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soundlessWhat: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Who: Michael Joseph

When: November 12th 2015

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Penguin Australia for review.

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…

2cats2I was expecting great things from Soundless. I adored Mead’s Vampire Academy series, and even though I have yet to finish Bloodlines, I love what I have read of it.

So I was expecting something as wonderful as those two in Soundless, but unfortunately, it didn’t really deliver.

There were four main aspects of Soundless that kept me from loving it.

The first is the world building. Of which there was little to none. Yes, we were told that the village was cut off from the rest of the world, everyone was deaf, people were going blind, and they mined metal to send down to the line guy who sent food back up. But, really, that’s all there was. There wasn’t much description of where this all took place, what Fei’s village looked like – hell, what Fei looked like. The world building in Soundless was poor to say the least. I wanted more of a history, more of an immersion, because I was left imagining what everything looked like most of the time.

Also, there were these random mentions of pixius, with one brief description, and then they suddenly became a really important aspect of the plot. That kind of came out of nowhere, considering I didn’t even really know what they looked like, or what kind of creature they were.

The second was Fei. Her character was extremely bland. Even in high intensity situations, there was just nothing from her. It was like all emotion in her character was blocked. I felt nothing for her, or anyone or thing that she cared about because it didn’t seem like she cared about any of those people or things or places. I mean, if Fei’s just mildly concerned, then I’m going to be even less concerned, because these people/places/etc. don’t mean anything to me.

The third was the plot and the pacing. Soundless starts off VERY slowly. I was bored, to say the least. And then when the actual venturing off into the wilderness to save the village thing happened, it was just a lot of scaling down a mountainside, being hungry, and spending time in a city. It felt like reading one of those art house movies that have no point, and finish with you going: what the hell did I just watch, and why was this made? Because the ending of Soundless has little to no closure, and it was quite unimpressive.

The last thing that wasn’t so great about Soundless was the romance. Apparently Fei fell in love with Li Wei when she was a wee little tyke and saw him when he was covered in glitter because she loves beautiful things. Holy shit, can we get any more instalovey than that? I think not. And then, because Fei decided to improve her and her sister’s station, and agree to marry the most prettiest and talented boy in the village, they hate each other now. BUT NOT REALLY. The most prettiest and talented boy in the village has about two lines, by which we glean that he is mean and elitist and completely wrong for perfect Fei. Li Wei is strong and willing to sacrifice himself to save the village AND Fei, and thus he is the one. Literally, that’s how it goes. I was so shocked by this crappy romance, because Rose + Dimitri/Adrian and Sydney + Adrian are some of my favourite ships, and I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that they were written by the same person as the couple in this book.

Overall, I was pretty darn disappointed in Soundless. I was expecting something awesome, and I didn’t get that at all.

© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: November 12, 2015 • By: Chiara

20 Responses to Four Disappointing Aspects of Soundless by Richelle Mead

  1. *covers eyes* Noooo I don’t want to read any of these!

  2. Shannelle says:

    This was an extremely disappointing book, and I’m now hesitant to pick up her other books. Fei was so bland as a character, and the world building was just terrible.

    • Chiara says:

      I did really like the Vampire Academy series when I read it in high school! And I did like the three Bloodlines books I’ve read. But yes, this book was a flop for me, for sure.

  3. Considering I wasn’t a huge fan of Vampire Academy, I don’t think I’ll be reading this one. Especially if the main character is bland. UGH. No thanks :P

    • Chiara says:

      I really liked VA when I read it back in high school, but that was before blogging. And I think my tastes have changed a lot since then, haha XD Yeah, the main character didn’t really have much to her at all.

  4. This is so disappointing so read! Ugh. I was so excited for this book but it doesn’t seem to love up to the rest of the books written by the author. :(

  5. Mitchii G. says:

    I was so excited anything that has Asian mythology/or an Asian inspired stories. But I became cautious after reading few ones that felt short to my expectations. You’re not the only who was disappointed with this book. I’m not sure whether I’ll try or not ‘cos tbqh I think I lost my motivation to do so. T^T

    • Chiara says:

      Me, too! We desperately need more, which is one of the reasons I was so keen to read this. And then it just fell flat :( It’s not one I recommend …

  6. Valerie says:

    Ahhh I don’t know what to think. Everything just sounds so bland. I haven’t read anything by Richelle Mead so I wonder if this would even affect me at all? Will I care? Who knows, I have this book and I do like the idea of it, so I guess I will have to experience this for myself!

    Very nice review Chiaraaaaaa <3

    • Chiara says:

      I think bland is a pretty good way to describe this book. Nothing was outstanding or even great (well, except the cover?). I hope you liked it better than I did, lovely!

      Thank youuuu <3

  7. Agh, this makes me sad. D: I was really exciting about this one because a) fantasy, b) Asian fantasy, c) deaf culture hopefully. BUT WAH I’VE ONLY HEARD NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT IT. I’m still going to read it though, because it’s one of those ones I’m too curious about, but definitely librarying it so if it’s a loss I’m not wasting money. heheh. SO SAD there’s no world building!! I think that’s utterly crucial for fantasy…

    • Chiara says:

      I know, right! There were so many things that could have been so brilliant about this book! So it was super sad that it didn’t live up to any of them. I hope you liked it better than I did, if you did get around to reading it! And you’re right, world building is one of the most important aspects of fantasy novels.

  8. Cee says:


    I don’t think Richelle Mead is the greatest at worldbuilding. I always ifnd there’s something to be desired. I’m glad I never got my hopes about it.

    • Chiara says:

      I was so excited! And then so ultimately disappointed. D:

      I feel like her other series didn’t need to rely on it so much because they were in a US contemporary setting. But this world left a lot to be desired in terms of scene setting and world building.

  9. Aentee says:

    Oh no! I 100% trust your judgement so this makes me so sad – as the 4 things you stated are exactly the sort of stuff I would find problematic as well. This makes me so sad as the female East Asian heroine this book promises has had me twirling in anticipation all year *boo hiss* I think I’ll stay away from this book for now, as I’ve read multiple lukewarm reviews recently. Thanks for your detailed review!

    • Chiara says:

      Ah, thank you! But yes, I’m super sad that this one didn’t live up to all the pre-publication excitement that surrounded it. It seems like we’ll have to wait for another fantasy with a female Asian heroine *sigh* No problem, dear!

  10. Romi says:

    NOOO! I was actually not going to read this until I’d already read Soundless, but hey- I’ve read another review for it, and already knew you had issues with it, so decided to go into it knowing as much as possible. I’m pretty hesitant, now (I think I’ll be starting it tonight) because the issues people are picking up with it are things that I’m sure will cause problems for me and that’s really frustrating to know, going into it, but I suppose I still *could* love it. Possibly. Because otherwise it seems likely I’m actually gonna DNF, which would be sad.
    I am really interested in the world, too, so learning there’s not much sense/world building to it, and you don’t really care about the characters. That’s a definite downside.
    AAH. Frustrating. But ace review. xx

    • Chiara says:

      This was such a major disappointment, because it could have been SO GOOD. And it just … wasn’t. I don’t remember if you ended up reading this one :O But if you did, I hope you liked it better than I did, haha XD

      Yeah, the lack of world building was a huge let down. :(

      Thanks, lovely <3

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