Author: Richelle Mead
Published By: Razorbill | 17 November 2015
Date Read: 04 February 2016
Rating: 3/5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.
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…
Richelle Mead is one of the authors that I keep reading and hearing about since I started blogging. But for some certain reasons, I was not able to pick up any of her works until now. I was fortunate to win a copyof Soundless from PRH so now I finally have a means to read one of her works. 😉
From just reading the blurb of Soundless, I was instantly intrigued. On to the first chapter and my mind is already working in overtime – Who’s sending the foods and built the zipline? What’s the purpose? Why do the villager’s senses begin to lose? Was it all a curse? What lies below the mountain? What would be Fei’s next move? Too many questions that I’m hoping to get answers to.
Fei lives in a village situated on top of the mountain. A village without a sound. Their way of life on the top of the mountains was very restricted and limited that’s why they follow a systematic method of life – artists, miners, suppliers. The miners mine the mountains for precious metals and send it down to the base of the zipline attached on their end of the mountain and in return they get goods – foods, clothing and other necessities. The villagers have no knowledge on who is at the end of the line and what lies down below them.
But when some of the villager’s sight begins to lose, fewer precious metals are mined and the deliveries also start to shrink.
“Our village came to terms with silence when our ancestors lost their hearing generations ago for unknown reasons, but being plunged into darkness? That’s a fate that scares us all.”
Fei together with Li Wei (her love interest erm a boy from her past) have decided to get to the end of things. They would scale down that mountain and try to talk to the line keeper to help their village. And this is where the most exciting part of the story starts for me.
“Everyone clings to the way things have always been. And those ways are killing us. If were going to die one way or another, then I’ll face my death trying to make a difference – trying to save myself and others. “
Fei and Li Wei’s journey on the way down and discovering what really lies at the base of the mountain was supposed to be the most thrilling part. I was totally intrigued on what lies at the base but why when they were already there the story suddenly felt flat? Reaching the base of the mountain should be the climax of the story but it felt really just flat. I was actually looking for more action and intensity but we get none of it. There are a lot of twists and complications throughout the story but it does not keep the momentum up above.
But what I do like about this story aside from its intriguing plot line is the way it was told – easy paced and very detailed. As a reader, you would be able to imagine how the village look, its people and their way of life.
Fei reminds me of the Disney character Mulan. Aside from them being Asians, they are girls who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of their family – their village. Fei as a character was a leader, fierce and courageous. Though she may act selfish at times, you can see her determination to help not only her sister but the whole village. Mead was able to get us into the head of Fei and her journey. Through Fei as well, we get to see not only her life but the lives of the other villagers through her eyes.
It is definitely not a quick journey. There are unnecessary things that the story could be done without but overall, the story was good. My question at the start of reading this was answered as well. The ending was quite too perfect but too anti-climactic. The ending can be much more developed. But I really enjoyed the book.
“There must be more to life, more to hope for.”