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.
I don’t think I’ve ever actually read a steam punk book. Having this be my first experience left me feeling a bit intrigued and yet overwhelmed at the same time. I’ve seen the book described as steam punk-lite, but for my amateur eyes, there seemed to do with the genre. As for being overwhelmed, I suppose the feeling comes being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of genres that are represented in this book. As if a steam punk wild west-esque book wasn’t enough, this book also features a slew of mystical creatures, from vampires, elves, and trolls to magic wielding Native Americans called the Wintu. So to say there was alot going on in this book, is an understatement.
However… no matter how much I wish there had been a few less of this and that, I loved this book. Which is ironic because I am definitely one for advocating that some authors use the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method. So what is it that I loved about this book?
I don’t know! I think that’s what amazes me most of all. But something about the book and even the story telling kept me intrigued. Perhaps that’s why I was able to overlook the use of so many different plot points. I suppose I was invested in the story and especially in Westie’s mission to find justice for her family who were slaughtered by… not vampires… not trolls… but CANNIBALS!
I gotta say, this is probably the first book I’ve ever read, that’s ever featured cannibals in it!
But more so than that, I think my love for mysteries helped me look past the attempt to make it seem like three guys were interested in Westie at once. I even guessed the huge twist at the end, fairly early on in the book. Let’s just say if you can keep certain facts straight, there’s something obviously suspicious about a certain somebody… but I won’t say who, because I want you to read it for yourself!
Did it have some issues? Yes, of course. I don’t know a single book that doesn’t. But for my introductory book into this kind of genre and especially for the debut novel of a new author, I think this is a fantastic book and it’s at least worth checking out for yourself. However, beware, if you have a weak stomach, there are some excellently described, yet gory descriptions about cannibal attacks. But yes, check it out and I hope to hear you liked it as much as I did!