PJV QUICKIE:

I keep getting excited about the new books coming out from Richelle Mead. The variation in their topics is also pretty impressive. SOUNDLESS was intriguing, a fantastical setting with a diverse character, nice. I was drawn to the audiobook too, since it was narrated by Kim Mai Guest, who has a beautiful narration voice.

This is one of the novels you have to be in the mood for. Everything about this book is light, but not light like trivial, more like feather light. The words are a whisper, the narrator is precise, the story is rich. SOUNDLESS was a delicate weaving of story, words and characters, which made for a refreshingly different read, but wasn’t compelling and exciting like other books in the genre.

This stand-alone read focuses on Fei, an adolescent living within a strange village on top of a mountain in an alternate historical Chinese landscape. Fei’s village has gone deaf, everyone, young and old cannot hear a thing. They could once hear, but slowly everyone lost their hearing and now they are slowly losing their vision.

The villagers are dependent on food delivered by a zipline from the bottom of the mountain, they send coal and they receive food. But, their supplies are dwindling and Fei has decided that she is the only hope for everyone in her village. She braves the mountain and does something that no one has done before and survived…venture out of her village.

M. Night Shyamalan meets Chinese Folklore in this original stand-alone by Richelle Mead. If you are a fan of the author you won’t want to miss this one. Check out the audiobook for another depth to the big picture, Kim Mai Guest soft, slightly accented narration is like the perfect accouterment to Mead’s rich story building.

Overall, though, the novel at times was predictable and I found no depth within the characters. Feelings between Fei and Shang were preestablished and Fei kept distance between herself and Zhang not for an understandable reason, but for what felt like a plot device. While again, I was stunned by Mead’s ability to paint a pretty picture, establish a stunning world and build suspense – I’m still waiting for the characters of her first books. The book felt like all the focus was on the research, world and the characters and budding romance were inserted to bring it all together. I could see so much potential in this novel…

About_the_book Soundless by Richelle Mead

Soundless by Richelle Mead

Published by Razorbill on November 10th 2015
ISBN: 1595147632
Genres: YA Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 266
Format: Audiobook
Also by this author: The Fiery Heart, Gameboard of the Gods, The Immortal Crown
3 Stars

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.




5 Comments

  1. Jen @ The Bookavid

    I’ve read quite a lot of mixed reviews about that one but yours kind of makes me think that it does have enough redeeming qualities to make it worth picking it up. I loved her VA series and have been eyeing this basically from the minute it was announced. Iffy about the Chinese folklore though, I’d love a Chinese person to comment on it and tell me whether this is just a bunch of appropriation garbage (as you so often encounter with white writers trying to tackle foreign culture)

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Yes! I would love to hear someone of Chinese heritage comment on this. Props to Mead for stepping into the diverse YA realm – but I wouldn’t have the stones to write about another culture unless I completely immersed myself in it. And then, my cousin got her masters in Chinese studies and still says there is a lot of cultural differences that are hard to understand. So… who knows.

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    I didn’t love this one either. I found it pretty predictable as well.

    Sarah
    The Midwest Darling

    Reply
  3. Patricia Eimer

    I keep wanting to love her later books but I just don’t. They’re good but they always feel a little thin? Is that a good word for it? It’s like the characters don’t grab me and say “you must hear my story right now or your life can’t continue”

    Reply

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