Retribution Rails (Vengeance Road, #2)
REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREEWhen 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) Details

TitleRetribution Rails (Vengeance Road, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 7th, 2017
PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780544918887
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Westerns

Retribution Rails (Vengeance Road, #2) Review

  • Regan
    January 1, 1970
    4.5
  • Erin Bowman
    January 1, 1970
    UPDATE 4/6/17: Until RR releases in November, I will release a teaser for every 1,000 goodreads adds. Add it to your shelves, then get your friends to add it, too ;)1k: http://erinbowman.tumblr.com/post/159...2k: http://erinbowman.tumblr.com/post/160...3k: http://erinbowman.tumblr.com/post/164...4k: http://erinbowman.tumblr.com/post/166...5k??UPDATE 1/30/17: The cover and first two chapters have been revealed on EW............ORIGINAL POST:Yeehaw, I'm writing another western! Let me get a few fr UPDATE 4/6/17: Until RR releases in November, I will release a teaser for every 1,000 goodreads adds. Add it to your shelves, then get your friends to add it, too ;)1k: http://erinbowman.tumblr.com/post/159...2k: http://erinbowman.tumblr.com/post/160...3k: http://erinbowman.tumblr.com/post/164...4k: http://erinbowman.tumblr.com/post/166...5k??UPDATE 1/30/17: The cover and first two chapters have been revealed on EW............ORIGINAL POST:Yeehaw, I'm writing another western! Let me get a few frequently asked questions out of the way:Is this a sequel to Vengeance Road?Nope, it's a companion novel—same world, but a completely separate story, with a new plot and new characters. RR is again set in Arizona (roughly ten years after the events of VR), but you can read RR without reading VR, and it will absolutely make sense.But will there be a Kate cameo? Maybe.Will there be a Jesse cameo? Maybe.Will characters I love die? Maybe.Are you just saying ‘maybe’ to everything at this point? Yes. But only because I don’t want to spoil things for you.So when’s it coming out? Right now, we’re thinking fall of 2017, which means I really need to get back to finishing the first draft!November 7, 2017!Will the cover match VR? No clue! It’s still very early in the game, and I haven’t had any conversations with my editor yet regarding cover direction. But after my experience with VR, I know I’m in good hands and that it will be a collaborative process. You’ll know more when I know more.YES! Teagan White, the insanely talented illustrator who did VR's cover, is on board to do the art for RR as well. I have seen preliminary sketches and they. are. beautiful. The pitch mentions a boy and a girl. Does this mean two main characters? YES! Reece Murphy is your “train-robber in possession of a mysterious coin” and Charlotte Vaughn is your “aspiring journalist.” They’re both teens navigating unexpected obstacles in 1887 Arizona, one of which is each other. I am not kind to these kids, but then again, I was never very kind to anyone in VR, either. Ooh, tell me more. What else can I expect?Train heists, mystery, betrayal, desert winter, nooses, vicious outlaws, unexpected allies, and of course, lots of railroad tracks. This is vague, I know, but it’s all I feel comfortable saying right now. In the meantime, I need to get back to drafting, but I promise to share more news if/when I have it. Feel free to stalk the RR pinterest board until then!Wait, don’t go! You haven’t answer my question. Leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to answer it.I’ll also continue to answer questions/share news via my monthly newsletter, so be sure to subscribe if that sounds like your thing!
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  • Tamora Pierce
    January 1, 1970
    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 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!
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  • Rachel E. Carter
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Mackenzi
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I had read and enjoyed Vengeance Road, so I was pretty eager to see what a companion story would look like...and it’s better than VR was. I loved Charlotte and Reece. She’s smart and stubborn and clever as hell. He’s a better person than he thinks he is and it’s definitely interesting being in his head while he figures things out. Of course it’s awesome to see Kate and Jesse. The scenes with them were some of my favorite. Plot wise, it’s pretty much fast paced right from the beginning. The story I had read and enjoyed Vengeance Road, so I was pretty eager to see what a companion story would look like...and it’s better than VR was. I loved Charlotte and Reece. She’s smart and stubborn and clever as hell. He’s a better person than he thinks he is and it’s definitely interesting being in his head while he figures things out. Of course it’s awesome to see Kate and Jesse. The scenes with them were some of my favorite. Plot wise, it’s pretty much fast paced right from the beginning. The story starts with a bang and doesn’t let go. And while there’s a lot of riding horses and traveling, it was never boring. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Overall, it was a great companion, but it’s strong enough to stand on its own. I could have done with a bit more at the ending, but how it ended really worked. **Huge thanks to HMH for Young Readers for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    "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*
  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    "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 "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, abuseAll 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!
