Monday, December 28, 2015

Erin: Soundless by Richelle Mead (ARC)

Soundless has been on my watch list since I met Richelle Mead at the beginning of the year and she told us about her book.  It was such a unique premise in such an interesting world that I really wanted to read it!  So thank you so much to Miss Print  for giving me an ARC copy of Soundless!

From Goodreads:

In a village without sound...

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.  Dei 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.

Erin's Thoughts:

I'm having a hard time gathering up how I feel about this book.  I haven't really read any of Richelle Mead's other books (I think I did read the very first Vampire Academy book, but didn't really like it enough to continue), so I can't really compare it.

Overall, I think it was okay.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either.  I love that Richelle Mead chose an Asian setting for her fantasy versus the typical Medieval/European setting (nothing wrong with those by the way, but there are an alarming number of them :)).  It was really refreshing that another part of the world being used for fantasy and I really loved it.  That said, I do think that the world building could have been stronger.  Because it was written in first person, everything was very limited to Fei's perspective.  I wanted to see more of this world and I almost wish it had been written in a different tense for this reason.  (Not that first-person can't convey good world building, but third-person does tend to be more expansive :)).

Soundless also has somewhat dystopian feel.  While definitely a fantasy, it did have enough elements to remind me of a dystopia.  Especially since it was written in first-person present, I couldn't help but be reminded of them.  And I'm not sure whether it was because of this specifically, (and I don't want to give anything away), but the twist was pretty predictable.

The end of the story (maybe about the last 60 pages) was also a little strange.  I understand that Richelle Mead was probably trying to incorporate some Chinese myths and legends into the book, but it was poorly executed.  It came somewhat out of the blue and seemed a little forced.

Richelle Mead really does have great writing though.  I found myself really drawn into her writing and noting how smoothly everything flowed.  She has great dialogue that kept very much in tone with the Chinese fantasy setting and I loved observing her writing (if that makes sense?).


I'm actually fluctuating between two and three bookies.  I'm not sure where I land on it exactly.  It was a fun read, but I'm not sure I would recommend it to others.  If you're curious, I would definitely give it a read to see what you think of it, but if not, I wouldn't say it's a book you have to read or anything.

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

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