Review: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Revenge and the Wild - Michelle ModestoPublisher: Balzer + Bray (February 2nd 2016)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

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 was so excited for this. And while it was interesting and fun, I didn’t really get sucked in.

I loved the concept. In a sort of alternate universe that’s wild west meets magic and paranormal fantasy, Westie is hell-bent on revenge for her family after they were attacked by cannibals (cannibals!). Not only are there cannibals, but magical and paranormal creatures of all sorts roaming around (including the vampires, leprechauns, dwarfs, ogres and more).

I liked the wild west setting. I had just finished Vengeance Road and was dying for more gun-slinging, nitty-gritty adventure. And while were some really awesome good ol’ fashion shoot-em-up fun…

Westie’s breath was erratic as she looked around at the six dead bandits lying in pools of blood and loosed bowels.

the plot itself didn’t really keep me engaged. As cool as the western cross paranormal mixed genre sounded, it was too much and I found the world-building all over the place. I did like the steampunk elements, but the story felt a bit convoluted and drawn out.

It was awesome that Westie was your not so typical YA heroine. She’s a foul-mouthed, sassy, recovering alcoholic. But the romance in this book was kind of a downer, with this weird love square thing, and everyone falling in love with the heroine bit. Though I did like Alistair. He was cool.

Overall, it was a fun sorta Westerns read with a lot of potential and a tipsy-turvy twist at the end. It didn’t quite hit the mark for it’s world-building/plot but the action and grittiness kept things interesting.

When Westie had asked if they were in need, both men looked up with blood on their faces and flesh between their teeth. Bodies had been scattered across the forest floor, their faces chewed to a pulp.

{Thanks to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Find Michelle Modesto:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:

Book DepositoryBarnes & Nobles | Chapters Indigo |

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

6 Replies to “Review: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto”

  1. This is my next ARC and I am dreading reading it because the EW page had no synopsis and only said it was YA Fantasy. I had no idea it was a Western, and to be honest I really don’t like them. I was hoping the fantasy aspects would hold it up for me, but I have seen several reviews that say it falls flat.

    1. It’s a weird mix of fantasy/paranormal/western. I think there was too much going on for me, but I have seen some people really enjoy it! I hope it works out for you!

  2. Vengeance Road is on my wishlist, I think I will reach for that. I love the world you described here, but bummed it did not grab you.

    1. (Yay! You should definitely check it out!) Yeah, I was a bit sad that it didn’t pan out as it sounded, oh well.

  3. I had such a great time reading this! The mash-up genres and Westie’s fierce attitude were perfect for me. I have to ask – The Soup scene, did you just about drop your book?!!

    Great review, Cyn 🙂

    1. I’m glad you really liked this one! I was a fan of Westie’s fierce attitude, too! Oh man the soup scene!

      Thanks Kim!

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