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  • TL
    January 1, 1970
    *I would recommend reading 'Vengeance Road" before this. Some characters from the first do make appearances and its important to the plot. Enough is made understood that you'll get the gist but you'll understand more if you read that one first.*---I should have re-read Vengeance Road before this but somehow never got the time... whoops:)Still it was easy to fall back into the world, and some things at one par of the story that were hazy for me came back pretty quickly so that didn't hinder me a *I would recommend reading 'Vengeance Road" before this. Some characters from the first do make appearances and its important to the plot. Enough is made understood that you'll get the gist but you'll understand more if you read that one first.*---I should have re-read Vengeance Road before this but somehow never got the time... whoops:)Still it was easy to fall back into the world, and some things at one par of the story that were hazy for me came back pretty quickly so that didn't hinder me at all.Side note: According to Facebook memories and Goodreads, I started to read this around the same time as Vengeance Road but finished on the same day and didn't realize.Neat hmm? Well.. to me anyway :)---- 3.5 stars overall.Writing: 4 starsPlot: 3.5 starsCharacters: 3.5 starsReece: He was the easier to connect with of the two. His story intrigued me more than Charlotte's and felt more... real, know what I mean? He desperately wants to leave the life he's trapped in but on some level he doesn't believe its really possible but he tries to keep that bit of hope safe till he can find that cowboy he's looking for.Charlotte:I can understand it all from Charlotte's POV and if we didn't have Reece's viewpoint I suppose I would be feeling and thinking the same but still wanted to shake her a few times. She does grow up some over the course of the story and doesn't become as grating but I didn't care for her for most of the novel.She didn't bring the novel down for me, she just couldn't hold a candle to Kate (not comparing,just stating facts from my POV). Different backgrounds for the two yes, but still..----I was a little worried at first that the new Rose Riders angle would feel cheap but it quickly proved me wrong. How Miss Bowman did it made sense, and felt authentic so that was a relief.The climax of the story had me racing through the pages and holding my breath, crossing my fingers and hoping my favorite people would be okay. The ending felt a bit abrupt, but in a good way.Would I read more of this world? Yes. I don't think it needs it but then again I wouldn't have thought about this novel at first either *shrugs* We shall see what happens.
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  • Justine
    January 1, 1970
    As much as I liked Vengeance Road, I loved Retribution Rails.Set 10 years after the events of Vengeance Road, this book introduces two new main characters, but also reunites us with Kate and Jessie. I loved both Charlotte and Reese and how different they were from the characters from the previous book. Charlotte accomplishes things through her wits and tenacity, and Reese struggles to let go of the demons of his past and find a future for himself. Their stories were exciting and heartbreaking at As much as I liked Vengeance Road, I loved Retribution Rails.Set 10 years after the events of Vengeance Road, this book introduces two new main characters, but also reunites us with Kate and Jessie. I loved both Charlotte and Reese and how different they were from the characters from the previous book. Charlotte accomplishes things through her wits and tenacity, and Reese struggles to let go of the demons of his past and find a future for himself. Their stories were exciting and heartbreaking at times, and most of the book kept me at the edge of my seat.I listened to this as an audiobook, and the narrators for the alternating POV's for Charlotte and Reese were both excellent and really brought the story to life. This western tale is straight historical fiction, pure and simple, and not my usual genre, but I enjoyed it so thoroughly that I put it on my favourites 2017 shelf.
