Friday, 20 November 2015

Soundless, Richelle Mead

Pages: 266
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: 10th November 2015
Edition: US hardback, purchased

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 of 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.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever…

Soundless was one of my most anticipated books of the year, but it wasn’t quite all I wanted it to be.

I really love the premise of Soundless. An isolated, deaf community reliant on another town for supplies; Richelle Mead’s promise of a ton of Chinese myth and folklore; a standalone fantasy and my love for Mead’s previous novels, but this one didn’t really deliver on its promises. However, it’s a quick, easy and fun read and I was really rooting for the book to succeed on its brilliant ideas.

Everything was there, but there just wasn’t enough of it. This is a short novel at under 270 pages, especially for a standalone fantasy, and I think it was too short. Soundless could have done with at least another 100 pages. The world building wasn’t up to Mead’s standards, the Chinese folklore only came in at the very end and there was so little development with Fei, Li Wei and their relationship. It didn’t entirely feel like a Richelle Mead novel because these are the areas that she excels in; these are the things that made me fall so in love with the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series’. Such a shame.

Though Soundless isn’t Richelle Mead at her best, it’s still worth a read for fans of her books and those interested in the world she's created here. I’ll just be keeping my attention on her upcoming release, The Glittering Court, and hoping for the best.


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