Monday, January 11, 2016

Review: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Book Description:

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 2nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray

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.

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source: Harper Collins(Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Let me get things straight: Westie was one of the wildest characters I have ever met. She was brimming with spunk, sass and daring. As a result, she got into a lot of trouble, adventure and heart-stopping suspense. Despite her impulsive mind and her penchant for getting knee-deep in catastrophic situations, I liked her just fine. She had her reasons, background and motives and she stuck to them all throughout the book. She was the kind of heroine who knew what she wanted and worked on getting it, persistently. Her ability to try again and again and again, despite failures, obstacles and deep-seated fear, made her one of the bravest heroines in my eyes. Her wildness was a beacon of light, a reminder of youth and possibilities. But then, Westie was also an incredibly flawed character. She had a problem with drinking, which was a result of her traumatic past and Alistair’s distance. As she plowed ahead, in hopes of fixing her drinking problem, she generated a series of other problems. It was the kind of domino effect that I would normally see in a movie – seemingly unavoidable, ill-fated and dramatically comic in a way. I had so much fun reading about her experiences, whether it was good or bad.

Alistair was the loyal friend, the one who was always there when Westie needed help. Although there was some distance between them at all times. He was a harder character to understand. Alistair had layers protecting him from inspection. As the story progressed and Westie and Alistair got the opportunity to become closer, breaking through the walls they built around themselves, Alistair’s layers cracked and unraveled, revealing the boy within. He was loyal to a fault, which was a good thing in this case, given Westie’s impulsive and danger-magnet nature. They have lived together under a roof for so many years and yet, in the last three years, they barely spoke a word. How could two people not talk frequently and yet be able to understand each other just fine? I liked how the author developed Alistair and Westie's relationship. It was slow and simmering - just enough to give me butterflies.

Rogue City was a beautiful setting for the story. It was mostly isolated, far from the main cities. It was a sanctuary for humans and creatures, where both can live together in peace without the promise of death. Rogue City was protected by a magical dome that was being held in place by the Wintu Tribe. The landscape of the setting was varied, from the woods to the river, and finally to the sprawling houses.

The creatures were diverse. Almost all mythical creature mentioned across the folklores of the world were represented in the novel. But the ones I liked the most were Jezebel, the chupacabra bet of Westie and Nigel, and a thousand-year-old vampire named Costin. Costin was your typical vampire prince, devastatingly debonair, exuding charisma and confidence, with a velvet voice that could make a girl melt. Despite his inhuman nature, he had a good heart. He was protective of Westie and would do anything in his power to keep her safe. I wanted to ship him with Westie, but the powers be wanted our heroine with another boy.

The plot unraveled smoothly. One thrilling plan was followed by another, stacking up into a series of mini disasters and surprises. I thoroughly enjoyed Westie’s plotting and scheming as she aimed to get revenge for the cannibal family who killed hers. Reading the close encounters and face-offs between Westie and the Fairfield family was a hair-raising, edge-of-your-seat experience. James, the gorgeous boy who traveled with the Fairfields, was another unknown variable in Westie’s equation for revenge. He was quite well-mannered and had a sad past. For some reason, Westie couldn’t help but feel that he was innocent. And yet, in this book no one was truly innocent. I kept analyzing every move and every action of the characters.

Revenge and the Wild is a wild, suspenseful and romantic gallop into a vivid steampunk world. It had a distinct movie-esque vibe for me, in the sense that it had the kind of magic that made it vivid enough to be imprinted in my head. Readers would be thoroughly entertained and intrigued with the novel's catastrophes and perilous errands, colorful conversations, and close encounters. I highly recommend this to steampunk and fantasy readers alike, readers looking for novels with a wild, daring heroine. You won't regret it.


5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!


  1. Uh, how did I not know this has steampunk elements?! I've been deciding whether to add this one to my wishlist or not so the fact that it has steampunk elements is good. Perhaps I will add it to my wishlist.

    1. It definitely has steampunk elements - especially with the replaced body parts. ;) Mix that up with a wild, wild west feeling and a whole lot of fantasy creatures. :) Hope you give it a shot!