Review: Soundless

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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.


soundless

Richelle Mead, author of Bloodlines, has officially gone from

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to

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and not in a good way. I’m sorry but I just really did not enjoy this book at all. Let’s go through it and rip it to pieces critique it shall we?


Setting

I swear, if I hear one more person say that this book is a “gem of a story infused with Chinese culture and folktales”, I’m going to stab them with a chopstick. This book could not have been less Chinese if it had freckles and red hair. Literally the only Chinese thing about this book were the names of the people and the generically Asian clothes the elders wear. There is no world building at all. Mead just throws us a watered-down dystopian world and we just have to accept it.

So there are artists and miners. Artists document the days of the people in the mines by drawing elegant pictures and practicing calligraphy in their great halls. The main character, Fei, enjoys drawing detailed pictures of radishes. They are her forte.

Meanwhile, the miners toil until they die, mining metals so that the rest of the village (the artists) can eat. Obviously, the detailed pictures of dried radishes are more important than the miners that feed them, hence why the miners have little food and the artists eat – not much – but much more. Gotta sustain those fingers, keepin’ em healthy for drawin’ more radishes.

The point of this separated society? Nothing. There is no point. There are two explanations for this different-levels-of-society thing.

  1. Richelle started writing a story where the artists were the enemies and the miners were the hard working, oh-so-sad-and-poor slave force.
  2. Richelle only wanted this different levels of society so she could create a forbidden love.

I’m thinking that it was more option 2. Let’s talk about romance.

Romance

Soundless features the world’s most bland and uninteresting love triangle ever. It’s like she’s taken it completely from a textbook.

Fei is engaged to a rich, posh dude who she likes but doesn’t like. At the same time, she’s fallen head over heels for the hunky, large, muscly, beautiful miner with the flawless skin.

Oh no what is she going to do she’s found herself in a forbidden love because artists are not allowed to love miners omg I guess she can just go weep in the corner and pretend she’s not in love with him. #KickAssHeroine

Also, can we talk about how long the romance took to develop? Or rather, how not-long it took to develop. As we’re introduced into the story, we’re told to take it on faith that Fei loves the hunky chunky dude who was so boring I forgot this name. Lin or something. [Just found it, it’s Li Wei who is always refered to with his first and last name never just by his first]

But she denies this romance and says that “No! I can never be with you! I’m an artist, you’re a miner, this is forbidden love!” Wow how observant you are Sherlock. Then literally as soon as they get into the woods alone, she drops all pretence and throws herself at him.

Ending

Oh whoops looks like poor Richelle wrote herself into a corner. What does she do? MAGIC BLAM BAM all their enemies are killed off at once by LITERAL *SPOILER* gods *SPOILER END* and the story ends, everyone lives happily ever after, some people become farmers and people get married to the girl of their dreams (Hello, Farmer Wants A Wife).

I’m not even going to expand more on this ending rather than say we’ve returned back to ancient times, where, if the story was getting complicated, the director of the play brings down a dude wearing a random mask, introduces him as Zeus and has him kill all the baddies.

I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS IN SOUNDLESS, EXCEPT YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE ZEUS. ARGH. END OF REVIEW. I NEED TO GO FUME SILENTLY ABOUT HOW BAD THE ENDING OF HIS BOOK WAS.


Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 2/10


Soundless is out now. Buy at your local bookstore.


The Info:

  • Title: Soundless
  • Author: Richelle Mead
  • Hardback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (November 10th, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN10: 1595147632
  • URL: Goodreads

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20 thoughts on “Review: Soundless

  1. Heh, I suspected that this would be a flop. Although, I’ve watched a few positive Booktube reviews.

    That ending though! Sounds like such a rip off! Thanks for the warning.

    I might still give it a go but it sounds like it’s one to wait on my library for.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alex

    Drawing radish? Miners with perfect skin? That’s the most outrageous thing I have ever heard! 😲
    I have thought of reading this book for a long time, but now I won’t. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YASSS RANT! Tell ’em XD
    The thing I hate the most is books that culturally appropriate shit. Or pretend to have Chinese/Egyptian/insert exotic ethnicity here. If you hate books like that, don’t bother reading ANYTHING AT ALL by Colleen Houck. Especially not Reawakened.
    I’m never going to read Soundless, but I really enjoyed your review 😀
    ~Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes OMG I hate it so much when they market a book as a “cultural” gem but then it’s all generic, boring so called “ethnic” bullshit. Ugh. Do your research, people. Don’t just put people in silk robes and give them rattails and call them Chinese.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Much appreciate the honest review. I’ve been wavering over whether to put the time into trying this one. I still might eventually, but you’ve confirmed my gut feeling about it. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I never did get around to posting my review of this, but I probably would have given it a 3/5 or so. I thought it was pretty interesting? I definitely agree with a lot of your points though. But I know nothing about Chinese culture, so I don’t know how accurate it was. I thought the mythology was interesting, and the dystopian setting was strange but different enough from the usual that I didn’t mind the “why” behind it. The romance is definitely flawed, though, I’ll give you that one.

    Great and hilarious review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve studied Chinese culture and mythology, and being Asian myself – but not Chinese – I have lots of ties and connections with Chinese people and so I experience a loot of this culture when going to new year festivals, visiting friends’ houses, etc. I would say that the culture was accurate/good but unfortunately the culture wasn’t mentioned remotely enough to have given me an accurate indication. I honestly thought of Li, Lin, I’ve forgotten his name again, as your generic “hot hunky” guy. You know the movie that plays through your head when you read a book? Starring Gale Hawthorne and faceless female character who I didn’t connect with strongly enough to give a face to. It was a real disappointment but I’m glad that you liked it! Shows that you should never listen to my reviews and should just go out and buy it if the book sounds good XD

      Liked by 1 person

  6. From the blurb it sounds really good. The mystery sounds fascinating and I would have probably given it ago. Thank goodness I read your review, (which was fantastic), so thanks for saving me from that!

    Besides all your other points the romance, particularly love triangle, (my most hated kind), would have put me right off.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m waiting on my library to get this one in. I wanted to try it since it’s a standalone. I’m not really a fan of Meads. I thought VA was meh, which is why I never finished the series. I just finished the first of her GK series, Succubus Blues, and it’s an okay read. I’m gonna read book 2 just to see if I want to continue. I’ve read so many mixed reviews for this, and I’m curios. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! thanks for saving me the trouble. Won’t bother with this one then! You really ripped into this one it must have been pretty bad. And you know what is even more annoying that reading a poorly written book? is the realisation that you can never get back the time you wasted reading it. Ah Well. on to the next one then!

    Liked by 2 people

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