I am so excited and delighted to be participating in Sarah Fine's Of Dreams and Rust Tour. This is the sequel to Fine's brilliant Of Metal and Wishes, and the conclusion of the series. I am a big, avid fan of Ms. Fine because everything I have read by her is fantastic, and this book is no exception. This is a book of feels and powerful emotion. You will experience the butterfly highs of love, the powerful pain of grief and loss, and the turbulent emotions experienced during war. I loved this book, and I cannot recommend this series enough, but that is enough rambling from me. Let's get to the good stuff and meet Sarah.
Sarah Fine is the author of several books for teens, including Of Metal and Wishes and its sequel, Of Dreams and Rust, and the Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series. She is also the co-author (with Walter Jury) of two YA sci-fi thrillers: Scan and its sequel Burn. Sarah is also the author of the adult urban fantasy series, Servants of Fate, with the third book in the series, Fated, releasing September 2015. When Sarah’s not writing, she’s psychologizing. Sometimes she does both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.
To find out more about Sarah and her books visit her on website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Goodreads.
I am pleased to have Sarah here for an interview today so let's get to it!
Hi Sarah, I am thrilled to have you here once again on Rainy Day Ramblings. You already know that I am a huge fan, and I continue to love everything you put out. I am excited to be able to have you answer a few short questions.
1. For new readers, can you describe your Of Metal and Wishes Duology in a tweet?
Wen protects an oppressed people & falls in love with their leader while balancing a relationship with a very UNbalanced ghost/boy/machine.
2. You are a child psychologist during the day, what made you decide to pursue writing? How do you balance your career, writing and your family?
I started writing very abruptly about five and a half years ago because I needed both a challenge and an emotional escape. I never expected it to go as far as it has—I’m still sort of bemused by it.
The balance part of things is pretty challenging, to be honest. In June, I made the difficult decision to leave my psychology job. I doubt it will be a forever thing, but my writing schedule is extremely busy right now and in May my son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which has required a huge amount of my time and energy to manage. Writing, fortunately, is flexible and I can work from home, so that’s been a blessing.
3. There are some powerful and important themes in Of Dreams and Rust, from prejudice, women's equality, racism, love and war. What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I hope they’ll question their assumptions about the value of one way of being or thinking over another. But mostly, I just hope they’ll find the story riveting and the characters memorable.
4. I am always impressed with your world building. Do you do any type of research for your world building? What inspires your worlds?
I do all sorts of research, but mostly to bolster the things I’ve already decided to do, and to render them plausible and believable. For example, while writing ODAR I did a lot of research about steam engines and how many tons of coal and water are required to power a machine of a certain weight as it traverses a certain distance or a certain incline. I also researched engineering models of the motion of spider legs. I also just made a lot of s*&t up.
In terms of what inspires my worlds—so many things. OMAW was inspired by turn of the 20th century factory life, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair,
the writing of Ha Jin,
conversations with my sister (who lives in China), the terrain of Xinjiang, and about a million other things. When I get an idea, it’s a little like a snowball rolling downhill—it spins and churns and picks up all kinds of things along the way, until it reaches the bottom, huge and complex and ugly and fascinating.
5. I love that you write such beautiful and realistic romances. Do you base your romances on real life experiences?
Perhaps I’m revealing too much about myself here, but … ha! No.
6. I admire your heroines whether it be Lela from Guards of the Shadowlands, Wen in Of Metal and Wishes or Cacia and Galena from your Servants of Fate Series. I love that all your women characters are strong, independent and able to fight for those they love and what they believe. Of your heroines, who do you admire the most?
You know, Lela Santos will always hold a very special place in my heart. I love all my heroines, but of all of them, I think I love her as if she’s one of my own kids (and of all of them, she’s the one most in need of a mother, which is why I gave her Diane). She’s been through hell (literally), but every time she’s punched down, she gets back up. She’s salty and fierce and loves so hard that it’s impossible for me not to love her back.
7. I can't forget to mention your swoon worthy male leads, from Malachi (Guards of The Shadowland), Eli and Declan (Servants of Fate) and Melik (Of Metal and Wishes). Do you have a favorite from your leading men?
