Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: SOUNDLESS by Richelle Mead

Release Date: November 10, 2015

Publisher: Razorbill

Page Count: 272

Rating: 2/5 Stars

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. 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…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

** I was sent a copy of this book for review by Razorbill/ Penguin teen. In no way does it affect the rating I gave this book. 

SOUNDLESS had such a cool concept, and was one of those books that had me intrigued just from the synopsis, and was therefore a book that I had been looking forward to reading for a very long time. So when I received a package in the mail from Razorbill containing this book, I was ecstatic. However, once I started reading, I can't exactly say that I felt the same way. 

I found Soundless to be....well, rather disappointing. I was expecting it to be full of these cool new twists on Chinese mythology, but what I found was a story, set in China, that seemed to lack the mythological aspect to it. I buddy-read this book with a good friend of mine who happens to know a lot about Chinese mythology and they said the same thing. The story also seemed to lack the fantastical elements that I was expecting. 

When it comes to the writing itself, it's great! I'd never read a Richelle Mead book, so I was excited to experience what her writing is like. I think she is a beautifully talented writer, but I just don't think that SOUNDLESS really hit the mark in terms of living up to the quality of her writing. No essence, the writing was a definite 5/5 stars for me, but the story was 2/5 stars at most. 

One of the elements of this story that proved to be a bit of a problem for me was the characters themselves. Their dialogue was, in my opinion, a bit dull; there was nothing about their personalities that kept me engaged and wanting to read more, or that made them memorable characters for me. Their weak portrayal, along with the insta-love element of the story (which is something that I'm really sick of seeing in non-contemporary YA stories) just seemed to turn me off from this story. 

I also wished, while reading the story, that there was a twist, or something that really surprised the readers. While there is one major plot twist, it is also one that is discussed within the blurb for the book. So, readers like myself who read the blurb before reading the book are already made aware of this twist before the book even begins. I find this to be rather frustrating with books, especially with ones that don't provide any material other than that to surprise the readers and keep them wanting more. Maybe it's just me being overly-critical, but I wish that there was something a little more exciting included within this plot. 

 Overall, I found SOUNDLESS to be all right. I read it, it was fine, but it's not a story that I'll probably remember for years to come, nor is it one that I would reread. However, with that said, I am looking forward to jumping into Richelle Mead's VAMPIRE ACADEMY series, and hopefully I will enjoy that a lot more. 

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