ARC Review: Revenge and the Wild-Michelle Modesto


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“With each touch of his lips, her dead heart was galvanized as though being woken from centuries of black sleep. His kiss was alchemy, for she felt golden, illuminated. Her once cold heart flared like the sun, and she could feel its beat in every part of her.”

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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.

review3.5 /5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss & Balzer + Bray 

+++Contains mature situations 

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You love genre-bending books
  • You’re searching for adventure, romance, and paranormal
  • Cannibals don’t terrify you

Revenge and the Wild is incredibly unique. A Western meets science fiction meets supernatural adventure, there’s a little bit of everything. 

PROS:

  • The writing style is amazing-a powerful voice. 
  • Westie is an unconventional heroine. She’s vulgar, without being the typical trollop, she calls peoples bluffs, sees through the flowers and roses and has hardly any filter. The girl is a sassy little thing with mad skills. A weaponized parasol, bone crushing arm, and far from ladylike, she’ll keep you laughing and flipping pages. Westie also has a vulnerable side. Her mechanical arm sometimes makes her feel a bit insecure but it’s fleeting, she owns her body. She’s confused about love, who isn’t? And her past haunts her. But does that stop her? No. Westie is a girl on a mission and you can’t help but enthusiastically follow along.
  • The plot twist. Did not expect that. 
  • World building = stellar
  • The romance. This is not a triangle. It’s more of a square. Which will totally throw you off but at the same time holy chemistry overload. There’s love, romance, sexual tension, that scene in the vampire brothel…no words. Alistair (Ally) is the best friend that has always been there that you suddenly start to notice (in this case, Westie has noticed him all along but feels rejected by his cold shoulder when they were younger). He’s devoted, compassionate; he’s got insecurities and fears-he’s complex. His scars and mechanical (Bane-style) mask make him terrifying for a lot of people but somehow, his wounds are endearing and beautiful, especially knowing his past. The feels. All of them. When they go on that wild scavenger hunt for clues…LOVE LOVE LOVE. 
  • The cannibals are beyond creepy. Olive takes those sing-songy little demons in horror films to a new level of terrifying.

CONS:

  • There are so many subplots and chaotic things going on that the focus is hazy. What you think is the main story arc becomes secondary and doesn’t really get back to it until the end. The premise is genius but falls prey to this bombardment of creatures and issues. The back story is tossed in off-hand and if there had been a stronger establishment of the past might have made the present story work better. 
  • Westie’s sleuthing is terrible. While she does make discoveries, none of them were surprising and she was slow on the uptake. I wanted to shout the answers at her. 
  • Some characters were a washout that I would have LOVED to see more of. The pet chupacabra, Nigel, the sexy as sin vampire Costin and the Wintu tribe, all intriguing but with minimal plot time. Isabelle was the WORST. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

 

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