My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead


Synopsis (From Good Reads):
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

What an intriguing premise: an entire village of people who cannot hear.  Why have they lost their hearing? What adaptations do they use to work together?  I really found this whole society to be fascinating.

What I liked:
The society:
I loved how this book shows how the people work together so that everyone could understand what is going on.  Fei is an apprentice chronicler.  Each morning she, and other apprentices, disperse around the area to observe the doings of the village.  Later, the students commence to write and illustrate scrolls to inform the rest of the village about what is happening.

While this is a beautiful aspect of the society, there is also a darker side to the village.  Food is received in exchange for the metal produced in the mines.  Because food is so scarce, anyone who cannot work is left to become a beggar.

The Love Story:
There is a caste system in this culture.  As an artist, Fei is in a higher rank, while her childhood love, Li Wei, is a miner and considered to be lower in importance.  Since this is the case, they cannot marry.  This is a small village and they can't really avoid each other for very long.

I loved how the two young people are drawn to each other.  They are destined to be together so it's only a matter of time before they must find a way to be together.  This part of the story was so sweet and romantic.

What I didn't like:
The fantasy element:
Prior to the introduction of the magical aspect of the story, the novel had a plausible explanation to why everyone is deaf, an why the village is in such dire straights.  Then the author had to introduce Fei having a psychic connection to magical creatures.  These creatures could be the key to helping the entire community survive.  This book didn't need mythical creatures and magic to assist the village.  I really would have preferred a more realistic solution to their problems.  The supernatural creatures took the reader out of the story.

This was still a lovely book of what someone will do to save their family.  The beautiful settings and characters make up for the silly ending.




Release Date:  November 10th, 2015

Source:  Public Library

Format:  E-book

Recommendation:  A quick read with a dreamlike quality, this is an escapist tale you will enjoy.

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  1. I believe this is the first positive review I've seen on this book so far! Which is good because I always think it's strange if it's just one thing or the other. And I'm glad you enjoyed it ;)

    1. Although some of it was fantastical, I enjoyed the romance, and the village. The author could have left out the fantasy element altogether and it would have been a better book.

  2. I gave this one a 2 which I was so sad about because I love this author (understatement) and I was really looking forward to this one. But I thought it was very weak, especially considering how strong her VA and Georgina Kincaid series are. I'm glad you liked it though :)

    Nereyda│ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist

    1. Since this was the first Richelle Mead book I have read, I had nothing to compare it to. I think it can be good for writers to try something new (even if it is not too successful). Every writing experience teaches us something. Perhaps she learned from this and will apply it in other books you will love.


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