Book Review–Vigilante Nights by Erin Richards

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Hey guys. Since I’m behind on book reviews, I’m going to have to post one or two a day to get caught up. Hope that’s okay!

This is the 59th book from my 200 Book Reading Challenge.

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Vigilante Nights by Erin Richards
Published June 18th, 2013

A “good boy” will do anything for vengeance when a gang rite kills his twin sister. Will Lucas win, or follow his sister Silver into the darkness?

After a hideous car wreck, Lucas wakes from a coma to find that his world is gutted. Not only is his beloved twin sister, Silver, gone forever, but Lucas is broken in body and spirit. He will never be a college athlete, and is robbed of what he now realizes was the most important bond of his life. Although they weren’t identical twins, Lucas and Silver shared a bond so fierce it defied reason, and was nearly supernatural.

After her death, that bond seems to endure when Lucas sees Silver everywhere he turns. Either he’s crazy, or Silver is trying to tell him something about the California gang initiation they stumbled into that cost Silver her life. Lucas is bent on revenge, turning on Raymond, Silver’s former boyfriend; the one Lucas never wanted her to date. He forms a posse of vigilantes to take out the gangsters responsible for Silver’s death, but he risks not only his own life, but the love of the new girl on his block, who knows more about Lucas and Silver than can be accounted for by mere chance.

—-

Many thanks to Adams Media for giving me the chance to read and review this book from the Goodreads First Reads program.

***The following review may have slight spoilers. Read at YOUR own risk***

Vigilante Nights started out great. The beginning was exciting and held my attention well. After the accident, I found myself enjoying the book pretty well. I also liked the bit of paranormal activity in this otherwise realistic-seeming story. In the beginning, I could imagine this being amazing.

But then I encountered the racism. At first I thought it was just me, but other reviews have also touched upon it. I’m not sure if it was intentional or what, but it really annoyed me. If a character has already been labeled as being from a certain race, don’t keep reminding the reader. We’ve got it, I promise. If you’re not sure, subtle hints work just fine (describing looks, etc). There’s no need to point out what race a familiar character is every time we encounter them again.

But you know, I could have overlooked all that until one line was read and still bothering my conscience. The main character has been approached by a Mexican gang. Of course, the gang smells like tacos. And then, “What else would a Mexican gang smell like?” I honestly wanted to stop reading at that point. It was such a ridiculous stereotype that I wasn’t quite sure what to think about it. I managed to move on, but that line has been bothering me throughout the entire book. That made me like the book less.

The characters themselves are mostly well fleshed out and realistic. Lucas, Silver, Tara, Denny, Alyssa, and Lucas’ parents were especially easy to like, though I do admit that there were times where Lucas annoyed me. I’m not a guy, and though I think the author did a great job with the male POV, it seemed a bit overdone at times–mostly when Lucas started to feel like he was less of a man for showing emotion. I know some men still feel this way, but Lucas really seemed to have a huge issue with it and I just couldn’t figure out why.

I loved Silver. She brought amusement into every scene. The rest of the cast was okay, but no one I especially loved. I also really didn’t care for the romantic relationship all that well, though it was intriguing at the start.

What I really liked about this was the plot about the gang, and of Lucas avenging his sister. I felt like the romantic relationship kind of derailed the story at times. The next-to-last 25% (before the incident with the girls at the mall) also began to drag, but the last 25% of the book didn’t disappoint.

The writing was strong, and as I’ve already mentioned, did a great male perspective. I’d give the book 3.5 stars. I honestly would have probably given this a higher rating if the hints of racism/stereotyping hadn’t been there. While I didn’t love it, it was pretty good and is definitely an intriguing read.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

 

3halfstars

 

jncname

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