Soundless by Richelle Mead
or: I can hear clearly now the Hiatus has gone
Synopsis: 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…
I honestly don’t know why people don’t like this book. I loved this book! Some of my favourite reviewers really disliked it and I was really shocked when I found out. I do agree, Mead sometimes misses the mark, but I honestly really liked this book.
I’ve never really been exposed to much Chinese mythology, and Mead’s story has certainly inspired me to read more. Mead has done her research here, and while some are complaining of it’s lack of authenticity coming from a white author, I think they’re not considering how many people are now going to look into Chinese mythology because of this book.
Was there a few times Mead’s white-ness showed through? Yes. Did I mind? No. It can be forgiven because Mead has been nothing but respectful.
I liked the setting and the world building, I loved that the characters were deaf. I loved the tension and the struggle within the book. I loved the ending. I loved it.
I loved this book because it was so different to what Mead usually offers us. Mead made the brave call to go out on a limb and go into a new area. Because it was her first book since the end of the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines Universe, it was bound to stir up some anticipation and controversy.
This book did however, have issues with pace. Sometimes it felt like Mead was spending too long on parts that should have been short,sharp and snappy and racing over parts that needed more explanation. This isn’t a new problem for Mead, she struggled with this in the Dark Swan series and one or two books in Bloodlines/VA. I would have loved more time spent on the nature of a society where everyone is deaf; I feel like she skipped over it and focused solely on the village problem of not having food. I also wish she had taken more time to weave the cultural mythologies and fantasy through the story a bit more so it wasn’t so sharp of a surprise when very very strong fantasy was shoved down our throats right at the end.
I also kind of feel like Mead rushed this book. This entire book felt hurried. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe I was just a bit jolted by her change in narration style, but this I feel ties closely into her pace issues. Given hindsight and more recent knowledge on Mead’s up and coming projects- this feels like she quickly spat this book out before her new series, like she wanted to get the idea out of her head before she dedicated herself to the new series.
But, overall, as I said, I really enjoyed this book. I totally understand peoples different opinions and I totally understand why people may take offense. If you have been offended, I’d like to appologise on Mead’s behalf. We are still a long way from delivering perfect PoC stories, but I feel like this is a step in the right direction and encouraging the masses to read more PoC things.
I received this book in my November OwlCrate and I was so stoked to receive this book. Thank you Owlcrate!
Read: American Hardcover Edition
This Book was read in 2015 and was apart of my 2015 Reading Challenge.