Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman (2017)
YA Fiction | Historical | Western
“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.”
Expected Publication Date: November 07, 2017
pooled ink Review:
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!
First of all I just have to say that I love this cover! I said that about Vengeance Road too and wow I guess Bowman just really lucked out with her covers!!
Just to clarify, Retribution Rails and its predecessor, Vengeance Road, are companion novels. This isn’t a sequel. They’re set in the same world, during a similar time (RR takes place ten years after VR), but they tell different stories with different characters. However there are some similarities beyond the setting. You’ll recognize the Rose Riders as they once again take a front seat for the action. And you might even catch a few other glimpses of familiar names and places from Vengeance Road. But if you haven’t read it yet, just know that it doesn’t really matter which book you read first. It won’t spoil anything no matter which one you grab off the shelf.
Speaking of Rose Riders though, this book is told in alternating POVs, one of which is Reece Murphy. Waylan Rose might be dead but his half-brother, Luther Rose, has kept the Riders alive and terrifying. Reece was taken from the farm where he worked, barely dodging his death, and has ridden with the Riders for three years before we meet him in this story. The other star of this Western is Charlotte.
Charlotte and Reece meet during a train raid. She, a feisty journalist from a wealthy background, and he, a rugged ruffian who escaped a drunken father only to end up chained to the Riders. One thing is for sure, Bowman is good at crafting fierce heroines and stubborn (but swoon-worthy) heroes.
If you liked Vengeance Road then you’ll probably enjoy this book just as much. Personally I have to be in the right mood to read a Western but when I am and I do it’s pretty easy to see how great these books are.
Once again Bowman presents a story filled with classic signatures from old Westerns but manages to keep it fresh and exciting. I really like rooting for her because the YA Western genre is hardly existent these days and I appreciate a little genre diversity on the shelves. Definitely a novel for history fans, lovers of the American West, and those looking for a tale full of action, gunfire, and even a bit of romance.
I won’t ruin the story for you but if you’re eyeing a pair of cowboy boots, itching to hop in a saddle, or dreaming of sunsets and wide-open plains, then maybe you should give this genre a try. If you decide to then I’d definitely recommend Bowman’s books because they deliver an excellent example of historical fiction with the appeal of YA and the zest of subtle modernity.
Retribution Rails kicks off with a train robbery and doesn’t quit ‘til it’s ridden off into the sunset. Intrigue, debts, romance, criminals, justice, and characters driven by fire, Bowman draws from the classic cup of a good Western and shapes it subtly for contemporary readers.
Purchase here: Retribution Rails
More in this world: Vengeance Road
Meet Erin Bowman!
Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her family and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.