Reading time 4 mins
Review: REVENGE AND THE WILD by Michelle ModestoRevenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
Published by HarperCollins on February 2nd 2016
Pages: 384
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Westerns, Action & Adventure, General
eARC provided by Balzer & Bray

AmazonBook Depository

True Grit meets True Blood in this delightfully dark and fantastical Western perfect for fans of Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black. This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.
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 just 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. Seven 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.

Westie is an orphan who was adopted by an inventor named Nigel. Westie’s whole family was killed by cannibals on the road to the west. Westie barely escaped, and she lost her arm in the fight. Nigel has invented a machine type of arm for her, but it took it her a long time to learn how to use it. Nigel is busy working on a new invention that will help Rogue City stay safe. Magic is disappearing and only Nigel can fix it. Westie is determined to find the people who killed her family. When they actually come to stay in Rogue City, Westie sets out to prove it was them. Her quest for revenge might cost her her home.

Where should I start with this book? Revenge and the Wild was really unique. I am findings it hard to even classify this book. It is a little western, a little historical, a little fantasy, a little magic, a little steampunk, a little vampire, a little romance and all YA. The protagonist, a human girl names Westie, is a lot of fun and a bit damaged, but in the right kind of way. Apparently, she turned to alcohol to dull the pain of loosing her family and being disfigured. She has a bit of a reputation for starting fights, and finishing them. I felt bad for her, but it’s not like she was crying about her family during this story. She just wanted to kill the people who killed her family. Her drive for revenge was fun to learn about. I also loved her interaction with everyone else. She was my favorite thing about this book, and pretty much made this story worth a read.

Although, the world building could have been better defined. I feel like I still don’t understand what was going on in this world. This story takes place in Rogue City, and Westie ventures out of Rogue City a lot to see if she can find her family’s killer. I didn’t really understand how people stayed out or come into Rogue City. There was a dome over it, but I just didn’t get the concept. That sucked. Also, there wasn’t enough descriptive details that set the scene. I couldn’t imagine this city and that bothered me much.

There were so many different creatures in this story. Rogue City is full of mythical creatures like Vampires, Gnomes, Leprechauns, and Ogres. This story talks a lot about the Vampires and the cannibals. We also get a little bit about the Indians, but all the other creatures are glazed over. This would have been a great opportunity to see how humans interact with creatures, but there isn’t much about interaction in this story.

There was a lot going on in this story. There’s a bit of an adventure into the wild (but I didn’t see what was so dangerous about traveling. Other than cannibals it seemed like everything that could hurt you was in the city, although there was some kind of magic keeping creatures from hurting humans in the city). Humans had a general prejudice against Creatures, except in Rogue City where they all live together in relative peace? Yea, this doesn’t really make sense to me, since we all know Humans are the dangerous ones IRL.

I enjoyed the reading of this book, but it didn’t leave a lasting impression. I had more questions after reading this book then I would have liked to be happy with the story. I did enjoy the romance part, but not enough to redeem my confusion about the world or reasons for all the different creatures. The good news is that this is a standalone.

My Rating


About Michelle Modesto

Michelle Modesto is an associate editor at Gold Man Review, a west coast literary journal. She is also a former tattoo artist and works as a dog groomer and rescuer. She loves hockey, mudding and redneck things. She lives in Northern California with her two kids and a couple of bed-hogging bull mastiff.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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