by Sarah Fine
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (August 5, 2014)
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This love story for the ages, set in a reimagined industrial Asia, is a little dark, a bit breathless, and completely compelling.At a Glance:
Sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic, housed in a slaughterhouse staffed by the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor. Wen often hears the whisper of a ghost in the slaughterhouse, a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. And after one of the Noor humiliates Wen, the ghost grants an impulsive wish of hers—brutally.
Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including the outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the ghost. As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen is torn between 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. Will she determine whom to trust before the factory explodes, taking her down with it?
This re-imagining of The Phantom of the Opera, was an intriguing idea, and is sure to be a hit with many fans of retellings, but it didn't hold my interest as much as I would've liked.
I'm beginning to think that I like the idea of retellings more than I actually like retellings. I really can't point to a reason why, other than they just seem to bore me. They actually all feel the same to me, even though they're completely different stories. I read the synopsis, and I think it sounds amazing, but then pretty soon, I'm dragging through the story, not really caring about the characters. So, if you're a person who generally likes re-tellings, I'd say your chances of liking this book are pretty good!
I think one of my biggest problems was that I couldn't connect with Wen at all. I'm not saying she wasn't realistically written, I'm just saying I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time with her. She tends to make a lot of silly choices, and then blames herself for things that aren't her fault. I just ended up shaking my head at her a lot. I did like that she was from an Asian-type country, and I especially loved the cover with her on the front. So pretty!
The one thing I really did like was the chemistry between Wen and Melik. The scenes with them together were quite tension-y, which I like very much. Melik was such a strong, intelligent, loyal guy that you can't help but fall for him.
Things of Interest:
- This is a loose retelling, it doesn't hold true to all of the characters, just the main outline.
- There's a pretty constant threat of rape that happens from multiple angles, but especially from Wen's father's boss. This is used to keep the fear element raised, and some may have an issue with that. I don't care for it, personally.
- This is a duology and ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger. Well, more like a hill-hanger, I guess.
- As you can probably tell, I won't be reading the sequel, but I do think this is a book that a lot of people will enjoy.
Cruel Beauty, Strands of Bronze and Gold, Cinder
Since I didn't love this book, I'm going to give it away below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway