Thursday, February 11, 2016

#Thursday Review - Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto (Young Adult, Paranormal, Western)

Format: E-Galley, 384 Pages
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher 
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

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 Michelle Modesto's debut novel, and a strange journey indeed. Welcome to Rogue City! It's a place where anything goes, and usually does. It is a town that lives under a Dome of magic which keeps creatures from eating humans thanks to Wintu Indians. It is a place where creatures of all walks of life from vampires, werewolves, elves, ogres, dwarfs, goblins, chupacabras, and banshees call home. It is where you will find the Butlers. 17-year old Westie, inventor Nigel, and Alistair. Outside of Nigel, Westie and Alistair have had some really bad things happen to them during their short lives.

But, let's focus on Westie since the story is primarily about what happens to her as she is searching for those who destroyed her life, and her family. Westie lost her parents and brother to cannibals after arriving in California seven years ago. She also lost her arm before escaping and was later found near death by her soon to be best friend Bena, a member of the Wintu Tribe. Westie now wears a combination metal/copper arm which gives her already tough exterior something for people to be hesitant of when approaching her.

When a family arrives in Rogue City via airship from Sacramento to check out Nigel's newest and probably greatest invention, Westie's SEVEN years of searching for the cannibals who were responsible for killing her family, and taking her arm comes to an end. It is the proving it part to others that isn't necessarily as easy as you might think. You see, Westie is a foul-mouth, hard drinking, pain in the ass whose acts sometimes grind on others nerves. It's hard to take Westie at her world when she is fully in revenge mode, and occasionally runs off in search of those who took her family, and yes, ate them and probably her arm as well.

I would say that Revenge and the Wild is a mash up of several genres. The story takes place during President Pierce's administration which would make it prior to the Civil War, thus alternative history/historical since people are still searching for Gold in California. It is filled with trinkets like Westie's arm, Alistair's mask, and Nigel's inventions that he hopes to sell to investors to save magic. There is also the fact that this takes place in a town that is clearly straight out of a Western Novel, minus the whole Magic Dome. We have an assortment of creatures which brings the paranormal aspect into play. It also has it's romance as well.

This story has its fair share of action, adventure, twists, and turns that will please nearly everyone. I didn't hit a whole lot on the romance, because it borders on being a bit on the twisted love triangle which I still have issues with. So, you can take your pick. Would you choose the silent yet protective Alistair who wears a mask thanks to his own brutal experiences? Or, would you choose the ageless vampire, Costin who would love to take a bite out of Westie while making smooth, cool, love to?

This story is being sold as True Grit meets True Blood. I can dig it.


  1. Nice! I was going to pass this one by but then my friend started telling me about it and sounds wayyyy cooler than I thought it would be! Seems like I will need to add this to the ever growing TBR pile! Great review!

  2. I love this one too! Im happy that she stuck with Alistaire and the dark tones of those cannibals added to my enjoyment. I love them gruesome! Hahaha