First of all, I had read about 1/2 the book when I discovered that it's listed as a YA. I would assume it's because Wen is only 16 in the novel. But nothing in the book screams YA. I think the publisher is being "age-ist". ;)
I really dove right into this story. It's a very interesting novel that I described to someone as Beauty and the Deranged Beast, plus another boy and a bunch of mechanical death spiders. Now doesn't that grab you!?
Wen is the central character with many men circling her. Her father, who's terribly in debt from buying his patients medicine with his own money, a cruel and perverse plant manager who enjoys young girls, a worker whose heritage is looked down upon, and finally - a ghost. But is the ghost really what it seems?
The novel has some fairly implausible plot lines - but that's the beauty of fiction. You don't analyze it, you just sit back and enjoy the ride. The ending rather left it open for a sequel, but if that doesn't happen I believe it was ending enough for the reader.
Of Metal and Wishes
Margaret K. McElderry Books (August 5, 2014)
This love story for the ages, set in a reimagined industrial Asia, is a
little dark, a bit breathless, and completely compelling.
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.
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?