Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Soundless by Richelle Mead ~ Review


Before I begin reviewing what has to be one of my favourite books of 2015, I want to firstly warn all of you that I am in a world of emotions

I have cried so many tears at this point that I'm going to have to buy a raft-building book. Why? So I can build a raft in order to stay afloat on the sea of my tears.

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So, basically, if at any point in this review you come across a sentence or two that is just:
(A) Pure fangirling
(B) Constant sobbing
(C) Hardcore book boyfriend crushing
(D) All of the above
Please...just take into account that I stayed up until 4am to finish this book and caffeine was scarce!


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My Review

Rating

Book cover: Everything about this book cover is magical. The combination of the model's expression, stance, and outfit make for a powerful image that is translated onto the page. The touches of gold in the lettering, background, and border also add to the old-world/oriental feel. They say 'don't judge a book by its cover' but feel to judge this book but its cover - because the inside is just as stunning as the outside! 

She could totally win America's Next Top Model.
Look at that fierce expression - work it, girl!

I have a weakness for calligraphy and for pretty fonts...
so this title is giving me all the feels.


Plot: The plot may start off fairly simple but it does develop nicely throughout the book. From the very start it's obvious that tensions exist between the 'upper class' artists, and the miners and workers. But these tensions come from more than just simple jealousy. Everyone in the village is suffering from the same thing: fear. Fear of blindness, fear of starvation, and fear of the unknown.

Fei's village is reminiscent of District 12 from The Hunger Games and the village from Shannon Hale's Princess Academy. Both are places deeply rooted in tradition with people who have a hard work ethic out of necessity. But just like in The Hunger Games, change is possible and is instigated by one girl's love for her sister. Fei's longing for her sister to have a better life, one where she can live without fear, sets the events of the book in motion. 

The story is made all the more poignant by the main characters' deafness, relying on sign language and expressions to communicate between characters. Readers get to see Richelle Mead's world through Fei's eyes - and it is truly intriguing to experience a story mainly expressed through the senses of sight, touch, taste, and smell. 

One of the highlights for me would have to be the descriptions of setting. Richelle Mead's descriptions transport the reader to the mountain top (and to the other locations mentioned in the book) and makes them a part of the characters' world. 

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The mythological elements also tied in nicely to the storyline, without overpowering it. The story concentrates more on the human element, and human emotions and trials, which makes for a story that readers can be emotionally invested in. Other elements, such as romantic ones, follow the same pattern - they complement the main story, but are not the focus and do not steal the spotlight away from Fei's character development. 


Favourite quote
'Imagine if everything you saw, your entire life, was always a shade of gray. Then one day you blink, and suddenly you see the world as it is with all its colours. Blue, red, yellow. How would you react? How would you handle literally not having the words to describe what you're experiencing?' 
~ Soundless, Chapter 6
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Favourite character: Is this...is this even a question?! Li Wei. The answer is forever Li Wei. Lie Wei is like a cross between Li Shang from Mulan, and both Gale and Peeta from The Hunger Games. He's tough, badass, kind, mischievous, brave, and h-h-hot! (Note: the red dress scene? Totally made my day!)


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Plot twist/complications: Yep, yep, there were lots of twists and quite a few complications. And I did indeed cry many a tear over them. But the plot twists don't detract from the storyline, or over-embellish it. They help the story move along just enough so that the reader continues to be interested, adding small amounts of mystery to the plot. But most of the complications end up resolved (so there's not too much heartbreak!). 

Ending: WAS EVERYTHING OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. I needed MORE. MORE I tell you! I'm holding out hope that Richelle Mead will give us another book/a novella/a hastily written fanfic so that I can read about the result of Soundless' ending. 


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Have you read Soundless? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments below!


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About the book

From 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... 



3 comments:

  1. I've read so many mixed reviews on this one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I enjoyed this story too; and I agree it was way too short! I also ADORED how Mead described everything, and how she described sound; you never really think about how you describe sound and it made me so grateful to be able to hear. Great review!

    ReplyDelete

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