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  • Julia Sapphire
    January 1, 1970
    “Secrets are like bullets. Ditto the dark, personal stuff. Folks say they'll take'em off yer hands, share the burden, but really they just load 'em into their own weapons so they can use 'em against you later.” I loved this soooo much! From the writing, to the characters, to the setting, it was all great. Though this is more of a 4.75ish just because at times it was predictable. -I loved the alternating POVs with Reece and Charlotte- "I ain't never gonna find him. I'm gonna be stuck riding “Secrets are like bullets. Ditto the dark, personal stuff. Folks say they'll take'em off yer hands, share the burden, but really they just load 'em into their own weapons so they can use 'em against you later.” I loved this soooo much! From the writing, to the characters, to the setting, it was all great. Though this is more of a 4.75ish just because at times it was predictable. -I loved the alternating POVs with Reece and Charlotte- "I ain't never gonna find him. I'm gonna be stuck riding with these boys forever" - Explored topics such as, good vs evil, morals, fear, freedom, gangs, superiority, appearance vs reality, demons and darkness, loyalty, death and retribution (obviously haha)- I appreciated the feminism components with Charlotte and her bravery, especially in the second half of the book- Overall was everything I could ask for in a western
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  • mith
    January 1, 1970
    Read my review on my blog as well! (my dumb ass forgot the link, not that it was important anyway, smh)---Okay, so, I didn't read Vengeance Road prior to this book--I still haven't so shame on me. If this book is any indication, I'll definitely need to pick it up because wow, what a surprise! Anyway, before I continue, a few disclaimers. If you planned on reading this book--and you should, honestly--but haven't read Vengeance Road, like me, there will be some spoilers for the book. While Retribu Read my review on my blog as well! (my dumb ass forgot the link, not that it was important anyway, smh)---Okay, so, I didn't read Vengeance Road prior to this book--I still haven't so shame on me. If this book is any indication, I'll definitely need to pick it up because wow, what a surprise! Anyway, before I continue, a few disclaimers. If you planned on reading this book--and you should, honestly--but haven't read Vengeance Road, like me, there will be some spoilers for the book. While Retribution Rails also stands on its own, I'd recommend reading the first book in the companion series for the full effect. It's not necessary, but definitely a good suggestion. (AKA, don't be like me lol.)Anyway! One of the best things about this book was that romance was hardly the focus at all. In fact, it was barely there! There were... hints, but otherwise, it focused a lot of the characters and the plot, making it a very action-packed, fast-paced read. I've not read many western novels, so this was probably a small introduction for me. I'm glad it was this novel because I loved the characters, Reece and Charlotte, so much! Not to mention that Bowman did a wonderful job with it, from the research and setting to the writing and dialogue. It's clear she excels at these sort of novels.I adored Reece! So much. The situation he was in, how he was so torn, it was so heartbreaking. (Not because it was like sad or anything, he's just precious and I want to protect him, you know?) Anyway, he's had an extremely difficult life as a kid because of the Rose Riders attacking his family. He was forced to join them and every atrocious thing they did to other people. His story made me really respect him.Warming up to Charlotte took some time, but I ended up loving her too. I mean, she acted really entitled--or naïve, I guess?--in the beginning, partly because she expected help from the people she asked which was sort of ridiculous to me. But things definitely weren't easy for her and I liked that she persevered and did what she thought was necessary to fix her problems instead of waiting around. Charlotte definitely had significant growth from the beginning of the novel.There are some old characters that play a big role in the novel. (Again, if you haven't read Vengeance Road, it's a good idea you do so before this one.) I won't say anything beyond that, but I liked them a lot!Soooo. I'd consider pre-ordering this book (I hear there's an incentive as well!) If you loved Vengeance Road, you'll love Retribution Rails! There's action, secret plans, and so much more! 4 stars!---Just a note: don't be like me. I read this book before I read Vengeance Road and that was a slight mistake. I mean, this is a companion novel, but I highly recommend reading the other one before hand. For the sake of background story.
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  • Taylor Knight
    January 1, 1970
    An ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewVery rarely does my most anticipated books live up to my own hype but Retribution Rails lived up to my hype and more. It was everything I hoped it would be. This book follows two very different characters. Reece is a well know outlaw and Charlotte is ambitious and trying to provide for her newly widowed mother. The two of them are unwillingly have their paths crossed and adventures follow.Charlotte and Reece are An ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewVery rarely does my most anticipated books live up to my own hype but Retribution Rails lived up to my hype and more. It was everything I hoped it would be. This book follows two very different characters. Reece is a well know outlaw and Charlotte is ambitious and trying to provide for her newly widowed mother. The two of them are unwillingly have their paths crossed and adventures follow.Charlotte and Reece are such well written, complex, and amazing characters. I loved them so much. Each of them had great qualities and wonderful character development. The writing style was just as fantastic as it was in Vengeance Road. Erin is such a talented writer and I'll always read whatever books she puts out.Retribution Rails' plot is completely different from Vengeance Road so it wasn't repetitive at all. Even though RR and VR are companion novels, you can definitely read each on their own (But I totally recommend reading both because they're so good). Overall, Retribution Rails was everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved everything about it and I'm undoubtedly going to be rereading it soon. If you're looking for something fresh, creative, and extremely entertaining, I highly recommend Retribution Rails.
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  • Alexis (TheSlothReader)
    January 1, 1970
    A solid companion
  • Gaby
    January 1, 1970
    Gritty, dangerous, and fun, Erin Bowman writes the best Wild West novels I've ever read. Of course, I loved seeing Kate and Jesse again (10 years later! Hello precious ship!), but Reece and Charlotte really owned this whole story. Just their dynamic - Charlotte, the daughter of a wealthy mine owner and Reece, one of the bad guys robbing trains - is enough to delight me endlessly. Add all of the guns and horses and twists and tricks... Retribution Rails really is the perfect sequel.
