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.
Thank you to Harper Collins / Balzer + Bray for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
REVENGE AND THE WILD has an incredibly fascinating premise, and I knew I was going to be in for a ride once I started reading. This novel follows the story of Westie, who is a fearless main character who will go to the ends of the Earth to find and kill the cannibals who killed her family.
Modesto does a fantastic job with world-building and characterization of Westie and the other characters of Alistair, James, and my ultimate favorite character, Costin. I absolutely adored the fact that Westie was so badass and determined to catch the people who killed her family; we can’t forget her amazing metal arm (hence the steampunk theme in the novel) which can basically kill anything. (Doesn’t the arm remind you of Bucky Barnes?)
To add on, let’s talk about the amazing mashup of young adult genres! Modesto includes themes of magic, supernatural, fantasy, western, historical, adventure, and probably some more that I haven’t thought of. It’s so freaking amazing how Modesto was able to capture all these aspects of each genre, and if you’re worried about whether it affects the reading experience, it doesn’t. It only heightens it. And the plot twist at the end! Oh my goodness. It was so freaking good.
TW// rape: On the other hand, the only aspect of this novel that made this a 4.5 star novel instead of a 5 star one was the normalcy and prevalence of rape culture. I understand that many books want to make the world-building realistic and common, but it was more the little mentions and aspects of normalcy of how “boys will be boys,” etc. that really irked me.
Nonetheless, I wholeheartedly enjoyed this novel, which was complete with a badass main character, a wonderfully-crafted plot and characters, and fantastic world-building. Definitely add this book to your TBR! It’s not a book you want to miss out on.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars