Pistol Packing Idiot: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Revenge is worth its weight in gold.

When hers father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies, among them a young Apache girl and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear: some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate’s quest for revenge may prove fatal.

Source: GoodReads

There are very few Westerns I like.

I blame my dad for that.

He forced me to watch so many Westerns in my youth and never let me watch Batman like I wanted.  Instead, it was always some Clint Eastwood or John Wayne movie or Lonesome Dove.

Blah.

However, there were certain things about the summary of Vengeance Road that stuck out to me-i.e. gender bending.  So, I had to give it a chance.

And I’ll admit it, I liked this book.  I didn’t love it though.  There were some obvious annoyances to it.  But…the annoyances were sort of swept under the floor because overall it was a decent story.  Featuring a fairly bad ass, if idiotic MC.

I sort of have mixed feelings about Kate, folks. A part of me loved her and a part of me just wanted to smack her.  She has the idiotic bad ass YA character down to pact.  But since she actually shoots some baddies in the face, and learns from her mistakes I can’t hate her that much.

Vengeance Road is a brutal book.  Bowman does some pretty ballsy things throughout the story that most authors would’ve sugarcoat.  I hated some of these things, but I have to say they did add to the story.

Because if there is one word to describe Vengeance Road it is gritty.  Gritty on so many levels.

I also enjoyed how the Dutchman Treasure legend was incorporated in here.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this lore it’s basically involves a lost treasure in the middle of the desert that of course is cursed.  H2 has actually done a couple of fringe history shows about it, I want to say that maybe America Unearthed had an episode about it.

I’m not 100% sure though.  It might’ve been Ancient Aliens for all I know, but it was one of those not so educational shows.

Anyway, exploring fringe theories in fiction is always a good thing so I enjoyed that aspect of the book.

Besides, Kate the other characters were well formed as well.  There is a wide variety of cast members in this book.  And I can’t believe I’m saying it but I actually enjoyed the love interest-that’s rare for me in a YA book.

The book also incorporates diversity.  Kate is half Mexican.  There’s a kick ass Apache guide in the book.  And I love how the issues facing their various backgrounds are featured-though not in an issue pounding this screams school read type of way.

If you can overlook some of its obvious faults, Vengeance Road is a quick and enjoyable read.

Overall Rating: A solid B.

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