For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village. Her people are at the mercy of a mysterious faraway kingdom, which delivers food in return for precious metals mined from the treacherous cliffs surrounding them.
When villagers begin to lose their sight, their rations shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the boy she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.
Then Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon . . .
I must mention – I was very excited for Soundless. It is a Richelle Mead book, and has a diverse setting, plus it has influences of Chinese mythology. The story is of Fei, a girl born in a mountain village of all deaf people, who for some reason, has suddenly regained her hearing. Her village survives on the trade with a township below, a place they have never visited because they are trapped on the mountain. So, for decades, or centuries, they have been dependent to the township for food, and mine and send their precious ore in return. Fei is an artist who writes the town news every day, and when things get dire, she and her childhood friend/first love descend from the mountain to seek the truth.
The thing I loved best is how the author brought about the novelty of sound in Fei. She has never known what sound is, and this new sensation is akin to us normal humans think of getting superpowers. It is new, and is challenging, exciting and unnerving at the same time. Tied in with the story of the village is their folklore, which most believe to be a myth. Fei is an adventurer, and sees the beauty in things like an artist, which makes her for an interesting perspective.
But then the story is pretty short, and the romance is sort of, lackluster. I didn’t feel anything for them – they could have made the journey as friends and still the story could have been practically the same, making the romance unnecessary. The secret of the village was not that big of a surprise as I thought it would be, and towards the end I was worried how things were going to wrap up in a short number of pages; that is, however, exactly what happened because the ending was super-rushed. A whole fantastical element was suddenly added at the end, throwing off the pace and atmosphere of the novel. So, while it was a decent read, it was nothing amazing.