Monday, November 9, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Soundless by Richelle Mead!!

Hello there guys!!

Monday is here and for me is my 6th day on a row of work (even if it's a night) but yeah, technicalities aside... I really need a day off!

I've been in a bit of a reading and review writing slump this past week and I hope I'll be getting over it this week! And I'm trying my best by starting the week right, with a new review for Mark This Book Monday!


SoundlessSoundless by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Soundless is not my first Richelle Mead book, because I'm in love with her Age of X series, but those are adult dystopia/fantasy, and since I almost am scared to admit, I haven't read her Vampire Academy series, this was my first Richelle Mead YA.

I was quite excited about Soundless since it was a standalone fantasy book, but once I got my hands on an ARC at BEA, it was quite a tiny ARC so I began to worry about the world building and the full ARC of a fantasy story in a book with less than 300 pages!

BUT I should have not worried! Somehow the author managed to wove a complete story with a fantastic world building and some lovely Chinese mythology included, that made for a very welcome change!

Our main character, Fei, lives in a village on top of mountain and their livelihood depends on their mining of precious metals since they send them mountain down in exchange of all the food they cannot grow. Everyone in their village has been deaf for generations so they depend on the artists to paint everyday their news and happenings. But now the villagers are also going blind, starting by those that work in the mines, they're sending less metals down and getting more foods up.

Things are getting dire, and when Fei's sister starts losing her sight, Fei feels like she needs to do something more. And then she recovers her hearing and that changes everything.

The world building is done in such a lovely progression. We get to know the village, and their way of life and surroundings quite well through the work of Fei and her interactions with others. Then when Fei starts her way down the mountain with Li Wei, we see more and more of what's in this world other than their little village cut from everything and everyone.

As they discover that they really knew nothing of what's going on down the mountain and so many secrets are revealed, we meet a few new characters here and there. Some of them felt more vague, like more archetypes than characters, and others were more fully fleshed.

The relationship between Fei and sister is the main motivator of Fei's quest and I was quite glad to see that for a change, instead of the romantic feelings. Even if there are romantic feelings, but for Fei, her sister is first and foremost.

I don't know a lot of Chinese mythology and I always mean to read more of it, but getting a smaller story based on it like this one, it's always a good reminder and a good motivator to do so!

The feel of this book is not of epic fantasy, but more of folk tale or fairy tale (and I agree with Jessica from Rabid Reads on that) but that for me was not a bad thing at all!

The descriptions felt very visual and rich and I feel the author did a great job at trying to describe and explain hearing when everyone around you has been deaf for generations, and you have to try and find books written by people that could hear, and figure out what sounds are what words! Made me really think about how many things us lucky enough to be in possession of all our senses take them for granted!

The ending was what I had expected more or less with a few clues that we were getting and it was both open but with enough resolution to imagine what might continue to happen in the village. Once again, it felt very fairy tale-like!

Very well deserved 4 stars for this one!!



View all my reviews

20 comments:

  1. When I got my copy of this at BEA this year Pili, I was definitely a little surprised by how short it was! Since it was fantasy I was expecting more epic, but I'm actually glad it feels more fairytale than fantasy. I'm in the mood for something quick and intriguing, and I think this might be just the thing. And yay for a stand-alone! At least I think this is a stand-alone?

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    1. Yes, it is a standalone, Jenny!! So very few books are and it's quite a nice change!

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  2. I'm planning to finish this tonight. It's my first Richelle Mead. I like the descriptions and the sisters relationship. I'm not totally digging the plot though. I think if it was longer it would have been better. There was just so much exposition and not enough actual plot development for me. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. I think that if it would have been longer it could have explored more things in depth, yeah, but I was pleasantly surprised that it managed to convey a lot in less than 300 pages!

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  3. I'm so excited for this book! It sounds amazing and the cover it absolutely gorgeous :D I love a book with rich descriptions and perfect open endings. Thanks for your review, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Asma @ IceyBooks

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    1. Thank you Asma! I hope you'll love it once you read it!

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  4. I have heard such wonderful things about this book so far! I can't wait to read it!

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    1. I hope you'll get to read it soon!

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  5. I've been a fan of Richelle's work since forever, it seems, but this is a bit out of my comfort zone. Like everyone else, I expected something more along the lines of epic fantasy, and not short and fairy-tale-ish. I don't know how I'll feel about it, but since it's Mead, I'll at least give it a try.

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    1. I'd really love to hear your thoughts about this one Maja!

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  6. Does it say why Fei gets her hearing back? That would be the story killer for me if it didn't. I've seen mixed reviews for this so I haven't added it to my tbr yet. I didn't know it was a standalone, so that makes it more interesting for me. ☺

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    1. It is indeed explained! And standalones are a plus in this "full of series" world of ours!

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  7. I just got a copy of this last week through Books for Trade. I need to get to it! Great review!

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  8. So glad you liked this one, Pili! I think you saw my issues with it. Not a terrible introduction to Mead's world though! (For me, since I'd not read any of her books before.) Great review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Yeah, I'm glad you mostly loved it even if the ending was such a massive flop for you!

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  9. Gorgeous review Pili :D I'm so glad that you liked this book a lot. <3 Yay! It sounds so awesome. I shall read it veeery soon, after I read two eARCs :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it sweetie. <3 And aw, I hope you are having some time off now. <3

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    1. I hope you will like it as much as I did! Thank you so much dear!

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  10. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one Pili, I've read a few bad reviews on this one which has me concerned! But I like how it explores Chinese mythology, and it sounds like it was decent enough for you to rate. Lovely review!

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    1. If you go expecting an epic fantasy, you will be very disappointed, but if you keep in mind that this is more like a fairy tale/folk tale story, you'll probably enjoy it as I did!

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¡Muchas gracias por vuestros comentarios, leerlos me alegra el día!/ Thanks a lot for all your comments, reading them brightens my day!!