Mead, Richelle Soundless, 266 pages. Razorbill (Penguin), 2015. $20. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (people thrown off the mountain).
No one in Fei’s village can hear a word. Legend has it that their silence was caused by the with drawing of the pixius – immortal beings who silenced the village when they wanted to sleep. The village’s existence is very perilous, however. They are perched at the top of a steep mountain and the only way to get provisions is to send precious metals down a fragile rope to a town below, which then send up foodstuffs and other supplies in exchange. But people in the village are also losing their eyesight – even Fei’s own sister. In her determination to find a solution, Fei will join with her former friend, Li Wei, one of the miners, and scale down the mountain to talk to the town and the line keeper – setting in motion events that will either save them or doom them all.
Soundless reads way too fast for – I feel like the last 50 pages really need to be 100 instead – it just felt really rushed, downplaying the fantasy element to a point to where it almost didn’t matter except as deus ex machine. I admire Fei and her determination, though and will happily share this with my students.
MS – ADVISABLE.