Phantom of the Opera Retelling | Book Review: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
Book Review: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
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Title & Author: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Retelling, Paranormal
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Series: Of Metal and Wishes #1
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher
“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.”
A few months ago, I read Sanctum by Sarah Fine. And, I was not a fan.
It started off well and then took a nose-dive with a predictable ending and a romance that sort of faded.
When I received Of Metal and Wishes in the mail, I had no idea the same author wrote this book. I was simply drawn in by its description of being a “Phantom of the Opera retelling” of sorts.
This book has totally made me a believe of Sarah Fine. Of Metal and Wishes offers a totally new take on The Phantom of the Opera story (which although its a famous play, it was a novel by a French writer first).
The story is set in a grim, death-filled factory called Gochan where workers are underpaid and are forced to risk their lives every day around dangerous equipment. Wen assists her dad, the factory medic, and doubts the rumors about the Ghost of Gochan.
She comes to find that testing the ghost has some very real consequences…
I was immediately taken in by the story and by the sense of familiarity in a place and time very different than the original tale. That’s the real magic in retellings – a story that is familiar but adds something new to the lore its based from.
There’s so much to like about Of Metal and Wishes. Wen is a strong but soft-spoken character, and I liked seeing her gain courage and backbone throughout the story. There’s also a “Raoul” character who I liked a ton, and who offers a great if predictable romantic interest.
I did find the plot to be a bit repetitive – as in, it has a almost timed pause then trouble then break then drama then calm then attack. You see what I’m saying? It almost got to be like “What could possibly happen now?!”
It didn’t bother me too much, but I couldn’t help noticing it, which took me out of the story. Also, there’s a threat that hangs over Wen almost the entire book, and it honestly stressed me out because it’s quite…intense. I wished it had been resolved earlier because things like that can be traumatic for some readers.
All in all, I was very happy with this book considering my feelings about the author’s previous work.
If you love retellings or love The Phantom of the Opera, then definitely check out this book. Of Metal and Wishes is a standalone read to boot, and a lovely story that I felt connected to and invested in till the last page.