Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: SOUNDLESS by Richelle Mead

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It turned out to be unique, and I liked that. The main reason I picked up this story was for the deaf main character.

The beginning left me feeling doubtful, but it eventually picked up. At the beginning, the points the author made about being deaf were somewhat inaccurate, which bothered me deeply. I support deaf culture, and I want to see it represented accurately in books. That said, I'm glad that another story with a deaf protagonist has been added to the world of literature. However, I dislike that the main character regained her hearing early on in the book and that her hearing was a key point to her survival. I want a deaf protagonist to stay deaf throughout the story and use all her other senses to survive and not rely entirely on hearing.

The only thing that deaf people can't do is hear. They are very capable of doing everything else. Deafness is not a disability, and I didn't like seeing it represented as such.

As far as the fantasy aspect, that was disappointing. The book had a very nice historical feel until the very end when it suddenly became fantasy. I wish the fantasy aspect would have been strewn throughout the book or not been there at all. It felt like the author intended the story to be historical but couldn't figure out how to end it properly, so she added in some mythical creature to save the day.

As for the Chinese folklore, the overall feel of the book did feel somewhat Chinese, but I would have enjoyed more aspects of the culture that really emphasized specific details of how China is different from other parts of the world.

Despite the parts of this book that I felt like we're lacking and could have been developed more thoroughly with more details, I did really enjoy reading this book. The story grabbed me. And although I prefer standalone books over series, I would have liked to read a sequel to this book.

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