Grace and the Guiltless by Erin Johnson (August 2014) Received from NetGalley for an honest review
“Grace Milton’s peaceful life with her family on a horse ranch outside Tombstone, Arizona is shattered in one devastating night. Her family is brutally murdered by the notorious Guiltless Gang, leaving Grace the only survivor. Trekking into the wilderness on her stallion, Grace falls ill from the elements. A young man name Joe saves her life by taking her to an Apache camp where she learns about their way of life and begins to fall for Joe. When Grace encounters one of the Guiltless Gang, her strength will be tested. Can she survive as a bounty hunter, or will she fall into darkness again? This Western revenge epic will captivate teen readers with its ruthless spirit of suspense and adventure and a powerful central romance.”
So I read this a while back and I can’t remember why I didn’t post a review.. Huh. Anyway. I’m here now and that counts for something, yeah?
So, what worked for me?
Setting – Tombstone. Lols. Nah, seriously I was digging the western setting. I haven’t really read, or watched for that matter, any westerns, so the novelty of it was exciting for me.
Offset – The start is good. You get a good sense of what the book is gonna be about. Revenge! And I was down with that.
What didn’t work?
Grace – She makes some crazy decisions. Which I could go with, but then she just keeps choosing odd paths through situations and not really suffering any consequences. She kills an animal that’s holy, or well, not ‘holy’ but special.. ack. I can’t think of the right word. But basically, all is forgiven and she’s boosted into a position of greatness and warrior-yay! I remember that part frustrated me a little.
Rep – The representation of the Native Americans.. uhh.. Ok. I’m not an expert on this, in fact, I probably know only what I’ve learned from TV.. but there was something about the way this race of people were represented in this book that made me feel uncomfortable. Was it just me?
Revenge – Where’d it go? She had every reason to seek out revenge and feed on the blood of her enemies! MWAH HA HA HA! And sure, I understand on the flipside there’s this thing about ‘letting it go’ (don’t sing don’t sing don’t sing) but.. I wanted action and guns and yeehaw! And it all just kinda fizzles out…
Hoi. I wanted to love this book. I mean, the cover is boss! But I just didn’t get on with the story. I think it lost its initial grit and sense of action. Still, an easy read, I liked it ok, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I gave it 2 out of 5.