Dec 9, 2016
Author: Michelle Modesto
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Format: eBookPublication Date: February 2, 2016
Overall: 4 out 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.
This book grabbed me from the beginning, and took me on a wild ride. Strangely, the western/steampunk vibe felt perfectly done to me. Many times I feel like it’s forced, and it detracts from the story, but not here. The descriptions of the world were vivid and but allowed my imagination to run away with me at times. I did see some criticism for having all sorts of magical creatures featured in the book, and while I can sort of see their point it really didn’t detract to much from the overall story for me.
Also, there is some very heavy darkness in this book. Westie’s family was eaten by cannibals, and the depiction of that in this book was just as gory as you might expect. Westie is a fabulous character, she is gritty and uncouth. She has a filthy mouth, and is a falling down drunkard at times. She also is entirely unconcerned with a what a “proper” young woman should be. She also without a doubt has a purpose, and that purpose is finding the cannibals that ate her family. The darkness in Westie that is so enthralling is also heartbreaking, being in her head and hearing her thoughts of her family is just crushing. Despite her flaws, she is extremely tough for having survived what she did.
The romance in this story was pretty predictable, although adding in a love triangle with a thousand year old vampire was a little weird and kind of felt unncessary. What really made this book for me though is watching Westie’s struggles. In some ways she needs to change, she knows she has a drinking problem, and she knows why. The ends that she goes to in order to try to fix that about herself is something every addict knows well. They all want the magic cure.
This book was entertaining as hell, and I absolutely enjoyed the pants off of it. It ends up being a kind of murder-mystery thriller, which was a rocking rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. For the most part the story took an inevitable path that was set up from the first chapter, but the ending definitely gave me chills and took me by surprise. I would give this 4 out of 5 stars, and highly recommend it to anyone who likes supernatural/western/thrillers.
4/5 – An Enjoyable Read, Well Written
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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