Retribution Rails (Vengeance Road, #2)by Erin Bowman Published 07 Nov 2017
|Retribution Rails (Vengeance Road, #2).pdf|
|Publisher||HMH Books for Young Readers|
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REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE
When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece's path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.
In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.
"Retribution Rails (Vengeance Road, #2)" Reviews
Reluctant bandit Reese is desperate to escape the vicious gang that made the world think he wants to be part of their extreme robbing and killing. His flight from their latest rampage brings him into the path of would-be lady journalist Charlotte, who will do just about anything to get real work--and pay--from a real newspaper. Reluctantly and warily the two join forces to find a fugitive bandit who is the key to Reese getting free of his enemies.
Charlotte is no tender maiden, but a tough-minded woman of the West, ready to face down storms, killers, and even the political maneuvers that accompany the arrival of the new railroad in time. I love this book and this series of Erin Bowman's--she's making the Old West new again!
I would read as many westerns as Erin is willing to write, to be perfectly honest, she just has a way with making that world feel so real. Loved this almost as much as the first book in series, however I will admit I did want more romance (which was much more present in Vengeance Road) however I can totally admire it's merits without :) Oh, and I loved that we got to see Jesse and Kate again, totally wasn't expecting to see them in this book!
It has been AGES since I had this much fun with a book.
It was exactly what I wanted: tropey wild west shenanigans--gunfights, robberies, train jobs, blackmail, stagecoach chases, outlaws, Nellie Bly references--but infused with SO MUCH heart. Helmed by two vivacious narrators you can't help but root for/want to hug for different reasons, Erin Bowman has staged a truly transportive adventure tale with a deft and effortless hand. Twisting, thrilling, and a wild ride from start to finish. Prepare to be hooked.
And did I mention NELLIE BLY REFERENCES!? I swoon.
"Alright, Charlotte Vaugh. If you say so."
This was bloody fantastic! I was feeling a reading slump coming on, but this damn well saved me.
*Review to Come*
"Ain't it interesting," he goes on, "how when the Law fails people, they always turn to the outlaws."
In the companion novel to Vengeance Road, ten years have passed and Reece Murphy - AKA "The Rose Kid" - has been roped into traveling with Luther Rose, brother of the infamous late Waylan: the very same man Kate Thompson killed with the help of Jesse Colton. Reece has been told he'll never be free of Luther's grasp until he can lead Rose to the gunslinger who killed Waylan, but all Reece wants is to start a new life, free of the killing and thieving.
→ reece & charlotte ←
So much for things always looking better with a smile. Perhaps what Mother meant is, men like women best when they smile.
I somehow managed to avoid the knowledge that this was a companion novel, and not necessarily a sequel, so you can imagine my surprise when I was introduced to this new pair of characters, with chapters alternating between each of their narratives.
I really love Kate as a narrator, and unfortunately, neither Reece nor Charlotte lived up to my expectations. Reece was decent enough, but Charlotte was so incredibly self-absorbed throughout most of the story that her perspectives were grating, at best. There was a solid 10-15% of the story in which I skimmed her chapters because they were superfluous and boring.
You can gather from the very beginning that there's going to be a blossoming romance, but it feels so forced and I never found myself rooting for it to go anywhere.
→ what i liked ←
"He best hope he can run faster than his demons."
As you can gather from the synopsis, Reece is hunting down Kate herself, so I won't consider it a spoiler to tell you that she's present for part of this story, and I loved spending more time with her. She was such an enjoyable, tough young woman, and she's even better as an adult. She's only burrowed further into her feminism and her values, though time has taught her how to look for the good in people.
As was the case with Vengeance Road, the shootout scenes are fun and easy to follow, and you feel transported right onto the set of a western film every time.
→ what i disliked ←
"Is that all it takes? One misfortune in your life, one act done out of desperation, and suddenly you're a criminal?"
I could easily devote this entire section to Charlotte's character. She's pretentious, haughty, self-absorbed, and completely incapable of looking past her own privileges. Even when she's called out, she finds a way to turn herself into the biggest victim in any given scenario. She wasn't the worst character ever by any means, but man, does she warrant a lot of eye-rolling.
My only other complaints were: 1) Jesse felt like a background character that we didn't get to spend nearly enough time with, and 2) I had the same problem as I did with Vengeance Road in that it was so tough to genuinely connect with any of the characters or to care about any of them.
→ final thoughts ←
That devil could crawl from the deepest pits of Hell itself.
If you've already read Vengeance Road and are dying for more of the universe, pick this one up, but if you're like me and are hoping for a sequel and to spend more time with Kate and Jesse, I'd recommend just trying to find yourself a copy of the Kate & Jesse novella and leaving it at that.
Content warnings: violence, death, implied rape, abuse
All quotes are taken from an unfinished ARC copy and may differ from the final publication. Thank you so much to HMHTeen for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review!