Well, this is certainly a tough choice, because I love all of them, and when I’m writing their stories, I love them THE MOST. But right now … Moros! He’s the hero of Fated and has this jaded, amused way of seeing the world (which he’s earned—he’s thousands of years old and the living personification of doom), but ultimately he does whatever he can to protect the people he’s responsible for. Falling in love really throws him for a loop, and I gave him a pretty awesome and formidable heroine (Aislin Ferry) to tangle with.
8. I am excited for the release of the third book in your Servants of Fate Series, Fated, at the end of September, can you tell readers a bit about that book and series?
Servants of Fate is an adult urban fantasy/romance series set in 22nd century, post-apocalyptic Boston, about a wealthy, powerful family of guides for dead souls who have to stop a plot to unravel the fabric of fate. A different couple is featured in each book, and it’s definitely NOT YA, but it was certainly a lot of fun to write. Fated centers around Moros and Aislin, who is the eldest of the Ferry siblings and the Charon, the leader of the entire Ferry empire. This book bring the series to its epic conclusion, and I hope readers will really enjoy it!
9. What is next for you after you release Fated?
The Impostor Queen! It’s a YA fantasy that comes out in January 2016, about a girl raised and trained as the future queen and heir to the infinite fire and ice magic her people depend on for survival—but when the time comes, the magic doesn’t enter her. She’s not the chosen one after all. Cue panic and chaos. Wheee! I’m currently writing the sequel.
Also, I’m working on another adult urban fantasy series, but I can’t say much more about that right now. Hopefully soon, though! I’m unbelievably excited about it.
10. Finally, what are your favorite reads so far for 2015?
I also have to say—I’ve read two books by Brigid Kemmerer this year that come out NEXT year—Thicker Than Water and Letters To The Dark, and both are phenomenal. Get those on your Goodreads to-read shelf IMMEDIATELY.
A huge thank you Sarah for taking the time out of your crazy busy schedule to answer my questions. I am eager to see what you have in store for us next. Best of luck with your release of Of Dreams and Rust and Fated. I hope to have you back here soon.
As part of the tour, I am able to offer you an opportunity to to win a set of The Metal and Wishes Duology. to enter fill out the Rafflecopter. Please note: This giveaway is not hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings, I will not be responsible for choosing the winners and for distributing the prizes.
Don't miss the rest of the tour:
August 4: My Friends Are Fiction
August 5: Reading Teen
August 6: Rainy Day Ramblings
August 7: The Starry-Eyed Review
August 10: There Were Books Involved
August 11: Writer of Wrong
August 12: Love is Not a Triangle
August 13: The Quiet Concert
August 14: Nick's Book Blog
Here is my review:
Of Dreams and Rust (Metal and Wishes #2) by Sarah Fine
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?
Hardcover 288 pages
Published: August 4th 2015 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Five stars: An emotional and beautiful ending to a must read series!
For Wen, it has been a year since the night the slaughterhouse was destroyed, and Melik walked out of her life with the promise that they would one day meet again. As the days dragged by, Wen busied herself working as a physician's aid in Gochan Two, the war factory. One morning on her way to work, Wen overhears one of the bosses making plans for war. Huge, spider-like war machines are being constructed in Gochan Two, and soon they will be unleashed on the unsuspecting Noors. Heartsick, Wen faces a desperate and daring choice. Will she stay in the safety of the Rings, or head out to the small settlements where war wages, to warn the Noor before their villages and hundreds of innocent people are slaughtered? Will Wen betray her own people for love?
What I Liked:
- What a fantastically beautiful and heartbreaking read. Full of such powerful and bittersweet emotion. I have said this before, but it bears repeating: Sarah Fine knows how to write genuine and realistic characters, breathtaking romances, and stories that grab hold of your emotions and don't let go until the final pages. Once again, Ms. Fine has completely managed to take hostage of my heart with this book. I urge you to check out the Of Metal and Wishes Duology. It is a series that will long linger in my heart and head.