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  • Ashley Owens
    January 1, 1970
    JUST AS GOOD AS VENGEANCE ROAD. This book was solid.
  • Lucie
    January 1, 1970
    “So you can either be scared yer whole life or you can try to enjoy it. I suggest the latter. Otherwise yer gonna blink and find yerself old and weary, talking yer last breath and regretting that you passed yer years tense and worrisome.”p. 247 I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All the quotes used in this review might have changed in the final copy.Before I actually start this review, here is the quote that might be enough to convince you to read it:“Reec “So you can either be scared yer whole life or you can try to enjoy it. I suggest the latter. Otherwise yer gonna blink and find yerself old and weary, talking yer last breath and regretting that you passed yer years tense and worrisome.”p. 247 I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All the quotes used in this review might have changed in the final copy.Before I actually start this review, here is the quote that might be enough to convince you to read it:“Reece Murphy was a boy who became a man while riding with the devil.” p. 368From the first few pages, I fell in love with Retribution Rails. Truth be told, I hadn't read any summary of it, but as I loved Vengeance Road, I was confident I would enjoy it. What I hadn't expected was to fall in love with the story, to the point that I loved this companion novel even more. Once again, Erin Bowman did a lot of research to recreate the setting of that time, and I was transported all the way there, alongside the characters. It's been a long time since I read a book with two points of view, but I thought it was so well-done here. Sometimes, the characters take a long time to meet and you don't understand how they'll come together, but in this case, Charlotte and Reece's paths were intertwined from the first few pages and I loved how Erin Bowman did it. Reece was that boy who had been given no choice, who seemed to be a villain from the outside, when the truth was so much more complicated than that and the lines between right and wrong were blurred. On the other side, Charlotte was this badass girl through her words, who wanted to be a journalist and to be independent. Their backgrounds were so interesting and I liked that we still got subplots involving Charlotte's family, as the main plot drifted away from it. Their dynamics were so well-developed, because it started with prejudice, mistrust and fear, and it was so interesting to see them change their minds. Besides, old characters from Vengeance Road played an important role in Retribution Rails, I loved to see what they had become.Now, when it comes to the plot, I loved how it was linked to the events taking place in Vengeance Road. The novel started as Reece and Charlotte's story, before the reader discover that the stakes are so much higher than that. Would I recommend you to read Vengeance Road before Retribution Rails? I do, because it's awesome and it makes a lot more sense when you have that background, but you can understand without having read it. In short: it's up to you. Anyhow, the plot was so gripping, I read this book in a few sittings and there weren't any dull moments. Retributions Rails is a page-turner with amazing action scenes and such an interesting historical background. Moreover, my feelings got all over the place. “Why would you do that to me?” Is all I ask. I'm sorry, but I need to recover from everything that happened in the end. I just need more from these characters and I'm totally up for another companion book (but sadly it won't happen)(please do it though), for I want to see everyone again.Overall, this book was absolutely amazing and I loved it even more than Vengeance Road. I thought that the two points of view balanced the book perfectly, I was so attached to the characters that I don't really want to let them go (I'm still in denial) and the plot was so gripping. If you think you don't like historical fiction, please reconsider. Vengeance Road and Retribution Rails might change your mind.Other quotes I loved:“Sometimes folk think they need a gunslinger when really they just need time to find peace with what's happened. Revenge isn't always the answer.” p. 165“They collide beside the reservoir, and for a moment I cannot tell where she ends and he begins. In the darkness, they are a single unit, their hand tangled in each other's hair, their fronts pressed together, their voices a jumble of relieved gasps. When they finally break apart, they stand there staring at each other and I'm struck through a feeling of awe. At how the world can be falling apart and yet, somehow, there are moments like this. Moments that are nothing but good and whole and warm, where all the darkness in the world seems distant, as if it cannot touch us, or at least as if it canno touch the likes of them.” p. 202“It's funny, I think as the train approaches, how a person can spend so long chasin the truth only to find they love fabricated stories just as fiercely.Maybe legends are tangible after all.Perhaps they are created on the page.” p. 375
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  •  ⇝LEAH⇜
    January 1, 1970
