In Which Sagwa The Siamese Cat Does It Better On the World Building: Soundless by Richelle Mead

From Richelle Mead, 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…

Source: GoodReads

This was a DNF because it was so excruciatingly boring.

I made it about half way through the book and I just had to give up because nothing intrigued me even though it was by freaking Richelle Mead and featured an Eastern inspired world.

No world building was given.  And Mead’s usual kick ass and take no prisoner style was missing.

Instead, we have a very dull protagonist who is in love with a guy who looks like a non-animated Shang from Mulan  in my head and they go on an adventure that is even more boring than those fabricated rope course adventures your school would throw you on to do team building  or whatever nonsense excuse they come up with (FYI ropes course suck, all those bugs).

I didn’t really care to find out the result.  I imagine it somehow involved them finding some sort of curse for their problems, but after being bored for over a hundred pages I didn’t care to find out.

It’s sort of a shame, since I do applaud Mead for trying something different.  And if I wouldn’t have known Mead’s past library, I might have enjoyed this one more.  At best it reads like an average high fantasy that takes elements of Eastern cultures but never specifies what culture they’re using or develop them into being something surely fantastic.

So it results to being something akin to Sagwa the Chinese Animated Cat.  Except you know, Sagwa, actually was more pronounced with its use of Chinese culture and mythology.

It was, after all, a PBS show.

But seriously, other than the use of Chinese inspired names and having a setting that is comparable to rural China there is nothing defiantly  Chinese about this book.  It could take place really anywhere.

That is sad.  This is Richelle Mead, so I know she can do some kick ass world building and I want a good Asian inspired high fantasy.  That part of the world has a lot of mythology and culture that really has been untapped in YA land or poorly tapped.

In the end I’m going to forget about Soundless pretty quickly.  It wasn’t memorable at all.

Overall Rating: A DNF.  DNF’d because it was boring not highly offensive.  The construction was decent which gives the book  two stars on GoodReads rather than one.