by Richelle Mead
Publication date: Nov. 10, 2015
Genre: Fantasy Young Adult
In a village without sound…
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…
And unlocks a power that will save her people.
Fei’s village is on top of a mountain. There is no way for her people to get off the mountain and so they have a system set up where they mine metal to send down the mountain via rope and basket and the line master then sends up food. However, the food they get is just enough for them to survive, it’s usually moldy and not in the best of shape, and if they do anything that displeases the line keeper, like not producing enough metal, their rations get smaller. To add onto that, Fei’s village is completely deaf and some are starting to go blind. When things start taking a turn for the worst for her village, Fei and her friend, Le Wei, climb down the mountain in hope of talking to the line keeper and convincing him to give them more food. However, when they get to the bottom of the mountain, they realize that their entire village has been deceived and there’s an entire empire just at the base of the mountain.
I love me some Richelle Mead. I had such high hopes for this but I just wasn’t feeling it. Soundless has all the ingredients for an amazing book. It has Chinese folklore, mystery, adventure, and romance. However, it just didn’t work. I found myself almost bored right from the beginning and I never really got fully invested in the story. The only reason why I stuck with it is because it’s written by my favorite author. The Chinese folklore was barely there, the adventure wasn’t as suspenseful as I thought it would be, and the romance just didn’t add up. It almost just seemed like the two of them were thrown together just for the romance. I didn’t actually “feel the love.”
Maybe it’s because this felt more like a dystopian than a fantasy novel. I mean, there is a smidgen of fantasy at the end but it sort of felt like it came out of nowhere. Honestly, it left me a bit confused. But it just didn’t have the same feel to it that I’ve come to expect from Richelle’s writing. I mean, there was very little world building, you are pretty much just thrown into the world and expected to just believe it without really understanding what’s going on and why. And then, like I said, when the fantasy part hits you, it clocks you upside the head out of nowhere.
It pains me to rate this book because I love this author’s work but I suppose you can’t win them all. Unfortunately, this just didn’t work for me. It lacked the adventure, the wold building, the character depth, and pretty much all that I’ve come to know from Richelle Mead’s work.
“Perfection is an admirable thing to strive for. But so is knowing when to stop.”