Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Not just a flash in the pan: Vengeance Road, Erin Bowman

Vengeance Road
Erin Bowman
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2015

You guys. It’s well documented by now that I’m a sucker for a cross-dressing, historically fiction-y, adventure with a twist of romance squeezed over the top novel. I’m looking at you, Bloody Jack, Song of the Lioness Quartet, and most recently, Gold Seer books (I read the second one; it was an awesome albeit at time crushing finale - read it!). The later is totally appropriate to end that aside with, because there’s a bit of a Western element to it, which ties nicely to this one, the truly, madly, deeply, Western you never knew you were missing.

Set in the gold-rush era American Southwest, Kate’s discovery of her murdered father sets into motion this fast-paced, gun-slinging, girl-powered Western (and yes, gun slinging - it’s worth noting that there are many, many guns. Don’t know why this took me by surprise, but it did. As guns are want to do, they reap violence, so be warned if this is a dealbreaker for you). When she discovers that the Red Rose gang is behind it, she vows revenge. Reluctantly allying herself with the sons of the man her father instructed her to find if anything happened to him, she begins to hunt the gang and soon realizes they are hunting her too. To complicate things, she realizes not only that they have her father's journal, but that the journal contains a map to a lost, possibly cursed goldmine -- the reason the Red Rose gang came for him in the first place. Her quest for vengeance ultimately leads us all to wonder how much we value what we value and why.

This book, for all it is a wild, adrenaline fueled romp, is filled with heart (and some romance). More important, it is chockablock full of historically important references and as diverse and reflective of the racist culture prevalent during the actual time it is set in. There are brush ups with Native Americans, who are understandably not thrilled about the gold rush or being displaced, and our protagonist is herself the biracial product of a Mexican mother and anglo-American father. Based on the myth of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, Vengeance Road is recommended for older teens and adults who can handle some violence (basically comparable to an HBO show). The best part? Finally, a standalone that can stand alone!

1 comment:

essay writers service said...

This book sounds like an amazing read to me. I have been wanting to read a book for so long but could not decide which one should I read. Thankyou for finally helping me make my mind.

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