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 from 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 Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever.
It might be titled Soundless but it has caused me to make a lot of noise! Yes I said it, and yes I know how corny it sounds, but Richelle Mead’s latest book almost hits all the nails on the head for me. I wanted my first official review for Aussie Owned and Read to be by an author I admired, and Richelle Mead is absolutely on my list of great YA authors.
Beginning with a more realistic world than in previous novels, but with a familiar strong female protagonist, Mead easily pulled me into a seemingly plausible story, so much so that I read the entire novel in two short blocks.
Fei is a likable main character who struggles with her devotion to her sister, her love of a childhood friend and her desire to save her village. It is these three elements however, that are also her driving force, pushing her to overcome the varied and increasing challenges she is faced with.
Fictional elements are hinted at throughout the book, but the realistic plot held true until almost the very end. By doing this it could have led the reader to feel jolted away from the story they thought they were reading, but Richelle has perfected her writing style so that the reader is both stunned at the addition of dragon / lion creatures but also instantly believes that their presence is both necessary and a completely natural addition.
The ‘unlikely romance’ is more rather an expected one with the reader instantly feeling the two characters connection. It is nice though that this is not the focus of the story, but rather is used to both drive Fei forward, and obstruct her at times in her path to achieving her main goal of saving the village and her sister.
An easy read with an uncluttered story line, Soundless will please both newbies and devoted fans of Mead’s work. I give Soundless 4 stars, only holding back 1 star as the epilogue felt a little like an info dump and I would have loved the pixius to play a bigger role throughout.
Curl up on the lounge and shut out the world with Soundless, you will not be disappointed.
Rebecca’s love of storytelling began with her curled up on her mother’s lap, and only grew with her throughout her life. She started a family and settled into her home in a small town on the coast of NSW, continuing to feed her creativity in any way possible, creating custom cakes, original artworks and most certainly writing. Right now Rebecca is editing her MS while shopping her completed childrens stories. “Believeing our characters need us to tell their story is why we do what we do.” Find her on twitter here.