Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1976
Sweet Revenge
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
HER COLD REVENGE picks up where Grace left off. She's alone and living in the attic of a saloon where her very life could be threatened. From the very start, Grace fends off an attack by a drunkard. Johnson doesn't pull any punches in showing the life a young girl faces in the Wild West.

Things I loved:
Grace is now a bounty hunter. Or, she's trying to be. I was really frustrated with the way she was treated by men in the novel. Though, this is expected from the time period. She needs a bounty to survive but is left chasing after the outlaws that the law has no time for: like a serial rapist. Johnson does a great job at handling this subject and situation. She doesn't victimize Grace and gives her the skill to survive and capture what could have been an attack. Johnson gives Grace a boldness and freedom that other women aren't allowed.

Still hell-bent on revenge against the men who murdered her family, the novel is a progression of Grace's captures. Her first bounty is stolen by a team of brothers, but she bounces right back. Each capture gives her the drive and knowledge that she's on the right path. Justice and revenge can be easily confused. Living through the violent murder of your family isn't something that goes away easily, despite having the support of others like Joe and the preacher. They implore Grace not to lose her heart in her quest for revenge. While she does listen to them, she knows she has to be true to herself.

Another thing I loved was Grace's relationship with a young girl from town. Johnson's inclusion of female friendships is important, especially in a world where women are literally told "I don't take orders from women." While Grace's attitude is very modern for the setting, it's incredibly refreshing to have a heroine who is confident enough to know that she's earned her place in the world.

Grace's relationship with Joe is still developing and I'm hoping to see much more of it in book three. There are some steamy kisses, and I'm still rooting for them.

Things that left me wanting:
Not much. The Ndeh tribe scenes seemed a little out of place in the middle of so much action. I did miss Sequoyah's friendship with Grace and hope to see more of them in book three.

Her Cold Revenge is a fast-paced and solid sequel. Gun slinging outlaws, sandstorms, romance, and train robberies make this a thrill ride. Most importantly is the heart of the novel: a heroine who refuses to stand down against a society that sees women as defenseless, Grace is the Katniss of the Wild West.
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