Review: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Posted February 9, 2016 by Lisa Mandina in / 15 Comments

First, thanks to Edelweiss and Balzer and Bray for allowing me to read an egalley of this one.  In the end I’d kind of classify this as a bit of a steampunk type of story, as well as western and fantasy.  And while I’m not normally a fan of steampunk, the way it was done in this story, well it just fit perfectly for the whole tale.  This was really quite an original story, can’t quite compare most of it to anything I can think of.  All in all it was a good book, and I really enjoyed it, can’t wait to bring it to my students at school to read!

The main character is Westie.  Westie lost her family to cannibals when she was little.  Not only did they take her family, they also took her arm.  She was found by one of the native tribes, who took her to a man in town, Nigel Butler, who was able to save her arm. Well, he saved it by giving her a mechanical/robotic arm.  Nigel is an inventor.  I believe this is where I felt the steampunk bit came into the story.  But Westie isn’t the only orphan that Nigel took in, there is also Alistair, who also had a run-in with cannibals.  Only it is his face that is scarred. And so he either wears a mask with a robotic voice that Nigel created, or else he wears a scarf to cover his lower face, and uses sign language.  Westie has been a bit of a wild child, she is not lady-like in any way, no matter how hard her adoptive father tries to get her to be.  She used to be best friends with Alistair, but something happened that made him start distancing himself from her.  And really, Westie is now on a one-track plan to find the cannibals who killed her family and bring them to justice. 

But when Nigel invents a great machine, and he tries to bring in sponsors to help him get it up and going, these strangers throw a bit of a wrench into Westie’s plans.  First there is their young nephew, James, who she first meets when he is getting into a fight outside a saloon in town, with a troll I think.  He kind of flirts with Westie, and seems so much different from the rest of the family of investors.  The biggest issue here though, is that Westie is sure the investors are the same people who killed her family.  Now she is on a mission to prove they are who she thinks they are.  When weird things start happening in town, a prostitute gets bitten by a women, and not just love bites, but take a bite out of her! 

This story did have a little bit of everything.  I mentioned trolls already, but there were vampires, one named Costain who seemed to have a bit of a thing for Westie, something I do kind of wish maybe there had been more about that in the story.  So many different kinds of characters.  But not in a bad way.  Although I’d have liked maybe some more with some of them, it worked fine for me.

A very unique tale as I mentioned.  There is a lot of action and mystery and wondering how will Westie prove what she thinks.  And then, the twist at the end, whoa, I didn’t see that coming!  I definitely think it is worth a read.  While I can see how it might seem slow at the beginning, Westie’s foul-mouthed, sarcastic character  really grabbed me and drew me in.

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15 responses to “Review: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

    • I wouldn't say it is really heavy into the steampunk, just that it has a bit of that feeling to the story. I'm not a fan of steampunk usually, this one just worked! Maybe because it was a futuristic western type of setting instead of the ones set in a historical England type of place.

  1. When I saw the cover to this one I didn't think of cannibalism at all – but more so historical fiction! So this is pretty much a surprise ahaha. And to have a main character with one arm as well, is something that doesn't happen too often. I'm interested for sure!

  2. I saw this cover a while ago, but I didn't know what was it about xD
    This book sounds interesting and also Westie. I really like these kind of characters and I love a good twist
    I'm adding it to my TBR list 🙂
    Great review!

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