Format: Hardcover, 280 pages
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
War erupts in this bittersweet sequel to Of Metal and Wishes, inspired by The Phantom of the Opera and called “relentlessly engrossing” by The Romantic Times.
In the year since the collapse of the slaughterhouse where Wen worked as her father’s medical assistant, she’s held all her secrets close. She works in the clinic at the weapons factory and sneaks away to nurse Bo, once the Ghost, now a boy determined to transform himself into a living machine. Their strange, fragile friendship soothes some of the ache of missing Melik, the strong-willed Noor who walked away from Wen all those months ago—but it can’t quell her fears for him.
The Noor are waging a rebellion in the west. When she overhears plans to crush Melik’s people with the powerful war machines created at the factory, Wen makes the painful decision to leave behind all she has known—including Bo—to warn them. But the farther she journeys into the warzone, the more confusing things become. A year of brutality seems to have changed Melik, and Wen has a decision to make about him and his people: How much is she willing to sacrifice to save them from complete annihilation?
Of Dreams and Rust is the final installment in the Duology known as Of Metal and Wishes. A year has passed since the events of Of Mental and Wishes. Wen is now living at Gochan Two with her father Guiren, and working as a Medical Assistant. Gochan Two makes the War machine that will play an important role in this story. As a secret side project, she continues to try to nurse Bo back to health, but Bo doesn't exactly make things easy for Wen. Bo barely managed to survive and has become something more than human. In fact, I dare say that he would be happy if he were entirely covered in steal and wire.
But, the thing keeping Wen up at night, is thinking about Melik walking out of her life and the promise he made that they would be together again someday. As word comes in that the rebellion in the Western lands is spreading and that War Machines are being sent to quash the Noor rebellion, Wen makes a daring choice to leave Bo and her father behind to warn Melik's people what is heading their way. What Wen is doing may be considered treasonous, but perhaps it is just following what her heart is telling her, and not sticking around waiting for things to happen. Wen's journey proves that war is hell, and that innocents suffer from being stuck in the middle. Neither side is innocent. Both sides are guilty of atrocities as Wen witnesses first hand.
I am extremely happy that Wen's story turned into a duology rather than a standalone or trilogy. I am saddened by the heart breaking losses that occurred in this story. Too many deaths that I can't get my head around. Then again, War tears lives apart and leaves an everlasting painful reminder of those we no longer have in our life. I adore Wen's courage in the face of unbelievable odds. I love the fact that she offers her medical experience as a healer. I loved that Wen is portrayed as scared and indecisive at times, but she is kind and selfless and genuinely gives herself to both sides of the conflict helping both the Noor and her own people.
Here is a girl who leaves all she knows behind, travels by train that is attacked, and then finds herself in the middle of a brutal war between her own people, and the people she's come to respect. I loved Melik's mother. How adorable and awesome was she to stand up and accepted Wen as her own daughter when she could have turned her back, and demanded that she return home? I am genuinely okay with the way the story wraps up. I am grateful that Fine once again creates a wonderfully imaginable world, with a diverse cast of characters, and a heroine who has faced more challenges that one girl should have to deal with.
Well done, Ms Fine. Well done, indeed!