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Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

Of Metal and Wishes

by Sarah Fine

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Series: Of Metal and Wishes (1)

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Of Metal and Wishes is a story that follows a teenage girl named Wen who works as her father’s assistant in his doctor’s office at a slaughterhouse factory. Wen doesn’t believe in the so-called “ghost” of the factory who grants the worker’s wishes and desires, so she ultimately decides to challenge its power. And after strange occurrences start to occur she learns the lesson of being careful what you wish for.

This book has been on my TBR for a while and I decided to pluck it off of my bookshelf. Initially, I was drawn to its cover art, synopsis, and fantasy-like description. Fine uses descriptive writing in order to draw her readers into Wen’s surroundings so that they can get a good feel for the overall setting. Wen lives in a grim place and she sees gruesome sights at her job in a doctor’s office. The people at the factory work hard to provide for their families for such little money, while risking the liabilities that might occur during handling heavy machinery.

Wen and her father are still grieving over the death of her mother (its been one year since her death) and they are trying to adapt to their new life. Though Wen is struggling she puts up a brave face and tries to be rock of support for her father. She is an intelligent girl who is loyal and skillful, but her superstition and naivete drag her into the ghost’s wrath. When Wen starts putting her faith in the ghost’s powers and learns its true secrets, things really start to intensify. Is the ghost truly lonely as it says or does it have dangerous intentions of placing Wen as pawn in it’s game?

While the novel is somewhat what predictable at times, it also has some surprising elements thrown in that I was not expecting. The suspense slowly builds as more of the mystery unravels and I love the heightened tension that is laced throughout the entire plot. I also enjoyed the fact that the book is an exciting retelling of Phantom of the Opera, which I had little to no exposure of before reading this book. I love retelling style novels especially when they are set in a different place (original story takes place in France) with PoC characters. I picked up on some of the similarities from the original tale, but appreciated that the author put her own spin on the story.

Of Metal and Wishes has a smooth plot progression, intriguing characters, lots of action, a little bit of romance, and a good mystery. I’m looking forward to how the story will continue in Of Dreams and Rust. ( )
  Rlmoulde | Nov 25, 2017 |
I've been wearying of the whole dystopia thing and then this piqued my interest. Superstition, tradition, injustice and sidelong romance combine for a compelling and suspenseful narrative set in an unpecified industrial Asian nation. Looks to be the start of a series...of course. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I liked this book but I didn't like it enough, if that makes sense? First of all, it was surprisingly gruesome. I usually don't mind that but even I was taken aback at times: it was depressingly gory, severed limbs, messed up insides and all that. Sarah Fine painted a very dark atmosphere of non-stop graft without hope for betterment. I swear, it was almost dystopian!

Secondly, I didn't realise this was a historical fantasy until half way into the book and kept trying to guess time periods and areas and getting confused. The racism and lechery was very, very rampant in a society of extremely hypocritical views on women's place in it. As a result there was a lot of slut-shaming. The heroine did it, her friends did ti, and everyone else was very happy to do it too. I was frustrated and tired f hearing it.

Third issue was the instalove between Wen and Melik. I found it really hard to digest. She starts comparing the Noor to animals and within couple of weeks it's all moony eyes and dramatic proclamations. *eye roll*

At last, the narrator herself did not suit the book in my opinion. Alexandra Bailey sounded distinctly Caucasian and I couldn't get over that as in my head the voice didn't match my image of Wen.

Saying all that, this was a very Gothic, strangely compelling tale, and I enjoyed Ghost's character the most. He had layers, he had development, and I only hope to read more about him in the next book. Also, the atmosphere of the gruesome factory was a fantastic background. I'll be listening to the next book, because Of Metal and Wishes left me curious, even if I wasn't sold on the love story. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

OF METAL AND WISHES hits that perfect blend of interesting world building, real characters, and romantic danger. Reminiscent of The Phantom of the Opera and THE HUNGER GAMES, these familiar components click together to create an altogether different dynamic. I couldn’t get this story out of my head until the very last page, and now I daydream about what comes next.

Mixing realism with fantasy, OF METAL AND WISHES contains culture clashes that could be found in our own history with an utterly original bleak, industrialized world. Wen too is a well-written teenager, with elements of drama and misunderstanding leavened by strength, courage, and a willingness to grow. She alternately treads close to Mary Sue and unredeemable, but never tips either extreme to the point where I would lose sympathy for her. Through grief and romance and danger, I was always invested in her next move. Even the romantic elements, tuned to such a dramatic story as The Phantom, take a more nuanced and sympathetic path. Despite the desires and expectations of so many men around her, Wen finds her own way.

The downside of realistic dystopias, however, is that even a happy ending doesn’t wash away the political and societal dangers surrounding characters. OF METAL AND WISHESoffers a satisfying, short-term standalone, but true happiness waits behind momentous events in future books. Wen is a well-equipped to face this future, however, and I can’t wait to read along with her.

Sexual Content: Attempted rape, references to sex. ( )
  Capnrandm | Aug 11, 2014 |
Somehow, when I first heard about this book, I got my wires crossed. I was under the impression that this was a fantasy retelling of Cinderella. Don’t ask, I have no idea where that idea came from. If, for some reason, you’re just as wrong as I was, let me clear things up for you before we get started. Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine is a fantasy with a steampunk bent that is a loose telling of Phantom of the Opera. PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!!!!

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW AT: http://www.shaelit.com/2014/08/review-of-metal-and-wishes-by-sarah-fine/ ( )
  Shelver506 | Aug 8, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Fineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Frost, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sfetsios-Conover, DebraDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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After a Noor humiliates her and a ghost grants an impulsive wish of hers -- brutally -- sixteen-year-old Wen befriends the Noor, including the outspoken leader, a young man named Melik, leading Wen to appease the ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat--real or imagined.… (more)

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