Author: Richelle Mead
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Hardcover, 272 Pages
Publication Date: November 10th, 2015
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Summary: For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. 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 and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation. But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.A good blogger friend of ours, Jaclyn from Living in a World of Book Quotes, managed to snag me a copy of Soundless at BookCon this past May. We met up ASAP during the even (I was actually on line at the Adi Alsaid signing at the time) to swap books and take some pictures! So Jaclyn, if you're reading this, thank you again for the awesome opportunity to be able to read this book. :)
Now, onto the book itself. I've really been looking forward to this book, partially because the synopsis itself drew me right in and also partially because I was curious to see how Richelle Mead's writing was when she wasn't writing about vampires and mythical creatures. I have been a huge Vampire Academy fan from the very first book and got hooked on Bloodlines as well, so I went into this book hoping that I would love it just as much as I loved Richelle's two previous series.
The book takes place in a Chinese village way up on a mountain, and the main character's name is Fei. Her entire village is deaf and communicates only through sign language and the written word - and it is unclear to them exactly why the villagers began to lose their hearing years and years ago. Now the village runs on silence and painting records to tell everyone important messages. Fei is an artist's apprentice, and what seems like an normal (although very talented in the artistic sense) girl...until she's even more than that. One night Fei wakes up after a terrible dream, frightened by a loud noise.
And then she realizes that she is the only person in her entire village who has regained their hearing.
I was definitely very intrigued by how the villagers spent their entire life not hearing any sounds. I'm well aware that there are plenty of people in our modern-day world that are deaf, but to have an entire community oblivious to everything around them and living their entire lives in silence? It was a concept that I found hard to wrap my head around, and it definitely interested me. If you sit down and think about it for a second, I'm sure that you'll have a definite whoa kind of second.
Yeah. There it is.
Mead created a strong and dependable character in Fei, one that I definitely grew to like from the very beginning. Not only is she talented and brave, but she's also insanely loyal - to her village and to those she loves. No matter how dire the circumstances got for Fei, she went right back into the face of danger to save those she cared about - even if not all of them appreciated it right at that moment.
The overall plot was nice, and I liked it. It wasn't anything mind-blowing and spectacular, but it was a good story. If I had to choose between Soundless and Vampire Academy, I feel that I would still choose Rose and Dimitri and everyone at VA solely because I was so engrossed in that entire series from start to finish. This book definitely didn't meet VA standards for me, but it's still an enjoyable read that I encourage everybody to try. I'm not entirely sure if this book is going to become a series or not - it was left off at a point where it could either end or continue on for another book, possibly two. As of right now I haven't heard anything about a potential series, but if it does end up happening, I definitely think I'll pick up the next book because I want to see what happens next!
All in all, Soundless was a thrilling, intriguing, enjoyable read that I feel good about having read. The best way that I could describe this book to anybody is that it's like a Chinese version of The Hunger Games, kinda - not so much with the fighting but with the capital and starvation and all of that stuff. It's a good book that I'm glad Jaclyn was able to snag me at BookCon, and I am now forever in her debt. :-) I enjoyed Soundless and I hope that everyone else will, too!