by Richelle Mead (Razorbill) ISBN: 9781595147639
Richelle Mead is no stranger to the young adult fantasy scene. However, while her Vampire Academy series was a hit because of its fresh take on angst-ridden paranormal teens, a different author might as well have written her latest novel, Soundless.
At first glance, Soundless follows the extraordinary journey of a girl determined to destroy the curse of deafness that blankets her village. Unfortunately for Mead, one-dimensional characters, poor plotting, and pitiful world building destroyed any hope she had of carrying out such an interesting premise.
For a novel supposedly steeped in Chinese folklore, Soundless reads like it was written in the basement of a Hollywood warehouse by somebody whose core understanding of Chinese culture comes from The Karate Kid. Mead’s characters are only Chinese by name, and her story is riddled with Western clichés.
Possibly the most disappointing aspect of Mead’s story is its total lack of fantastical elements – that is, until she has to turn to magic and folklore to pull her characters out of impossible situations. This lazy plot device coupled with dull dialogue, a flat love story and bottomless plot holes made for a frustrating read.
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