    4 Out of 5 "Redemptive" STARS I think it has to be tricky to write a YA/Western. The Old West is rather violent, and difficult to pull off in a YA scope. You can't help but feel that scenes in Retribution Rails would have gone slightly differently in these infamous days of old, had they been true to them. So, yeah, this is a lightly (somewhat) watered-down version of the old west. Despite that, it is an engaging tale, with characters who have their own hopes and dreams that are inspirational in 4 Out of 5 "Redemptive" STARS I think it has to be tricky to write a YA/Western. The Old West is rather violent, and difficult to pull off in a YA scope. You can't help but feel that scenes in Retribution Rails would have gone slightly differently in these infamous days of old, had they been true to them. So, yeah, this is a lightly (somewhat) watered-down version of the old west. Despite that, it is an engaging tale, with characters who have their own hopes and dreams that are inspirational in a time with little inspiration. While not necessary, I would suggest reading Vengeance Road beforehand, because the main characters in that book are present for a large chunk of the story in this book. It will enhance your reading experience to know all about Kate and Jesse's story too. ๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏~MY RATING~☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏~~~~~~~~~~~~๏~~~~~~~~~~~~~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~~~~~~~~~~~~~๏~~~~~~~~~~~~ Plot~ 4/5Main Characters~ 4/5Secondary Characters~ 4/5The Feels~ 3.7/5Pacing~ 4/5Addictiveness~ 4/5Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.2/5Originality~ 5/5Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~๏~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Book Cover~ Very Awesome!Narration~☆4.5☆ Amy Melissa Bentley & Michael Summerer both did excellently.Series~ Companion to Vengeance RoadSetting~ Old West, ArizonaSource~ Audiobook (Scribd) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~๏~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  • ALEXA
    January 1, 1970
    Retribution Rails is one damn satisfying read. Set in the Wild West, in the time of railroad expansion, it drew me in immediately and built up into a story that had me breathless as I read it. It wouldn’t quite have had the same impact, I suppose, had I not come to care for both main characters, Reece Murphy and Charlotte Vaughn. It was a slow burn start for me, to be sure, but it paid off beautifully in the end. I cannot recommend this one enough!
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  • Elaine
    January 1, 1970
    This was okay. I loved Vengeance Road, but I didn't love this.In VR, the main character Kate was fiery and tough without coming off superior. Retribution Rails suffers from Charlotte Vaughn, a main character who is so convinced of her own rightness - even as she acknowledges she shouldn't be doing or feeling as she does - that I just couldn't immerse myself in the story the way I did with the first novel. This book isn't touted as a sequel, and it's not. It's a companion novel set in the same pl This was okay. I loved Vengeance Road, but I didn't love this.In VR, the main character Kate was fiery and tough without coming off superior. Retribution Rails suffers from Charlotte Vaughn, a main character who is so convinced of her own rightness - even as she acknowledges she shouldn't be doing or feeling as she does - that I just couldn't immerse myself in the story the way I did with the first novel. This book isn't touted as a sequel, and it's not. It's a companion novel set in the same place and nearly the same time, whose characters cross paths with the characters and storyline from the first novel. (view spoiler)[YES, Kate and Jessie make an appearance! However, they are ten years older and starting a family so their motivations aren't as compelling or romantic as they were in the first novel. It's more like everything they do is, "Oh no - what about Jessie!" or "Oh no - not Kate!" (hide spoiler)]To be honest, I could've done without this book - even the ending wasn't satisfying. Comparisons with the first book are inevitable, and if I'd not read Vengeance Road first I'm sure I would've liked this a lot more than I do. But in every way, that book is a lot better than this one.
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  • Nina-Tala (JustAddAWord) Shannak
    January 1, 1970
    This was fabulous. FABULOUS. RTC.
  • sofia (sam willows)
    January 1, 1970
    I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THEY RELEASED THE COVER???? I NEED THIS NOW
  • Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
    January 1, 1970
    I recieved an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewOmg hi fantastic, exciting novel that I devoured at an exponential speed. First of all, I've not read Vengeance Road. I actually don't think I've read any Western-style books either, which is why this was so fun and exciting to me! I'm definitely going to be buying Vengeance Road and Retribution Rails as a set when they come out in paperback editions in the UK. Retribution Rails follows two new leads, Reece Murphy and Charlotte V I recieved an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewOmg hi fantastic, exciting novel that I devoured at an exponential speed. First of all, I've not read Vengeance Road. I actually don't think I've read any Western-style books either, which is why this was so fun and exciting to me! I'm definitely going to be buying Vengeance Road and Retribution Rails as a set when they come out in paperback editions in the UK. Retribution Rails follows two new leads, Reece Murphy and Charlotte Vaughn. I've read that none are as good protagonists as Kate from Vengeance Road, but I still thought they were enjoyable characters (and I can't compare, considering I haven't read Vengeance Road). I liked reading through their alternating narratives, and thought they provided good perspectives. They were not, however, the most amazing characters I have ever read the pleasure to read about, nor were they so exemplary that I felt like shouting about them from the rooftops. The strongest aspect of this novel, though, was the worldbuilding. I mean, wow. I loved it. It felt so physically Western, like I could reach out and touch it. The arid desert, the towns, the gunfights, the cowboys and thieves and sheriffs. Retribution Rails has suddenly made me yearn for more Western-y books! Bowman has created such an incredible, dangerous, tactile world that serves as a backdrop to this tense, thrilling, tightly-woven book. TL;DR: Highly enjoyable book with an absolutely AWESOME setting, but whilst I did like the characters, I didn't find them overly individual or discernible from other YA heroes and heroines.
