Author: Michelle ModestoSeries: Standalone
Released: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Length: 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
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.
The first thing you need to know if and when you decide to read Revenge and the Wild is that it will be the most fun you’ll have in ages. Entertainment is pretty much guaranteed, regardless of your usual reading preferences. For a book that refuses to be labeled or in any way categorized, Revenge and the Wild is pretty universally lovable. I challenge you to be grumpy while reading it.
The second thing you need to know if you’re a curious sort of person is that you need to throw your expectations right out the window. With a 16-year-old one-armed alcoholic for a heroine, you’ll certainly be in for a few surprises. And when I say alcoholic, I don’t just mean a drink here and there at parties – I really mean nasty, belching drunk prone to fits of rage and unseemly behavior.
For all the entertainment it provides, Revenge and the Wild offers a surprisingly deep characterization and great emotional moments. Westie was left alone as a child when her family (and her arm) were eaten by cannibals. She was saved and adopted by a famous inventor who created a mechanical arm for her and raised her as his own. Westie has never given up on finding the cannibals who killed her parents so when they show up in her small, protected town pretending to be rich and civilized, it’s a pretty big challenge for her family and her addictive personality.
Revenge and the Wild is a fantastic blend of paranormal steampunk with elements of horror. There’s something in it for everyone, and yet it doesn’t seem crowded and it works surprisingly well. Modesto pulled out all the stops with her worldbuilding by creating a colorful setting that can be enjoyed from the very first page. The only thing missing were dragons, everything else was already there. She did the same with the romance, which seemed honest and endearing, despite many roadblocks. I love romances that develop from years of friendship, especially those that are a bit weird and quirky on top of that. Westie and Alistair were perfect for each other from the start.
Overall, Revenge and the Wild is quite a surprise and perhaps not entirely suitable for readers with delicate sensibilities. Since I most certainly am not one of those (the crazier the better as far as I’m concerned), I’ll be keeping my eye on Michelle Modesto, hoping to get another one of her wonderfully wicked adventures very soon.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.