Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine

Title: Of Dreams and Rust
Author: Sarah Fine
Series: Of Metal and Wishes #2
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Source: ARC obtained through trading

Summary from Goodreads:
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?


It's been a year since Wen and Melik have parted at the end of Of Metal and Wishes but despite the time and distance between them, Wen's heart is still very much with Melik. After she hears of her people's plan for war, she decides to leave the relative safety of the Ring with the hope of finding and warning Melik before it is too late. This book is very action-packed as Wen reunites with Melik and together they try to save the people they love from the weapons of war bearing down on them. Naturally, war brings death and Sarah Fine does not go easy on our gentle hearts. But its those losses that make the wins that much more precious. My heart was all over the place with this one.

Wen and Melik's relationship arc was extremely well done. They've spent a year apart and that's enough time to change people. Wen is insecure when she reunites with Melik and doubts whether her feelings are still reciprocated. And when Melik first appears hard and unforgiving, Wen worries that war has hardened him beyond her recognition. I thought these were very honest questions given the circumstances of their relationship. But Melik proves that he's just as steady and loyal as ever. Together they face trials that that would challenge the  strongest of relationships and I loved watching their love persevere. They were wonderful together.

For those of you who are wondering, Bo is still very much present in this sequel and Wen and Bo's relationship is still a complicated one. But even though Wen cares for Bo deeply, I never felt that her feelings went beyond a sibling/friend type of love. He was also a very interesting character to explore as he oscillated between love and hate and immaturity and maturity in his actions and expressions. Yet, despite everything, I still wanted the best for him.

Of Dreams and Rust was such an AMAZING sequel and conclusion to Of Metal and Wishes. Sarah Fine continues to amaze me with her brilliant storytelling, and penchant for creating the best romances. I cannot recommend this duology or the rest of her work enough. I have never given a single book of hers less than 5 glowing stars.

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