About the Book

Title: Revenge and the Wild
Published: 2016
Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Cover Story: Picture to Burn
BFF Charm: Platinum Edition
Talky Talk: Worlds Colliding
Bonus Factors: Cannibals, Prostheses
Relationship Status: Dating Outside of Comfort Zone — and Succeeding

Cover Story: Picture to Burn

The typeface is swanky, the tagline is all kinds of great, and the blood splatter’s a nice touch (well, as long as yours isn’t the blood being splattered). But the image hiding underneath isn’t all that interesting—and perhaps vaguely suggests more pyromania than actually exists in the book—even if it looks nice enough with everything else. 

The Deal:

Welcome to Rogue City, a land where lawlessness reigns supreme and magic keeps the supernatural creatures in line—for now. 

Seven years ago, Westie Butler lost her family and one of her arms to a ruthless gang of cannibals. (I KNOW, right?!) Now equipped with a mechanical arm, Westie longs to exact revenge upon her family’s killers. And what do you know: the wealthy potential investors for her adoptive father’s latest invention look exactly like the murderers that she’s after….

BFF Charm: Platinum Edition

BFF platinum charm

Foul-mouthed and ill-tempered, Westie is my kind of abrasive; I knew I loved her when her younger self was revealed to have poked holes in fairy tales. Her battle with alcoholism might make it tough to hang out at FYA HQ, but I wouldn’t hesitate to make Westie my bestie.*

*IT HAD TO BE DONE.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Between the charming newcomer James, the beloved friend Alistair, and the alluring vampire Costin, there’s def. no shortage of love interest candidates for Westie. It takes a little time for her choice to become clear, but there’s a thankful lack of angst—and abundance of H-O-T—over it. 

Talky Talk: Worlds Colliding

Going into this book, I had no idea that it was a Western with elements of both steampunk and paranormal. Sounds like a curious combo, I know, but Michelle Modesto makes this strange alchemy WORK. The already loaded story also explores prejudice, with the conflict between humans and creatures, and treatment of Native Americans, through the strained relationship between Rogue City and the nearby Wintu tribe.

Bonus Factor: Cannibals

Hannibal Lector in his prison mask covering his cannibal mouth
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Anthony Hopkins, 1991

In a story filled with fantastical creatures, the biggest monsters turn out to be human. And obvs, cannibalism isn’t really a BONUS bonus, but it was basically the selling point of this book for me. Which probably says something unsavory about myself, as I am well aware.

Bonus Factor: Prostheses

A golden robotic hand

A genius inventor, Nigel Butler created the prostheses used by his wards: the copper machine to replace Westie’s lost arm, and the mask that gives Alistair a voice in place of vocal chords that were ravaged by cannibals. (Not going to lie: I def. pictured Westie as a young Furiosa on more than a few occasions. And also a non-evil version of Immortan Joe’s mask for Alistair.)

Relationship Status: Dating Outside of Comfort Zone—and Succeeding

Save for a peculiar hook, this book did not seem up my alley AT ALL; I’ve been reading fewer and fewer paranormal books, I’ve never sought out Westerns on my own, and I actively avoid steampunk. Despite these genre misgivings, I gave this book a try anyway—and I had such a great time! I’m glad I took a chance on it, because I never would have otherwise met my new book BFF. (Seriously, she’s awesome.)

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Balzer + Bray. This review was originally posted on Kirkus Reviews in exchange for monetary compensation, which did not affect or influence my opinions. Revenge and the Wild is available now.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.