Going through this novel in a day made me fully understand why readers may or may not enjoy it, especially if they are Richelle Mead book fans. Now, don’t get me wrong, I kind of disagree with those who have given this book a bad rating but at the same time it did have it’s negatives. I’ve read plenty of Richelle Mead books to understand that each of her series has a different tone about it. Whether it’s vampires, a succubus, a necromancer, or a ancient civilization-I give her tremendous props for putting her heart and soul into her books.
Amazon Description: “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 Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever….”
Fei, as a character, is an artist apprentice to the most important artist in her village. Since the villagers cannot hear, they create their own version of a newspaper by having Fei watch and record the different daily occurrences at the village mine. After which, she paints her story in order for it to be displayed in the middle of the village. The mine, in particular, has a special place in her heart.
Her parents were miners who later passed away when her and her sister were mere children. According to the villages own “status” system, miners were the lowest on the chain. Next were servants then artists at the very top. Technically, both sisters should be miners but instead they were offered positions in the artist school in order to learn and hone their craft.
Regardless of being the lowest in status, it is the miners who keep the village surviving. Blocked by a rockslide, the village is isolated from civilization. The only way they gather food is through another village at the bottom of the mountain, connected by a zipline that carry expensive minerals down the mountain and limited food up from the other village.
Fei, though, is not what I call a fighter. Does she have a cause to fight for? Yes. Is she persistent to find out why the village down the mountain isn’t sending up much food? Yes. But there were times I wished she was more of a fighter than she was. Her childhood crush/friend Li Wei is the first one to take the challenge to climb down the mountain after his father died in the mines. Even after Fei gained her hearing, it was he who inspired her to go with him in order to be a guide.
Many readers had commented on this novel being slow, boring, or not for them. I can agree that those who read Richelle Mead previous novels that this one is not as strong as the others, but the way that the mystery of how the village lost their hearing and soon their sight was a pretty interesting one. Originally, you wouldn’t think this book had any ties to the supernatural/mythological world when I can tell you it surely does.
As a short, standalone novel it works. Now, if Richelle Mead decided to create a series out of this, I would surely not agree with it. It does not need one. It’s fine by itself. Even if you are not a fan of hers, I’d read it. The culture behind the story is thrilling and educational for everyone.Taking into what I read into account, I have to say that my rating will not be as low as others.
My Rating: 7 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms