Author: Katie McGarry
It’s been a long time coming and I very eagerly anticipated the arrival of my copy of Long Way Home, the third in the Thunder Road series centring on the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club.
Long Way Home is the story of Violet and Chevy, two characters we got to know in Nowhere But Here and Walk The Edge. Characters that we met and got to know just well enough to feel that we needed to know them better.
These two characters captivated and intrigued me in the first two books, no doubt about it, but the Thunder Road novels are much more of a sequential series than the Pushing The Limits novels so it was also the big picture story that had me captivated. Long Way Home is very much Violet and Chevy’s story but it is also a Reign of Terror story and that is a plotline that twists and thickens the further into the series we get… and I’m left hoping for at least one more book to see what happens next.
Violet and Chevy have grown up together, along with best friends Razor and Oz, they have a long history and they have always been really close. Violet’s dad was killed before the series started and it caused her to retreat and rethink a lot of things. One of them being her relationship with Chevy. The two have known each other since birth, grown up together, shared a lot of firsts together but in the end it wasn’t enough. Their relationship is over but their feelings haven’t changed. Long Way Home is about their finding a way to work through their baggage and be together but sometimes love just isn’t enough.
This is the third book so we know these characters, we know their history and we know what they’ve been through together so there were times that information got a little repetitive which some may find frustrating but I more read it as reaffirmations of the characters closeness and at times as their way of reminding themselves of where they’ve come from, of how close they have always been and how they have always had that bond and what they thought was unshakeable trust.
Violet is having trouble trusting the club because of what happened to her dad and she wants distance, she wants what’s left of her family to make a go of it on their own but she’s very different from her mum, who loves the idea of being taken care of. She doesn’t want the club’s help because as far as she’s concerned it’s the club’s fault her dad’s dead. Walking away from a motorcycle club is easier said than done, even if you aren’t a member and especially if you’re family.
It has been reiterated countless times throughout the series, and this book, that the Reign of Terror are a legit club; they may work in the grey area at times but they don’t venture into outright illegal. Long Way Home sees the rival MC, the Riot, call into question just how legit they really are and how loyal some of the members have been over the years. In an MC loyalty is everything so to have the loyalty of those you love questioned casts doubts over so many other areas.
Long Way Home brings the rivalry between the Reign of Terror and the Riot way into the limelight and brings things to a head. A lot of progress is made on this plotline but it leaves me wanting more, not everything is resolved and I want to know how it plays out.
Chevy has always been loyal to the club and I thought he was ready to become a full-fledged member as soon as he came of age but we get to know him a lot better in Long Way Home and he grows a lot in this book. He discovers a lot about his family and himself which give him new directions and new options.
Violet and Chevy both missed an English assignment early in the book where they needed to write an essay about a poem which basically said they came to a fork in the road and couldn’t choose both roads. In a lot of ways this is the theme to the entire story. Violet and Chevy are faced with difficult decisions over and over again, never is there a ‘good’ option, never is there an easy option and sometimes not making a decision is actually making a decision. After months of stress, fear and sadness they realise that sometimes you don’t have to take one of the roads laid in front of you, sometimes you have to stand up and fight to forge your own path and make your own road.
In a lot of ways Violet and Chevy, along with Oz and Razor, are traveling a path their parents set them upon and paying for their decisions. The bad blood with the Riot has nothing to do with them but it seems that the rival club is determined to drag them into the middle of a war and it’s up to them to decide if they can change the course and stand up for all of those they love.
I loved Long Way Home and hope that there will be more in the Thunder Road series because there are some interesting developments that I would love to follow up.
Violet and Chevy know that they will always love one another, whether they can find a way to be together or not, and they spend the story trying to find their way back to the happiness and wholeness they shared when they were together. I would be interested to see what happens for them next and check back in on them in a little while.
As always I loved McGarry’s characters; they are flawed, they are damaged and they are carrying around an awful lot of weight for 17 and 18 year old shoulders but they learn through their mistakes and their pain and they forge the bonds they need to help get them through all they face.
Long Way Home is a fantastic read that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I had the book in my hand at every opportunity and am now just sad that it’s finished and I have to wait an indeterminate amount of time for a new release. Katie McGarry is certainly one of my favourite YA authors and I look forward to what comes next.