Synopsis: There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.
Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.
As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront 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. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.
Huge thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books and Edelweiss for this ARC!
While I feel bad for missing the deadline on this, I’m also really happy that I read it now, right before Halloween. PERFECT CREEPY FALL READ. This is a re-telling of The Phantom of the Opera and I LOVED that, and I loved this. I loved that it took place in a slaughterhouse, that there was a ‘ghost’ and that it was a mix of what felt like a dystopian world with steam punk elements. It actually never says when or where this takes place, but I kept picturing a future China after having some huge technological crash. They do have some modern conveniences in here, but then there’s also a lot of things that feel very historical.
I really liked the characters in this. Some I LOATHED. And I love that I loathed them. A lot of them got what they deserved, and others broke my heart. I loved Wen, loved her relationship with her father (even the bad parts) and her relationships with both Melik and the ‘ghost’.
The writing in this is beautiful and parts of it are just down right savage. There’s a lot of blood, a lot of death, a lot of killing. There’s also quite a handful of social commentary, which I thought was woven in quite well and didn’t come across as preachy at all.
I can’t wait for the next book! Super excited to see how everyone’s fates turn out.