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February 7, 2016

Steampunk Sundays: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Series: Standalone (?)
Format: eGalley
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: YA | Western Steampunk

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.






I planned on reading Michelle Modesto's REVENGE AND THE WILD for some time now but hesitated because most of the early reviews I've read weren't very encouraging for varying reasons. Still I decided to give it a to in order to form my own opinion and as you can see, it worked out pretty well for me. 

A brief summary: Westie's family got eaten by cannibals and after years of mourning and bottle therapy, she's found herself face to face with them. The Fairfields are the Mayor's guests though and potential investors for Nigel's (Westie's foster father) machine that will help keep the magic in their town from failing with devastating results. The problem is how is Wearied going to prove that the Fairfields are cannibals, better yet, how can she extract her revenge when the odds are against her? Well, Westie managed it but not without heartbreaking consequences. 

REVENGE AND THE WILD is a diverse read in the sense that there's an array of creatures to be found from vampires, werewolves, trolls, banshees, etc. Most of them provided backdrop except for one vampire, Costin, who has a critical role to play in this story. The myth and world building is very straightforward too. I haven't read a lot of Western paranormal steampunk, MModesto gave me a good atmospheric adventure and I'm hoping this isn't her last. There's a niche to be carved here. On a side note, REVENGE AND THE WILD isn't steampunk heavy too, it has enough details to give it a mild vibe. 

A lot of readers disconnected with Westie, and that was my primary concern as its hard to like a character driven novel if you can't connect with the lead. I didn't have a problem with Westie although she is not the strongest and most cunning heroine. She is tenacious, impulsive, kind, can be resourceful, but with a mechanical arm that has gained her a reputation, she missed an opportunity to turn it and herself into a weapon. But despite her not being as badass as I hoped she would be, she's a likable enough character, protective of her friends, smart when it matters, but far from frail or even whiny.

For someone who doesn't read or like YA fantasy, I had a jolly good time with REVENGE OF THE WILD. It's very mellow on romance and its dark and gritty parts had a lot to do with my enjoyment. The Fairfields were also clever adversaries so I got into the conflict without a hitch. I want them dead and I want them punished for their crimes! There's also a big heartbreaking reveal involved that I didn't see coming, good job there MModesto, that's a great plot twist! 

I don't know if this is a series or standalone, REVENGE AND THE WILD's conclusion is good, no cliffhangers or hints of a follow-up. But the plot has enough room to be expanded. Again, I hope MModesto writes either a sequel or at least, another book this dark with the same setting. 










Talk Supe


26 comments:

  1. Sounds like a nice mix with the steampunk, western setting and different paranormal creatures. I am glad you liked the main character, it's hard to connect with a book as much if you don't like the main characters. Great review!

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    1. So true, and that part was the one I'm most concerned about because a lot of readers didn't connect with Westie. I'm happy it wasn't the case with me. At least my time spent with this book is good

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  2. New to me author, glad you had such a good time with this one. I have issues with steampunk books but this one sounds like it might work for me :D

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    1. I have issues with it sometimes too. I now tend to read those that has paranormal elements as those are the ones that works best for me

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  3. Those endings always makes me wonder. Solid endings, but still room for more

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    1. It's cool in that its okay if it's just one book and if she chooses to continue, she can introduce a new arc or even new leads.

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  4. Love the steampunk and western setting. You have me curious about this one Braine :)

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    1. You'll see mixed reviews, I hope it works out for you if you do decide to pick it up at some point

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  5. I've seen this one recently. How can I resist a western steampunk! And it's been a while since I read any steampunk. Should be a fun change of pace.

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    1. And it's YA too so it's paced well, fast even :D

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  6. Woah, this book sounds so much darker than I expected, and I like that sometimes! It sounds fascinating with the great main character too! Great review Braine!

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    1. Cannibals! I like that inclusion to the story, they're more rabid than the vamps and weres

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  7. I've got this on already on the list. I didn't realize it had mixed reviews, but I'm curious enough and the elements are right up my alley. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  8. This kind of sounds like True Grit mixed with Norma Rae? Or Erin Brockovich? It sounds fabulous and I'm kind of sorry I just ran right past this one. I think I was on a romance kick when I was pulling ARCs that day. Great review!!!

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    1. I don't know Norma Rae, Eric Brokovich is a long shot. :D

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  9. Yay, I'm so happy you loved this as well! I had such a great time reading Modesto's writing - hopefully mores to come in this fabulous world :)

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    1. Yours was the only solid "good" review I've read when I started this. It sure helped open my mind as a lot of other readers complained about Westie

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  10. This one sounds like a wonderful hodgepodge of things! Glad you enjoyed it...I have it on my kindle so I shall give it a go soon :) Great review!!

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  11. Just got my copy in mail last weekend. Can't wait to read it.

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  12. I'm glad you enjoyed this. It wasn't the book for me, but we all have different taste and I figured you'd probably at least like it more than I would so I'm glad that was definitely the case.

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    1. True, it was your comment about the cannibals that encouraged me. I like them dark and bloody! :D

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  13. Hmmm. Sounds interesting. And I like that there is a blend of UF with the steampunk. :) Thank you.

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    1. you're welcome, I hope it piques your curiosity enough for you to try it

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