Author: Richelle Mead
Publication date: November 10, 2015
Source/format: ARC from BEA 2015
Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
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...
Fei lives in the mountains in a mining village where everyone lost their hearing generations ago. However, some of the villagers are starting to lose their eyesight such as Fei's sister, Zhang Jing. The ziplines are bringing in less food and the village is worried. Fei is persistent to help her sister and her village. Miraculously one day, Fei is able to hear. This new ability might be able to save her village from going hungry.
I had high expectations for this book, probably because Richelle Mead wrote it. However, no matter how much I tried to love it, I just can't. The synopsis sounds great but I just couldn't get into the story. I had no emotional attachment to any of the characters. I feel like many of the characters are undeveloped.
However, I enjoyed how Mead includes the Pixius in Soundless. Adding a dash of a magical element always amps up things. The way the village communicates through sign language is quite interesting. I like how Mead italicizes their "speech." Mead does a good job with the descriptions and I can clearly picture a lot of the trees, the rocks and Fei's surroundings. Fei being an artist is quite interesting because what she lacks in one sense, she is able to express herself through another sense.
The pacing of the book started out fine but the ending was so rushed. Too bad the transition wasn't drawn out a bit more. I definitely wanted the pace of the book to be balanced throughout the whole novel. Thank goodness this is a standalone because if this is the first book of the series, I am not sure I will be reading the next installment.