A Metallic Opera Song

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine is a haunting retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, opens a new window, set within a slaughterhouse inhabited by the factory ghost. Wen, who works in the medical clinic with her father, is humiliated by one of the workers. She makes an impulsive wish to the Ghost, which is quickly granted, and starts a flurry of events with the racial tension brewing inside the factory to an explosive end.

What seems like a simple retelling twists into something new and deadly, able to please both fans and non-fans of the original. Wen and her love interests do play a large role while the big picture still revolves around the story and characters. Plenty of the book deals with racial prejudice without becoming too preachy, and retaining the mysterious tone that is spread around the pages.

People of all ages should try out this intelligent and decisive read, teen or not. With Broadway in Tucson showing Andrew Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and the creepy fall season slinking into style, there isn’t a better to jump into this book and get into the ghostly mood.
-Vania Ding, River Teen Advisory Board