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  • Lauren Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    *Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.“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 promisin *Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.“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.”Retribution Rails takes place ten years after the events that took place in Vengeance Road. The story’s point of view is split between Reece Murphy and Charlotte Vaughn (quite a fun foil )and IT IS ONE HELL OF A RIDE.I had read this book during finals week, which was a terrible idea. Forced reading is never a good idea. So I went into it tired and stressed and looking for an easy escape from life. That is exactly what I found. Our story begins with Reece Murphy (what a wild, misunderstood boy he is with his tragic backstory) and gang, robbing a train. When it changes POV, we meet Charlotte Vaughn (who has her own interesting backstory) riding the train heading to Tucson, on her own adventure. I swear by page 9 when Reece barges into the car where Charlotte is, and he’s yelling something like GIVE ME YER VALUABLES and he steps up in front of Charlotte and right then I’m chanting, “Ship shIP SHIP SHIP SHIP.” *relationSHIP please(My tabs on Retribution Rails; orange are FEELS, yellow are IMPORTANT DETAILS, and light blue are QUOTES.)After reading Vengeance Road and now Retribution rails, I’ve noticed that Erin Bowman knows just how to hook you within the first couple of pages. She seems to have this strategy, perhaps called THROW-EVERYTHING-YOU’VE-GOT-AT-THE-READER-WITHIN-THE-FIRST-COUPLE-OF-PAGES. And it seems to me that throwing a possible love interest into a descriptive and thrilling train raid first scene, with character introductions and shoot offs and everything good, is just the way to start a book. Erin Bowman knows that.As I said before, I read this book during finals week which was a really bad idea. It definitely took away some enjoyment. I think I would have given this book 4/5 stars if I had read it during a time when I was not stressing out about life and grades and drowning in my life as a student. That lack of enjoyment cost this book a star. Sure, I had fun with this story but I found myself putting it aside and thinking that it was a burden, when it really was not. I was not thinking clearly and this book deserved more love. I usually say that it is the book’s fault for not keeping my interest but this time that fault was mine. I’m thinking I will probably reread Retribution Rails because every time I look at it I think, “You, book, deserve more love than what a delirious student during finals week gave you.” Erin Bowman does such a nice job with her historical accuracy and her interesting characters and thrilling plot line and Retribution Rails would have been more enjoyable for me if I had read it another time without so much stress. I am currently rating this book 3/5 stars.I would highly recommend Retribution Rails if you loved Vengeance Road. And if you HAVEN'T read Vengeance Road, I would say it would be best to read it BEFORE you read Retribution Rails. Important characters from Vengeance Road do appear and play a big part in Retribution Rails. Read Vengeance Road first. For you, I’ve linked Vengeance Road >> Here on GoodreadsThis book is expected to be published on November 7th 2017.Thanks again to the publisher for providing me a copy for review :) Here are some extra links to Erin Bowman’s Pinterest boards:>> Vengeance Road >> Retribution Rails Also, find me on:>> Goodreads >> InstagramAnd FINALLY, here are some of my shots of Retribution Rails! Follow me on Instagram for [email protected]_book_criticThank you for your time :)
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    loved it !! need more !
