Soundless was one of my most anticipated reads for 2015, and after I bought it, I kept putting off reading it, because of a lot of negative reviews. I’m not usually one to read a lot of negative reviews on a book before I read it (especially one that’s so high up on my “holy crap I’m super excited for this!” list), but seeing that maybe people’s unfavorable opinions on it put me off of reading it for a bit.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people didn’t like this book, especially after reading the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series. I haven’t read any of Richelle Mead’s other books, so I can’t really compare them to this, but I actually kind of enjoyed this.
I liked the whole Chinese folklore/mythology thing that this book had going on. I honestly never read anything like this, and I was stunned at how well it was written.
“Our village came to terms with silence when our ancestors lost their hearing generations ago for unknown reasons, but plunging into darkness? That’s a fate that scares us all.”
Fei is used to not being able to hear. No one in her village has been able to hear for a very long time – her ancestors lost their hearing many years ago. Since the people living in her village have never had their hearing, they don’t really miss it – they communicate through signing. However, when the villagers start going blind, things start to get scary for them – after all – there will not be any jobs available to them if they can no longer see or hear, and they end up as beggars on the street.
Fei and her sister both work as artists in the village – they observe the things that go on in the village and then paint the daily news – and for their work, they are rewarded more than the other villagers, such as the miners or servants. However, when Fei’s sister begins to lose her sight, and the elders of the village begin to notice, she can’t continue to help her. However, one night, Fei wakes up after a strange dream – and she is able to hear. At first the experience confused her, but as she began to realize what was going on, things changed for her.
In order to figure out what was happening in her village, Fei decided to go off with an old childhood friend, who she no longer gets to talk to because of her status as an artist and his as a miner. When he tells her he is leaving the village to figure out what is going on, she convinces him that she can hear and that she can go along, too.
When the two of them set off to figure out the mystery of why the villagers are losing their sight, they find some things that they might not have been ready for – and Fei is determined to get back to her village and save the others.
The whole premise for Soundless is fantastic, and the way the story is told makes for a nice read. I liked Fei’s character, and her determination to save her village – she wasn’t the kind of girl who relied on everyone around her to fix things – she takes charge and gets things done. There is a romance between Fei and the guy she goes with to get to the bottom of things, and it’s actually pretty sweet.
“Once I felt like I had too many senses, now I suddenly feel as though they’ve all disappeared. I hear nothing. I see nothing. All I’m aware of in the world at that moment is the feel of his lips on mine.”
Sometimes I feel like romances hinder the plot of the story, but this one didn’t really take center stage, and it was a nice little side-thing going on while they were working on fixing their village.
I think this book was really well put together, and you can tell a lot of thought and research was put into writing it. I really liked this, so I’m looking forward to other books my Richelle Mead.