Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Folklore
Publication Date: 10th November 2015
Summery : For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village. Her people are at the mercy of a mysterious faraway kingdom, which delivers food in return for precious metals mined from the treacherous cliffs surrounding them.
When villagers begin to lose their sight, their rations shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the boy she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.
Then Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.
Soundless is the story of a deaf village who live on the top of a mountain, unable to climb down. They rely on trade, they send metals, golds and silvers down the mountain in return for food from the towns below. However one day when the deaf civilianists start to also turn blind, they have no choice but to investigate their food options down below with the town’s people. This job is ultimately down to Fei, the only girl in the village who has regained her hearing.
I admittedly started this novel around three months ago, it took me THAT long to get through it. I don’t know if that reflects my enjoyment of the novel or my ability to read YA fantasy stories slowly. I read around half of it in three months and the other half in two days (it defintely gets better towards the end!) It was my first reading of anything Richelle Mead, and the premise sounded interesting for a YA novel, so I was excited to get in to the world.
Whereas I didn’t completely dislike this novel, it was just a little bit of a let-down after the amount of hype it had during its release. Seeing the later reviews, I probably would have stayed clear. Soundless based upon Chinese folklore, something that I’ve never had experience reading before and that basis in a YA novel seemed unique. It’s something new if you’re bored of typical YA stories.
With that said, the idea of the YA romance within the novel was what you might call a ‘typical over cliché YA romance.’ Fei has a love interest, in the form of a strong young mine worker obviously whom she is forbidden to be with. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much as every good story needs a love interest, and admittedly most of the story was based on the journey and the adventure they were taking on. However, the love was so clichéd it did not make for a good read at all. That might be showing my inability to tolerate YA romance now-a-days, however I just did not like it.
Some parts of the story just didn’t fit together for me and seemed to be contradictory of themselves. Little aspects of the world they lived in were not thought through. Maybe this is my imagining of the world, but to me it really does seem like the writing slipped up. These are the small, niggling things that really bother you when you read!
I don’t think I’ll pick up another Richelle Mead book, I enjoyed the story and the idea, I just wish it was executed better than it was. It really is a shame that I wasn’t too fond of the story, it was highly anticipated!