Of Metal and Wishes is such a compelling gothic horror. I don’t what I was expecting but it was not this heartbreaking, chilling and suspenseful novel. I’ve heard it’s a Phantom of the Opera retelling, but seeing as I’ve never read the book, nor seen the movie, or it in the theatre etc. etc. it didn’t influence my reading at all, but perhaps fans of Phantom will certainly find some satisfaction in reading this dark novel.
“I just want to make sure he doesn’t decide you’re one of his toys.”
Wen has just lost her mother and so has to move into the slaughterhouse where her father works. With her pretty dresses and good looks, Wen is considered a peacock, especially by one particularly Noor boy who humiliated and assaults Wen in front of the entire cafeteria. In spite, she asks the Ghost to prove his existence, and he does, unfortunately for the Noor boy. She befriends the Noor boy and their Noor’s leader, Melik. At the same time, she begins a friendship with the Ghost who is just as lonely as she is, and it starts a turmoil of events.
I must admit, I was shocked at how much I really liked this novel. It’s dark and chilling, suspenseful and fast paced with some great compelling characters that you both love and hate. It’s an unforgettable read that’s I would highly suggest you give a read. It also has an Asian protagonist (which I must admit is very rare) and takes place in a dystopian style Asia. The novel is richly detailed yet gritty when it gets down to describing the harsh life is Gochan One. It’s a moving and passionate novel that delves deep into cultural divisions that I deem very important.
I loved Wen, I really did, even if she seemed naive at times. She was stubborn, intelligence, compassionate and brave. I even enjoyed her father at times, even though their relationship was rather tumultuous. Another character I really loved was Melik, such a sweet and heart warming character, yet protective and dangerous (or seemingly). He is such a fantastic and deep character. As for the Ghost, perhaps I felt very much like Wen did about him. Wary, yet strangely compelled towards him. Personally, I found him somewhat disturbed; perhaps it’s the way he took death in his stride and how it didn’t seem to affect him, yet I still think he has a good heart. A character I hated (and I mean some deep-seated hatred) was Mugo, that disgusting little weasel. Every time he touched Wen I imagined myself shiver and cringe along with her, followed by myself kicking him very hard where it really hurts. It shows a good writer when the reader feels such intense feelings.
Overall, this was a fantastic novel with a genuine creepy feel to it and I highly recommend.
MY RATING: ★★★★★ (Actually, 4.5)