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…
In a village without sound…
Soundless by Richelle Mead Published by Razorbill on November 10th 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy, Young Adult
Also by this author: The Fiery Heart, Gameboard of the Gods, The Immortal Crown
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.
In a village without sound…