  • Wing-yee (bibliomeds)
    January 1, 1970
    I love love love this one 💕 Reece and Charlotte are now my new favourite characters!Epic plot, action-packed, full of feels, what an AWESOME read!!!It was great to see Kate and Jesse too!!!(Would love a novella post RR too 🙈)
  • Bec
    January 1, 1970
    This review first appeared on Readers in Wonderland Initial ThoughtsI loved these new character and also LOVED seeing Kate and Jesse and Mutt and Rebel and Silver again.A review will come if I can form any coherent words (I got so caught up in reading I forgot to take notes)5 THINGS ABOUT RETRIBUTION RAILS I forgot to take notes Like the first novel, RETRIBUTION RAILS was very addictive. It is a bit slower pacing wise than VENGEANCE ROAD, but the plot is much more complicated and layered. Once I This review first appeared on Readers in Wonderland Initial ThoughtsI loved these new character and also LOVED seeing Kate and Jesse and Mutt and Rebel and Silver again.A review will come if I can form any coherent words (I got so caught up in reading I forgot to take notes)5 THINGS ABOUT RETRIBUTION RAILS I forgot to take notes Like the first novel, RETRIBUTION RAILS was very addictive. It is a bit slower pacing wise than VENGEANCE ROAD, but the plot is much more complicated and layered. Once I started I couldn’t stop. I was almost late for the train one day when I just HAD to finish the final 50 pages because I couldn’t stop!! Old friends return I knew Kate and Jesse would return for RETRIBUTION RAILS (especially after the set up in that KATE AND JESSE novella), but I didn’t expect them to be present for the great majority of the novel! Also Silver and Rebel and Mutt and Jake! I loved all the little references to the events and settings 10 years ago. Great new faces I love Charlotte and Reece just as much as I love Kate and Jesse. They have quite different personalities to the Coltons. Charlotte is not as hot headed as Kate, more intellectual and reserved but still as stubborn as a Donkey. Reece has a lot of moral dilemmas going on, being forced to participate in a gang against his own wishes. Barely any romance This is a fact that I both loved and wish was different. RETRIBUTION RAILS has the smallest, tiniest hints of a romantic development over the course of the entire novel. The start of feelings growing but never fully coming to fruition. It was great because it never overtook the plot and character development, but I also really wanted just the tiniest bit more. A great companion/ sequel RETRIBUTION RAILS ties up so many questions I had about some of the characters from VENGEANCE ROAD while entertaining me with a new plot. It really was everything I ever wanted.
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  • Marina
    January 1, 1970
    I got a free e-book ARC of Retribution Rails from the publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers in exchange for a review. Listen, I wanted this book since before Vengeance Road officially came out, because I got to read an ARC of that as well. In all honesty, while I liked it, it wasn't as good as Vengeance Road. It's not the same kind of story, but impossible for me not to compare. Yes, it still had awesome Wild West adventures, shoot outs, daring female protagonists, and eve I got a free e-book ARC of Retribution Rails from the publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers in exchange for a review. Listen, I wanted this book since before Vengeance Road officially came out, because I got to read an ARC of that as well. In all honesty, while I liked it, it wasn't as good as Vengeance Road. It's not the same kind of story, but impossible for me not to compare. Yes, it still had awesome Wild West adventures, shoot outs, daring female protagonists, and even a redemption arc for a villain who is everything but. But it just didn't have the same kind of energy or urgency as VR did. VR had surprised me with it's unrepentantly morally grey heroine, blood thrilling action, and a blazing pace. But RR had a more complex, multi-threaded plot as it combines a girl journalist who gets caught up in gang violence on her way to chase a story in an effort to establish herself before her mother is forced to marry her money-grabbing uncle and a redemption arc for a boy forced to join a gang and subsequently painted as a monster in the press for crimes he didn't commit and forced to commit others to survive and protect his mother.While Retribution Rails is only a companion novel, and not a sequel, I would treat it as such because two major characters from VR make an appearance. If you are interested in reading both books, I would start with Vengeance Road, because Retribution Rails spoils the plot for VR majorly. However, if you want to read Retribution Rails on it's own, without reading VR, and don't mind getting spoiled, you don't have have to worry about missing anything because last book's plot has very little influence on this one. But I'd still recommend reading Vengeance Road because it's just an awesome book. Better review closer to release date.
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  • Kate (Reading Through Infinity)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars."You think," he continues, "that we mighta been friends in a different life? You and me?" "We're already friends in this one," I tell him.*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC.*First thing’s first, this book absolutely floored me. I finished it in two days and immediately wanted to start it again.This book is the second in the Vengeance Road series, but they’re companion novels, so you don’t have to read them in publication order. I’m living proof of this, 4.5 stars."You think," he continues, "that we mighta been friends in a different life? You and me?" "We're already friends in this one," I tell him.*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC.