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Richelle Mead has always been an amazing writer.  She floored readers with her great Vampire Academy and Bloodlinesseries. She is back to wow her audience again, this time with an entirely different idea; SOUNDLESS is a flawless take on a fantastical Chinese folktale.

SOUNDLESS takes place on top of the mountain, where there is a soundless mining town --- the inhabitants lost their hearing long ago.  The only means of survival comes in the form of a zip line that goes down the mountain; they trade the metals they mine for food. However, the mines are depleting, and the village is beginning to starve.  When protagonist Fei wakes from a fitful dream to noise, she knows she must use this mysterious new sense to embark on an adventure that will save her people and all she cares about. 

Even without sound, Mead creates a retelling readers will be making noise about for a long time.  

In most books, dialogue drives the plot forward.  However, with SOUNDLESS, the dialogue comes in form of sign language. It blends seamlessly into the plot, making SOUNDLESS very readable and fast.  Readers dive right in to a world with no sound, a feature that makes them notice other, smaller details.  When Fei regains her hearing, the world becomes noisy and bright.  The audience is able to see the world through the eyes of a person who is experiencing something for the first time.

It would not be a work from Richelle Mead if there wasn’t a love that couldn’t be.  She knows how to add the drama on thick, twisting readers’ emotions to their maximum. 

With the romance, adventure and always-pending doom, readers are going to fly through SOUNDLESS.  It is a retelling that forces readers to delve deeper into a soundless world, but the true focus is on the characters, with a strong female lead, a courageous sidekick and a quiet sister.  The novel is not about a girl who regains hearing in a sea of quietness.  It is about a girl who strives to better her people, to save them from a fate she wishes does not exist.  You definitely do not want to miss SOUNDLESS.  Even without sound, Mead creates a retelling readers will be making noise about for a long time.  

Reviewed by Jeanna Michel on October 16, 2015

by Richelle Mead

  • Publication Date: November 8, 2016
  • Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult 12+
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • ISBN-10: 1595147640
  • ISBN-13: 9781595147646