Kate Thompson comes back one day to find her father dead and homestead burned. The signs of the Rose Gang are all there. There’s also a mystery around a missing stash of gold, her mother’s death, and her father’s demand that if anything happened to him, she go see an old friend of his. She’s a difficult, opinionated, and stubborn young woman, so she dresses as a man and begins following the clues. She’s determined to avenge her father’s death, even in such a harsh and unforgiving world. Fortunately, she’s a pretty good shot.
A few months ago, I wrote about the fun of reading Under a Painted Sky. Westerns are not a genre you see that often in teen books. There are occasionally stories of settlers, pioneers and so on – more general historical fiction. But there aren’t many ride-the-trail, going-after-gun-toting-bad-guy-who-killed-your-pa books.
Vengeance Road (Erin Bowman) is that kind of a book. It’s a violent place, full of bad guys and people who cheat you or make assumptions about who you are, whether or not you’re a woman dressed as a man. There are several side storylines which weave in and out of Kate’s quest, and they keep the action moving along. Kate might not be the friendliest character, but her story is a compelling one, and this is another teen western you don’t want to miss.