*First thing’s first, this book absolutely floored me. I finished it in two days and immediately wanted to start it again.This book is the second in the Vengeance Road series, but they’re companion novels, so you don’t have to read them in publication order. I’m living proof of this, because I read Retribution Rails and am now going to see if I can get myself a copy of VR.Retribution Rails is a wild-west inspired historical fiction, with the fast pace and drama of a YA novel. It has cowboys, it has gunslingers, it has train heists. Well, one train heist, but a dramatic one at that. Yet, where it differs from a traditional western is it’s portrayal of women, specifically the two main female characters.Charlotte is fiercely determined, courageous and more than a little persistent in her aspirations to become a journalist. She renounces traditional gender roles and pursues a job with the all-female newspaper where her idol Nellie Bly worked. Never once does she accept that she can’t do things just as well (if not better) than a man and I loved her for it. Initially, her binarised view of good and bad (you’re either one or the other) suffocated the narrative, but as the novel progresses, she grows to realise that people (Reece in particular) are not so clear cut.Similar to Charlotte, Kate is full of tenacity. She instantly disarms Reece when we first meet her and wields a gun like she was born to do so. I liked her unyielding nature and ‘sort it out yourselves’ attitude when it came to Reece and Charlotte’s respective plights. But, like Charlotte, she too mellows throughout the novel, becoming more compassionate and trusting of the new people in her life.Despite how much I adore these two women, the character I warmed to the most was Reece. He’s held hostage by the gang that forced him to become a killer yet retains his morals and refuses to commit atrocities. What really tugged on my heart, was that fact that be didn’t believe himself worthy of being saved, despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary. I found myself (as I always do) rooting for his redemption. And boy does he get a redemption arc. But that would be spoiling.I can’t remember ever having read a western before, but if they’re all like this then I’ll definitely be reading more. This novel took me completely by surprise with it’s high-octane action sequences and detailed world-building. The pace was relentless in the best possible way; there’s no time to even consider DNFing this novel because it moves swiftly from one confrontation to another. In fact, the pacing is some of the best I’ve come across in a long time and really suits the genre of the book. The narrative style was simple but effective; there’s little time for dramatic metaphors when you’re running for your life through a panic-striken town, and so accordingly Bowman is sparce with those and other types of lyrical language.I appreciated the inclusion of non-standard dialect features in Reece’s speech, because similar to Starr’s use of AAVE (African American Vernacular English) in The Hate U Give, it gave a sense of his identity and upbringing. The only problem with including non-standard dialect features is that readers can often (wrongly) assume the character using them is unintelligent (as people often in the real world). In some cases, authors do use non-standard speech to signal ignorance (harmful in many ways as it implies accent/dialect equate to intellect, which is nothing more than a social construct and simply not true), but most use it to indicate heritage, birthplace, social and geographical identity, and projected image. In this case, Reece’s language suggests a ruggedness and lack of care about social expectations that come from living with the Rose Riders.The research that’s gone into the novel is impressive, and Bowman takes the time to list which events are factual and which are embellished by artistic license in her acknowledgements. The only reason I knocked a half star off this book was because of its lack of diversity. All the main characters were white, western, and straight, and it wouldn’t have been too hard to include POC or Native American characters in the story, especially since the latter were a prevalent, persecuted group during the era.Overall, though, this was a fantastic adventure story. The characters are full of depth and I’m a sucker for the enemies-to-friends trope so I loved this development. The novel has romance, shoot outs, and action at every turn, and I can guarantee you’ll not be bored for a minute.
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  • Darque Dreamer
    January 1, 1970
    Retribution Rails glitters like gold. It is wild, heart pounding, and rich! With danger, excitement, and a stunning cast of characters, this one is sure to take your breath away! For lovers of Vengeance Road, you will not be disappointed with this companion novel!I devoured Retribution Rails! The minute it arrived in my hands, I could not put it down. It was action packed, emotional, and thrilling! I thought I loved Vengeance Road, but I loved this one even more! Erin Bowman did an outstanding j Retribution Rails glitters like gold. It is wild, heart pounding, and rich! With danger, excitement, and a stunning cast of characters, this one is sure to take your breath away! For lovers of Vengeance Road, you will not be disappointed with this companion novel!I devoured Retribution Rails! The minute it arrived in my hands, I could not put it down. It was action packed, emotional, and thrilling! I thought I loved Vengeance Road, but I loved this one even more! Erin Bowman did an outstanding job with bringing me back in to the wild west world of Arizona and The Rose Riders. She painted such an elegantly rich picture with her writing!Just like Vengeance Road, Retribution Rails had an immense amount of world building. I could see everything clearly while I read, as if I were brought back to the wild west myself. Her story imagery was astounding, and the depth of the characters was even more beautiful!We were introduced to a strong, stubborn, brave girl named Charlotte Vaughn. Charlotte had gumption and fierce determination. She was beautiful and wild, and always tried to rise above her expectations as a woman. She was so different from Kate in Vengeance Road, and yet, so alike in many ways. And then there was Reece Murphy. I fell in love with Reece. His story was so well developed and his character just fit seamlessly in the plot. He was alluring, but mysterious. He was brave, and a little vulnerable inside, and he had such depth to his personality. He was also a little dangerous, but seemed to have a decent heart, kind of like Jesse in Vengeance Road.There were so many twists and turns in this wild ride! I could feel my heart racing at each one. This one had the heart of a true cowboy and the soul of a strong woman! It was highly immersive, fascinating, and dynamic! I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good story and a great Western!
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