Review: Soundless, Richelle Mead

November 25, 2015 Reviews 6 ★★★½

Review: Soundless, Richelle MeadSoundless by Richelle Mead
Published by Razorbill on November 10th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 272
Source: Bookworld Reviewer Program
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository • Bookworld

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...


A stand-alone story involving an isolated Chinese village, written by a well-established YA author: Sounds amazing, right?

Well, in a lot of ways, it was. The book is only short and the pace is relentless, at least once Fei leaves the village. I loved the idea of a village perched on top of a mountain, supplied only by a zip wire. The addition of the villager’s deafness and encroaching blindness added an extra facet to the story, even though the dialogue still looked like normal speech on the page. I kept having to remind myself that they were signing to each other.

To be honest, the Chinese influence isn’t that obvious. The calligraphy involved in the artists’ paintings, plus the creatures the villagers call Pixiu were the two main elements that felt Chinese to me. The rest could really have been set anywhere.

There is a love story here as well, but it’s mostly a foregone conclusion as the book starts. Fei mostly just stares at Li Wei the whole time, and he basically says, “You’re mine” and she says “No, we can’t. Oh alright then.” And that’s the end of that. They’re cute, but it’s not the most mind-blowing romance.

Since this book is a stand alone and quite short, the story ends up being quite simple. I was slightly disappointed by the deux-ex-machina nature of the ending, but it was quite satisfying. I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy this book much, but I did, honest! It wasn’t just a pretty cover (although the cover is very gorgeous). It’s a quick, light read and should entertain YA readers of all ages.

Anni lives in Brisbane, Australia with her young family. She loves everything fantasy and science fiction and believes sleep is really very underrated.

6 Responses to “Review: Soundless, Richelle Mead”

  1. Tracy Cornelius

    As an avid cheerleader and uber fan of all things Richelle Mead, I had a pretty big sad over how this book fell flat for me. I’ve read everything she’s ever published and I’m so used to her exciting and engaging story lines, bad ass snarky females and tangled love stuff. This didn’t have much of any of that, which I can accept. What I had a hard time wrapping my mind around was how uninterested I was in both the plot and the characters; two things Mead always hooks me with almost immediately.

    I thought the premise of the story was very interesting and far removed from the normal paranormal/romance type books she typically writes so I was excited to experience something new from her. ‘Soundless’ wasn’t a bad book by any means, and I think you do it justice Angelya by describing it as a quick, light, entertaining read. It just wasn’t what I was expecting or looking for from a Richelle Mead novel reading experience.

    I supposed it doesn’t help that I had just finished immersing myself in the reading of ‘Winter’ by Marissa Meyer (happy series ending swoon) and then immediately following my wrap up of ‘Soundless’ I delved into ‘Illuminae’ by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Which turned out to be THE BEST BOOK I READ ALL YEAR. Reading a ‘meh’ book by one of my all time favorite authors sandwiched between two amazeballs books probably added to the lack luster feeling I got from it.

    • Angelya

      Thanks Tracy… You can probably see my disappointment in the review. I haven’t read any of Richelle Mead’s other books apart from the first Vampire Academy so I was only going on others’ love for her stories.

      But yes, reading this in between Winter and Illuminae most likely ruined it for you xD

  2. Ashfa

    I haven’t read any of Richelle Mead’s books yet but love the sound of this one. Plus it’s a standalone so I’m definitely getting myself a copy soon!

  3. Kristin

    That sucks. I love her VA series and spin-off. The cover for this is amazing and I was hoping it would exceed my expectations but there’s just been something about this book that’s kept me from reading it. Maybe subconsciously I knew it would be a disappointment? Thanks for the honest review.
    Kristin recently posted…Review: Make Me Stay by Jaci BurtonMy Profile

  4. Nicole Anaya

    I’ve been wanting to read this book, and you may think your review is confusing but I actually get it, I understand the way you talk about it and the mixed feelings. So you’ve helped me decide that I’m reading this book right away. And by the way, I love the cover so much!

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