will rise, ’cus I feel nothing. No remorse. No guilt. Not even a sliver of doubt. He deserved it, and I’d do it again. I’d do it over and over, and I wonder if something’s wrong with me.
I ain’t killed before, and it shouldn’t’ve been so easy.
I can fire a rifle as good as any man. ’Parently I can kill another just as dead too. I don’t see why I should act like I can’t just ’cus it ruffles everyone else’s feathers.
Kate is one tough cooky. She is not a gentle damsel in distress. She ain't acts like one, not ones in the whole book. She wears trousers, she swears, and she is fantastic. On her journey Kate meets other people (a great deal of them she shoots), she even falls in love, but it's all inessential, because this book is about Kate and her revenge.
It's all you need to know and that the Wild West settings are AMAZING. People back there weren't very smart, but they were cunning alright. And it was one of the primary skills to survive (you know, coyotes and all).
But what I am talking about here is humor. It's simple, but it's somehow fits the settings and, well, it was real fun to read.
In Wickenburg, I switched my name from Ross Henry Tompkins to Henry Ross Thompson.
This book is also has a moral.
Funny how finding the journal and getting rich ruined everything for them. Money’s supposed to fix problems, not give you more, but I guess life ain’t that straightforward.
As I mentioned, our Kate will fall in love. The romance was not overwhelming, because ye know, revenge business and all, but it was quite pleasant and showed Kate's more tender side. Though, she will never - not even at a gunpoint - admit it.
One blasted wink and I got knots in my stomach? A wink from eyes that ain’t never open properly to begin with! Maybe it were a twitch, a squinty flinch or something. Maybe a bug flew in his eye.
This book would make a great movie. I couldn't stop picturing, all while reading, how good this would've looked on screen. The language... I honestly had to stop myself from writing this review in a western manner. I just couldn't help myself. The dialogues were so spicy - I still hear them in my head.
But don't be too relaxed: this book is not all peaches. It has just too much revenge. After half the book, everything just was repeating itself: Kate pursuits bandits, Kate catches and shoots some of them, the rest run from Kate, Kate runs after them and all over again. And not the funny language, and not the amazing settings could safe me from yawning. The pursuit of revenge just bored me half to death, and all this even before Kate killed the bad guys!
I’m starting to wonder if that’s a guarantee with revenge: yer brain ignores all sorts of logic till you see justice achieved with yer own two eyes.
And not even the unexpected twist in the end managed to awaken me. Nah, I just shrugged and went back to sleep. Too much repetitive action killed my curiosity.
But westerns are rare guests in YA, and I sure am enjoyed this one a lot. Vengeance Road has more pros than cons and deserves everyone's attention. It is fresh and funny with amazing language and settings from ol' good westerns. And it's a standalone. Standalone! It's like a dying species these days. So yeah, everything's dandy. Just sit down and read the book!
“I got some coin and a vengeance strong enough to cut any throat that tries to cross me.”
“And girls danced with the likes of you?” I tease.
“If I managed to bathe first and put on a clean shirt, I couldn’t fight ’em off.”
“Such a gentleman.”
“All cowboys are.”
“Then you ain’t found the right book yet,” I says. “There’s something for everyone.”