Series: Of Metal and Wishes #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry on August 5th, 2014
Genres: horror, young adult
Buy on Amazon
There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.
Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.
As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.
Nothing was going to stand in my way when this book hit my feed. Minority on the beautiful cover, a fresh, edgier premiere and a story that delved into cultural approaches really got my bookboner going.
Many other bloggers reported that this was a retelling of Phantom of the Opera – score! That is, hands down, my favorite musical. When Halloween rolled around, it was one on my TBR pile for the season.
My biggest regret was not reading this as soon as it came out. It would have been worth calling in sick to work to polish it off in a day.
**note** I have a huge migraine, so I’m going to make this short and sweet**
Main characters are just flat-out awesome. Wen is very endearing and a silent well of strength. I admire her weaknesses and her strengths. There was no issue relating to her. Melik is just, how can I put this mildly? Oh, yes, DELICIOUS. I adore his strength, and it is amazing how someone can make the line, “Wen always has medicine,” sound like the best pick-up line ever. Then poor Bo, what a perfect beautiful mess. It bowled me over that I could resent and pity someone all at the same time.
Atmosphere is spot-on. How many flavors can you place in a book? Horror mixed with historical medical references with a dash of slasher details and topped off with a steampunk garnish. This is one creepy, intriguing, horrifying read. The writer certainly did justice to the Phantom of the Opera roots. She was able to capture the violent Gothic tone of the musical without creating a flat out rip-off.
Cover adoration. I can’t even…..THAT COVER.
Fantasy fusion of other cultures. The culture in the book was inspired by an Asian perspective. It allowed the book some freedom to take chances while rooting in something familiar to support the world-building.
Red hot romance. Fine is delicate with her romantic approach, which creates a perfectly steamy romance plot. LOVED it. This pairing quickly took a slot in my top favorite bookish romances.
Exploring cultural dynamics. Some hate for the role and treatment of females for Wen’s culture in the novel, but it doesn’t condone poor treatment of women, and instead shows a girl breaking out of her enforced social conformity. Life is brutal, and I like for fiction to reflect some age-old struggles. It support a safe, neutral discussion ground for readers to approach attitudes towards women and social dynamics without targeting real-world populations. Does art reflect life, or does life reflect art? I found this addition tot he plot as a welcomed and abrasive theme.
Brutal book is brutal. No lies here: this book is high gory and very brutal. It isn’t placed in the novel just for shock value, but instead enhances the creepy mood of the novel.
Looking for some kick in your YA? A horror dish with a hefty side of tasty romance? Fantasy-inspired Asian culture? A cover that is to DIE for? A fresh story to retell?
Then go pick this up. This is going to end up on a favorites list for sure at the end of the year. I have a hard time picking out things I did not like in this one.
Since I am sitting here trying to keep my eyeballs from exploding, therefore handicapping my review-writing abilities, here are some AWESOME PHANTOM GIFS.