Published by Balzer & Bray on 2/2/16
Genres: Young Adult, Western, Steampunk, Fantasy
My content rating: Mature YA (Violence, Characters have sex but it's not really shown)
The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.
Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.
But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.
This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.
Revenge and the Wild is one of the most unique books I’ve read – a steampunk, Western, fantasy (or urban fantasy?) mash-up that packs a definite punch! Yes, there’s a lot going on, but I kind of loved all of it, so I didn’t mind that.
The synopsis of this book explains it pretty perfectly, so I’m not going to bother repeating it here. Instead, I’ll just jump right into my review …
What Fed My Addiction:
- Cannibals! Seriously, when was the last time you read a really good cannibal book? Can’t think of of one? Guess you’ll have to read RatW! This book was kind of dark and gritty (and occasionally a little gross), but still a really fun read. That seems like a pretty impressive accomplishment to me.
- The creatures. Cannibals were only one dangerous type of presence in this world. There were also vampires, elves, werewolves, trolls and other creatures. These were more peripheral to the main story, but I didn’t mind that at all because I feel like I already know a lot about these sorts of magical creatures – I just accepted that they were a backdrop to this story. The creatures were important because Westie’s adoptive father was trying to help restore magic, which the Native American people used to help protect the cities against creatures in the “wild.” But there were also creatures who lived in the cities – magic kept them from being able to kill humans. I guess there were a lot of details to the story because of all of that (which I noticed some reviewers weren’t crazy about), but I didn’t mind at all. I really loved the fun elements that the creatures added to the story.
- Diversity! The cast of characters in this book was hugely diverse, with characters who had physical impairments, Native American characters, African characters … and creatures. 🙂
- The romance. While I wouldn’t say that the romance was the main element of the book, it played a definite part. I was a fan of the main love interest (there was more than one – not a huge fan of that, but I’ll get to that in the negatives), and I was definitely invested in the relationship.
- Twists and turns. There were some massive twists in this book that caught me completely by surprise and I LOVED them! So wish I could say more, but I can’t.
What Left Me Wanting More:
- Too many romantic interests? While there was definitely one main romantic interest, there were also two other guys who sort of caught Westie’s eye and who were possibly interested in her. Throughout most of the book, I was feeling like I could have done without these “extra” love interests, BUT I will say that by the end of the book, all three of the relationships had a purpose and impact on the overall story, so …
- Descriptions of settings. The book could have used just a little bit more description of the setting. I gathered that it was something akin to the wild west (for instance, there was a saloon), but there definitely could have been a little more fleshing out of the setting.
Overall, this was a pretty fun and fascinating read for me. I really enjoyed it!! I give this one 4/5 stars!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Michelle Modesto is a writer, hockey fanatic, lover of most art forms, terrible cook and her social skills aren’t that great either. Her debut YA novel, REVENGE AND THE WILD comes out from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, early 2016. She lives in Northern California in a double-wide mobile asylum with two mastiffs who don’t listen to her and two teenagers who also don’t listen to her.