From Soundless to Boundless

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In a world without sound, how can someone start to hear? In Soundless, by bestselling author Richelle Mead, a young Chinese artist named Fei hears a call to action so that she can find a voice to save her home. Ever since Fei was born, the mountain village she lived in had been soundless. The village had rocky terrain and avalanches that stopped the villagers from growing their own food. Their only mercy was the zipline from down below that carried food to the mountaintop. But when the townspeople started to go blind and the already miniscule deliveries from the zipline stopped, Fei’s home is plunged into crisis. Suddenly, Fei is awoken by a sound in the night, and it becomes her weapon. As the village falls into a reign of darkness, Fei must team up with an old friend and go down the mountain to get to the bottom of the starvation. But they find a lot more than they expected as the truth is revealed and the world goes from Soundless to boundless.

The novel, Soundless, is breathtaking. With the astonishing descriptions and solid plot, this book is a pleaser to anyone over the age of 10. The characters feelings and actions are very relatable even though the circumstances they are put in are full of not-your-everyday fantasy and mystery. Since the charcters and descriptions are so well-written, you really feel like you are in this book. It is also full of action during the rise to the climax, which was very interesting and thrilling. However, there are some sorrowful moments, though a tissue is most likely not needed. Also, there may be some scary parts to the story as it includes an abandoned village which may creep some people out. Finally, there is a very unexpected romance that is not too much but it does add to the story along with the beautiful ending.
Overall, this was an extremely well-written book for many different types of readers including, fantasy, mystery, romance, and action.

On April 8th, Richelle Mead, the author of Soundless and other international bestsellers, was at the Douglas County Library to talk about her books. Mrs. Mead was born in Michigan but now lives in Seattle with her family. About 100 people were at the presentation and book signing where Richelle discussed her personal life, including her love of anything wacky and humorous, bad reality TV, shopping for tour dresses, mythology and folklore, and coffee. After her presentation about her new YA book, The Glittering Court, the audience got to ask questions and get their books signed.

After the event, I got to interview her. When asked about her reason for writing Soundless she said, “I think the reason is that a lot of books don’t really deal with Chinese mythology, and I think there is a lot of great stories from that tradition.” She also thought it would be a fun challenge to imagine not being able to hear for your whole life, then being able to very suddenly. Plus, it was different for Mrs. Mead because she often writes series. It changed things up when she wrote Soundless as a stand-alone novel, which was a “wrapped-up adventure tale” that touched on a new culture. As for the writing process she took, Mrs. Mead knew the beginning and end of the book along with the big moments and started filling in the details as she went along. She also knew that she wanted to have a quiet, yet strong and devoted heroine who dealt with art and symbolism, and another character that was almost a polar opposite to add some variety to the plot. Mrs. Mead also likes the big action sequence that is different from a lot of her other books. She also gave some tips to budding writers: “Keep writing. I learned the most about writing from reading other people’s books… So keep going with it.”