- Wen is the heart and soul of the series. She is a young lady who is used to hardship and sacrifice. A year ago, her whole world and belief system was turned upside down when she met and fell in love with the enemy, a young Noor man named Melik. A year later, Wen has managed to keep her head down and become a skilled physician's assistant, but her heart yearns for the tall, red haired Noor who is out there somewhere fighting for his people and survival. Wen no longer sees the Noor as brutal, ignorant and wild people, instead she knows they are kind, loyal people who are fighting for their homes and families. Time and time again, Wen is forced to make difficult and heart wrenching decisions. Does she betray her own people to save the Noor? Who does she offer aid to in war, her people or the Noor? I loved watching Wen grow and transform as she let go of the propaganda that once ruled her life. I admired her courage, as well as her determined and fierce spirit. I especially enjoyed watching her learn to see that people are people, no matter their race, and that no one is the victor in war. So many powerful and thought provoking themes in this book.
- Let's talk about the two heroes of the book: Melik and Bo. Melik is a strong leader among is people, but he also, like Wen, has learned to see the gray in the lines drawn between the two societies. He knows that no one is the winner in war, and he acts heroically and nobly time and time again, either while defending his people or showing mercy to the enemy. Bo, on the other hand, is a young man used to living in darkness. He was once the ghost haunting the slaughterhouse, a boy who is disfigured and scarred, one who wears a mask and has a love for machinery. The two boys see the world very differently except when it comes to Wen. Though they didn't see eye to eye, they did come together. Both men were so brave and valiant. I loved watching them grow and transform right along with Wen. I especially liked their sacrifices and heroics.
- The romance is absolutely breathtaking. First, I must warn you that there are shades of a love triangle, but before you turn away, I will tell you that it is always clear from the beginning who holds Wen's heart. The second suitor is a close companion and friend whom she loves dearly but more like a brother. Once the couple is reunited, it seems that the romance might have all been a dream, one that is unable to stand in the real world that is ravaged by war. Yet, once the stumbling blocks are overcome, the romance blossoms, and it is truly beautiful. Many of the scenes where they are together and sharing their feelings are so achingly beautiful and sentimental. Ms. Fine excels at writing the most lovely and heart felt romances that never fail to capture my heart. There were several scenes in this one that tugged at my heart strings. I loved it.
- I much preferred the setting in this book compared to the first book. Thankfully, the nasty business of the slaughterhouse is left behind, and this book instead takes place in the hills and canyons where the Noor live. It is a much easier, and kinder way of life. I enjoyed getting to know the Noor and seeing how they viewed the world. I especially loved their way of thinking when it came to the women. The Noor are far from the savages that the Itanyai believe them to be. The Noor are a kind and compassionate people, who love deeply and fiercely and never forget to take advantage of the now.
- This is such a powerful and emotional read that will keep you turning the pages. There are so many feels packed into this small book. I loved this journey and experiencing the depth and the power as well as the range of the emotions. If you are a reader that likes all the feels in a read, this is one you must experience.
- The ending is bittersweet. It culminates after much grief and loss with a simple and lovely scene full of hope and promise for the future. I was able to close the book satisfied and happy at the way things played out. A fitting end for an outstanding series.
And The Not So Much:
- The book picks up a year after the explosive and deadly events at the end of Of Metal and Wishes. During that time, Wen and Bo have grown closer and closer. I was a bit surprised at Wen's change of heart. At the end of the first book, she was a bit terrified and repulsed by Bo, and at the start of this book, she has developed strong feelings for him. I wish that there had been more on how their relationship progressed. I wanted a better understanding as to Wen's change of heart.
- Even though I loved the way the book ended, I was surprised at how quickly it culminated, in fact, I thought it was a bit abrupt. It goes from a terrifying scene of chaos and destruction, and then moves into the rapid finale. In fact, the final pages where the reader wants to take a moment and breath while basking in the good parts is only three pages long, and it isn't even separated out into an Epilogue or a final chapter, instead from one paragraph to the next it jumps ahead a few months. I wish that it was a bit more drawn out because after all the emotion and the turbulence, I wanted a few more minutes with the characters I had grown to love before their story ends.
Of Dreams and Rust is a powerful, unforgettable and moving book that completes the Of Wishes and Metal duology. This was an amazing series that you must experience. It is all about growth and change set against the violence of war. I loved exploring the themes and the emotions. If you have not tried a book yet by Sarah Fine, I urge you to check out this series.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Don't miss the first book in the series:
And be sure to check out Sarah's other series: Guards of the Shadowlands
and her Servants of Fate Series: