Superbly dark and relentlessly engrossing, Of Metal and Wishes is a beautiful novel. Fine demonstrates expert writing and pacing, resulting in a vivid and finely tuned story. Wen’s fire and vulnerability make her an intriguing heroine and it’s fascinating to witness the horrors of the slaughterhouse through her eyes. The romance is sweet and full of tension, and Melik is a swoon-worthy hero in all the right ways. Additionally, Fine has built a sordid and compelling world thanks to carefully used social and political turmoil. This is a gripping read full of twists and turns that will leave readers in awe.

After being humiliated by a Noor man, sixteen-year-old Wen makes an impulsive wish to the slaughterhouse’s supposed "ghost". But when the ghost grants her brutal wish, Wen immediately regrets it and focuses on understanding the foreign Noor workers instead. As she gets to know Melik, a young man fed up with the discrimination and unfair wages, the ghost becomes jealous and soon the slaughterhouse is even more dangerous than before. (MARGARET K. McELDERRY Aug., 336 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9781442483583, HC, 14 & Up)

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Reviewed by: 
DJ DeSmyter