Thursday, July 16, 2015
Fei lives in an isolated mountain-top village where everyone is deaf. Somewhere in their history, they simply lost that particular ability. Fei works in the most prestigious position: artist. These artists don't simply draw or paint what they want; they record the goings on of the day and display it for the village to read and see. Now, some of the villagers are also losing their sight, including Fei's sister Zhang. Along with her crush Li Wei, she decides to descend the mountain and confront the person who gives them every decreasing rations to survive. The journey will reveal secrets long kept and shatter their world.
I've enjoyed Richelle Mead's writing in the past, especially the Vampire Academy series, so I was excited to start Soundless. The world is interesting. It takes place in Ancient China and Fei's whole village is deaf. I liked the way their silent communication was written. There is no spoken dialog because even though Fei can hear, she can't understand spoken words. The best part of the novel for me was when Fei regained her hearing and began learning how to describe and get used to sounds. I also liked the inclusion of the pixius, Chinese mythological creatures who are hybrid creatures and protectors. I also enjoyed the underlying message of the story.
Overall, I was let down by the book. Fei wasn't horrible, but didn't wow me. She proved to be a little too perfect and less relatable. She has a typical romance with a typically attractive guy to save her isolated, oblivious world. The plot was too by the numbers for YA fiction. It just felt too similar to other stories like I'd read it before. The village seemed a little too simplistic since they seemed to only three classes: artist, miner, and servant. A village needs more than those types to function. The ending was way too deus ex machina for me, even though it was very obvious from early on. Soundless is a fast read, but didn't leave any lasting impression on me.
My rating: 3/5 fishmuffins