Soundless by Richelle Mead
Published by Razorbill
Published on: November 10 2015
Source: First to Read
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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 Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever....
It’s one thing to cerebrally acknowledge that the heroes of stories are brave . . .
But when an author is able to capture that bravery, the fearlessness in the face of adversity, the lack of self when others face harm or death if they remain ignorant to newly discovered information . . . That is the foundation of a truly great book, and that is exactly what Richelle Mead has done in SOUNDLESS.
Fei and her people have lived on the top of their mountain for generations. Hundreds of years ago, they also lived and farmed the fertile valleys beyond the mountain pass, but an avalanche blocked the pass, and ever since they have been dependent on the line keeper.
The line keeper sends food and supplies via zip cord, which has always been there and leads no-one-knows where.
But the line keeper only sends the supplies in exchange for the metal mined on the mountain top, and when the villagers begin to lose their sight in addition to their widespread and complete loss of hearing (also generations ago—no one on the mountain even knows what sound is), and they begin to send less and less ore, the line keeper sends less and less food.
It’s only fair.
As an artist, it is Fei’s job to record the daily life, to preserve the history in text and picture, to capture the growing crowd of beggars who have lost their sight and have never had sound. Beggars who can do nothing but sit in silent darkness, slowly starving, waiting for handouts from a dwindling food supply.
Fei is to observe, never interfere. She is separate from the lower working classes of miners and servants.
Except Fei herself grew up in a mining family. The boy she loved but can never marry (Li Wei) is a miner still. And when her sister, the last surviving member of her family, begins to lose her sight, Fei can no longer simply observe . . . So when an avoidable tragedy claims the life of Li Wei’s father and he decides to climb down the mountain and confront the line keeper, Fei decides to go with him.
Something must change.
What follows is an incredible journey of discovery. Of life off the mountain. Of lies and abuse. Of kernels of truth in old stories. Of determination and hope and perseverance. Of new beginnings.
And it is truly lovely.
SOUNDLESS by Richelle Mead is her greatest work to date and completely unlike anything else she’s ever written. An instant classic, it deserves shelf space in every library, every home, and should be told and retold to audiences of all ages. I don’t know if it’s a new version of an old story or an entirely new tale based on the Chinese folklore that inspired it . . . Either way, it’s as beautiful as is it timeless. Highly recommended.
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This is horrible to admit but I haven’t really read much of this author. I never made it through the first VA book! This sounds like a good one though. 🙂
Stormi recently posted…Review of Fangs For The Memories
Richelle Mead is a *must-read* author for me, Jessica. So I knew I’d pick up this one. But your review has me chomping at the bit for it. Wow. And bonus for me – it’s a standalone, so I can read it and not be starting a series to get behind in. 😉
Brandee Price recently posted…Beyond the Books ~ Fall is Marching Band Season
Mead is one of my auto-buy authors, and I really look forward to reading Soundless! I’m so happy Mead seems to be exploring different kinds of stories than the ones I’ve already read by her, and of course, I’m ecstatic to know you loved this!
Great review, Jessica 🙂
Lexxie recently posted…Review: Need – Joelle Charbonneau
Great review Jessica, and glad you loved it, but I don’t think it is for me.
Aurian recently posted…Leann Sweeney – The Cat, The Sneak and the Secret
The premise just sounds so awesome 😀
blodeuedd recently posted…The winter isles – Antonia Senior
I want to read this so bad! I have begged for this one but my puppy dog eyes are getting the job done. Looks like I’ll be getting this one to read anyway. This sounds so perfect and it also sounds like it really captures the heroine as a heroine. Brilly review.
Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…The Geomancer by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
Great review, Jessica. You definitely liked this book more than I did, I couldn’t get into the silliness and illogical inconsistencies in the world building but I did think the story was a very cute and very sweet. I must have read the whole thing in less than a day.
Mogsy recently posted…Audiobook Review: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone
I didn’t read your review Jessica, I just wanted to see if you liked it! So happy it was 4.5 paws!
Naomi Hop recently posted…Reap the Wind by Karen Chance ~ Review & Swoon Thursday
soo..yeah I have not read this author myself, but with this book coming out, I will at the very least be trying this one for sure!
Lily B recently posted…Review: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett
I love Richelle Mead and this book sounds fantastic! I can’t wait for it to come out. Amazing review Jessica! 🙂
This is my first YA by Richelle Mead because I’ve read and loved her Age of X books (cannot wait for book 3!!) and I was so pleasantly surprised! It’s such a short book and how she managed to have such amazing world building and have me so invested in the characters I don’t know!
Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: ARC Review of The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes!!
I have this for audio review..you have me excited Jessica
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