I Still Have No Idea How I Feel About This Book (Soundless Review)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Paper Bindings - Soundless by Richelle Mead

TITLE: Soundless
AUTHOR: Richelle Mead
RELEASE DATE: November 10th 2015
PUBLISHER: Razorbill
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“In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so 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. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people. ”

RELATED: The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) | The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) | The Silver Shadow (Bloodlines #5) | The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6) 

The Good:

  • It was a short book.
No lie, this is a very good thing. I don't think I would have continued reading it if it had been a massive book.

  • The culture. 
I don't know how accurate all the details were that were the foundation of this world, but I liked that we got something a bit different than what we usually get in a YA story.

  • The ending was entertaining enough.
It was by no means a masterpiece, but the ending saved this book from being a "I wish I DNFed it" to actually warranting 3 I-really-don't-know-how-to-rate-this-stars.

The Bad:

  • The beginning sucked.
This book was painful to start. Maybe it was just me, but I had such a hard time focusing on the words that I almost gave up several times. (The first time was on the 2nd page.)

I didn't connect with the characters, I didn't connect with the world, I don't even think I connected with myself while reading the book.

But this book was for a buddy read, so I kept going. 

It wasn't until page 80 that things started getting a bit more interesting, but by no means exciting. The book was over halfway done before I actually got into the story and wanted to know how things ended.

  • Are they deaf, or just playing at being deaf?

For a group of people who cannot hear, they were awfully chatty. I didn't mind the way their "words" were italicized, and I am absolutely in no way hinting that deaf people cannot have conversations, but if felt like the book took an underused trophe and turned it into a mask to top off a cheesy Halloween costume.

It didn't feel real. 

If you're watching people fingers to catch their words, you have to WATCH their fingers. There are physical limitations to that. Yet Fei has some damn good eye sight because she managed to catch conversations she shouldn't have been able to "overhear." 

Not to mention how fingers rarely were mentioned in the book. They "said" things but never really "gestured" or "signed." You cannot "say" things without sounds, it's in it's very definition. I get how their way communication would be second nature to them, and they wouldn't think of constantly explaining it to an outsider (ie the reader) but a world that has forgotten the names of sounds would have developed terminology that reflected that in their lives. 

  • Humans have two senses. Wait? What?
Sight and hearing. That's what this book relies upon.

The rest of the senses rarely made an appearance. And that was a big failing. 

I've been in a haunted house that was almost completely dark in sections. For those moments I lost a sense. Yes I was listening for the guys waiting to jump out at me, but I also had to feel my way around the room. (Let's not even talk about what my poor nose was smelling.) Am I in the habit of normally walking with my hands out touching everything? No. But I compensated for the loss of a sense. 

And this book failed to do that. Looking back, I really think this was a big reason why the beginning was so boring. (The others being nothing really happens for a long while and our heroine was a snoozefest.)

The Quotations:

"Observing is on the same as experiencing."

"'You can't keep rescuing me.'
'Of course not. You can rescue yourself- but perhaps I can give you a hand now and then.'"

"Perfection is an admirable thing to strive for. But so is knowing when to stop."


  1. YES I TOTALLY FEEL. I thought it was disappointing, after how good VA and Bloodlines was...Definitely got what you meant with how the book relied on sight and hearing, and it did seem like they were playing at deaf. Plus for me, the instalove was too much to handle :S

    1. Honestly, it felt like a book written prior to VA/Bloodlines. I might have been okay with the instalove if I saw some sort of reason why it made sense. But it relied too much on a history and not enough on a present.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. I have seen SO many bad reviews for this book that I still haven't started it... It sounds like the author did a pretty terrible job with the whole deaf characters aspect. I'm really sorry you didn't love it... I doubt I'll be giving Soundless a try anytime soon.

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. I honestly haven't seen a review where someone really liked the book, which makes me sadder.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  3. I had high hopes for this one :( Good point about the presence or lack thereof of the other senses.

    1. It's sad when a book you're looking forward to disappoints you. I think the sense thing is where the book failed the most. I could have overlooked more if I actually felt like it was accurate in that regard. Hope the next one you're looking forward to is excellent.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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