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Revenge and the Wild Hardcover – February 2, 2016
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From School Library Journal
“This strong debut will delight fans of the genre” -- Kirkus Reviews
“A page-turning, steampunk-esque Wild West adventure crawling with supernatural creatures.” -- School Library Journal
“A good match for reader who like their fights bloody and heroes unapologetically brash -- Booklist
“Impossible to put down.” -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
- Publisher : Balzer + Bray (February 2, 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062366157
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062366153
- Reading age : 14 - 17 years
- Grade level : 9 - 12
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 1.5 x 5.9 x 8.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,855,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book absolutely is a paranormal steampunk fantasy novel, with elements of creatures, magic, airships, and a pretty great love story. That sounds like a hot mess, and in most books, it absolutely would be. There SHOULD be too much going on here and yet there never was. None of the paranormal, steampunk, or fantasy elements ever felt forced or rushed, and neither did the character development. To top it off, this novel is a standalone and you absolutely get a full arc without any compromise.
Michelle is a freaking master. I've been interested in this book since I saw her talk about it in November 2015. I waited till it became a book club pick, which I now regret. I wanted to consume this book in one sitting and it is definitely in my top 5 for 2016. Maybe even my top 3.
Westie, the girl with a machine for an arm, is a fantastic character. I know I've claimed this about many a character, but she really is. She's experiemced so much loss, that I can't imagine how I'd fare in her place. She's bent on avenging her family; so much so, that she does find herself in trouble at times. She's a bit of a hellraiser, but that's one of the reasons why she's so exciting. I loved the chick, and wouldn't have had her any other way.
I liked how the author didn't take a lot of time building her world, cause I found it to be pretty self-explanatory, and I really enjoyed it. I also liked that we didn't really concentrate on one creature for the story, though one does manage to find a bit more air time than the others (but I totally understand, cause this character was one I wouldn't mind seeing in a book of their own).
Now, let's give the cannibals their own paragraph (gotta quarantine them to their own, yikes!). Their origins are explained as having come about because of how people were beginning to starve when traveling along wagon trails (for reason that will be disclosed in the book) in a sort of Donner-party situation (google it at your own risk). They said that even when those who had resorted to cannibalism were finally able to get proper food, they'd acquired a taste for flesh, and couldn't stop. But this was still something rare, so when Westie believes she's finally found the ones who'd attacked her family, it's impossible to get anyone to believe her.
I really just loved this book, and can't get over how much more creative it felt to me. I loved this world, and I loved that this was a standalone (I think...I'm hoping). Though I do enjoy series, I think I love a good, solid ending more! This one I'll definitely recommend to all!
There's so much to love about this book; the established relationships that we're immediately drawn into, the layered world-building, the compelling side characters (can I please get an entire novella devoted to Bena and her people?), and a foreboding sense of DOOM that you can't quite put your finger on until it's too late.
I pretty much devoured this book. I think you will too.
Why? Because I doubt an author can create a conflict, fully solve this conflict, build a believable world, and develop a fleshed out cast of characters, all in the span of one book.
Luckily for me, I didn’t even know Michelle Modesto’s debut, THE REVENGE AND THE WILD, was fantasy. Nor did I know it was a standalone. I though it was a western novel, and I was in love with the cover enough to pick it up.
Because we all know I judge books by their covers. Blame it on the designer in me.
Fast forward a few weeks after I discovered the book, back when it merely had a blurb of a synopsis to its name, and I was going through a series of DNFs. I’d say I was on a DNF-ing spree. It was bad. Really bad.
I felt certain REVENGE AND THE WILD would be next, and opened up the eARC with a heavy heart.
I read one page, which became two. Then a chapter, and then another. I read about a magical dome and vampires and trolls and did a double-take. For I had no idea it was a fantasy.
My interest was piqued and the pages continued to virtually flip faster than I thought they would.
I was loving it.
The world was utterly unique. Unlike any other fantasy I’ve read before, combing the strains of steampunk, a western setting in America, weaving in Native Americans, and throwing in a huge heaping of the paranormal/supernatural. Werewolves, vampires, cannibals, leprechauns, fairies. It was an unbelievable mix that I thought would get confusing fast.
But Michelle Modesto knows how to weave a story, and boy does she weave it well.
Aside from the phenomenal world, we have our characters. Westie, was a brilliant protagonist. She has a mechanical arm that makes her stronger and subsequently braver. She has a big mouth and a great heart. Her character arc was spectacular.
Then there was Alistair, Nigel, Costin, James, Isabelle, and more. The cast was amazing. So well done and fleshed out and I had no trouble envisioning them.
So with a great world and great characters, you’re probably expecting the plot to be not so great, yes? How can one book be so good, bordering, dare I say, perfect?
REVENGE AND THE WILD is a book that is very near perfect. The plot was one that revolved around Westie, with subplots that revolved around Westie. That soon gobbled up the world and suddenly everyone was in danger. Yet, as the book was a standalone, it ends beautifully. With hope, and happiness, and a sense of peace that I couldn’t help but compare to what most of us would like for our own world.
See, if I start drawing comparisons between a fantasy world and my own, then you know I loved it. Even now, weeks after I’ve finished Michelle Modesto’s debut, I still remember everything and my love is still going strong.
So go. Pick up this amazing debut and get cozy. REVENGE AND THE WILD is one wicked ride you don’t want to miss.
Originally posted on IceyBooks
Top reviews from other countries
A true wild west novel that has everything you wouldn't expect: real, disgusting flesh-eating neighbours, kind vampires, psychotic Lolitas, the Undead, and corrupt politicians who get away with it - at least, for a time.