Soundless by Richelle Mead
Published: November 10 2015
Goodreads Rating: 3.37/5 stars
My Rating: 3.75/5 stars
For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.
When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.
One girl hears a call to action…
Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.
She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…
Happy Sunday everybody! I just finished Soundless after avoiding it for quite awhile and I have to say, it was good. To be honest, I was really hesitant to start this book because the Goodreads reviews were honestly pretty foul. Were they justified? Maybe. But it was a really huge turn off and I wish I had avoided those reviews. I also wasn’t too sure if I wanted to read a standalone, I really like when fantasy books are trilogies or a huge series. It makes it worth my time to invest in the series.
As I’m feeling kind of mellow today I don’t really have that much to say about this book. I wasn’t on the hype train and my expectations weren’t unmet. This book is exactly what I expected it to be. It’s a pretty short read (266 pages) so you know that not a lot can happen, there also aren’t any cliffhangers, love triangles, and meaningless fillers.
One thing that really drew me into the book – and what kept me reading – was that it was such a unique concept for YA lit: a deaf village and Asian folklore! How could you not read a book like that? It was so fascinating to see this being done in a book and I loved to read about it.
It was a slower paced book, but it was done well. I feel like this has to be stated, but this isn’t an epic fantasy, paranormal romance, none of that. It’s not a super exciting, action-packed, “sit on the edge of your seat” kind of book. It’s pleasant. It’s a good read for a bus ride, sitting in a waiting room, going to the bathroom (LETS BE HONEST GUYS).
The characters were pretty average but they stood by their beliefs. Fei was a likable character who knew what she wanted and what responsibilities she had. I really loved that Fei was willing to sacrifice her happiness for the greater good. Many people perceive those with physical disabilities as weak or unable to properly care for themselves. Fei’s love interest was deaf but he was the strongest miner in the village, strong-willed, determined, courageous, and willing to sacrifice himself for love. Mead didn’t define him by this small physical limitation, choosing to make him bigger than that. He was as strong – if not stronger – than many other male interests in YA and I loved that. I also loved that this book was in dedication to her father, who seems to have also been deaf.
As a final note, this book is nothing like Mead’s popular Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series. Which really isn’t a bad thing. Does the market need to be flooded with more vampire books? No. The only thing similar between all these books is her writing style, and that’s not a bad thing. I saw a lot of critiques on the lack of world building, but I found that enough information gets revealed as you go on. So although it’s slow to start, the book gets more interesting as you progress further into the storyline.
Anyways, that’s all my thoughts on this book. Have you read it? Would you want to read it? Let me know. :]