I LOVE Richelle Mead. I read all of the Vampire Academy books within a week a few years ago. I remember my parents had to keep taking me to the library because I devoured them so fast. I also read some of her spinoff series, Bloodlines, and enjoyed that as well because Adrian is AMAZING. But how did I feel about this book?
Author: Richelle Mead
Rating: 2/5 stars
I didn’t like this book. And I was so surprised because I have loved everything else that Richelle has written. This just didn’t grip me and didn’t leave me wanting more. The book is about a group of people living on the top of a mountain. They are all deaf and some have even begun to lose their eyesight. Nobody knows why but they all accept that it is a part of their life. Many work in a mine and send metal down to the village at the bottom of the mountain, and then food is sent up in exhange for what they produce. Two villagers, our main character Fei as well as another man Lei, dislike this system and journey down the mountain to find out the truth.
First, what I did like was the general landscape that was painted. Richelle does a very good job of explaining setting so that you are truly immersed in a story. I felt like I was on that mountain with those people and I felt their pain as well. The book was very emotional at points because you really felt for the people on that mountain and you wanted to help them just as Lei tries to do. I also found the unique representation of those who are deaf to be interesting in this book. 99% of this book has no spoken word in it, just italicized sentences that stood for the signing the characters used to communicate. I haven’t read a book in the past that has had deaf characters in it so while I thought that was interesting to have, there is another reason for their deafness, which is a little strange.
Now to what I didn’t like about this book. The characters weren’t powerful enough for me to fall in love with them. They carried the main summary of the story but they didn’t make me swoon and didn’t make me have strong emotional reactions to what they did–those were reserved for the harsh plot points. I also didn’t find the love story in this book to be that compelling. After reading other books by this author, I had higher expectations for the main male lead and thought that the love story would play more of a part. That is just an opinion and my comparison to other books by this author, but I think the love story was unnecessary in this book. The story is tragic, and heartbreaking, but I think it was meant to be that way in order to strike a chord. I also thought that there would be more elements of Asian culture in this story. I think I sort of expected it with the setting of the book and I enjoy learning about new cultures, so it was a disappointment on my end.
I would recommend this book to someone who isn’t afraid of a ‘real’ story that has an optimistic ending. I am sure that in other terms, events like this have happened throughout history. It is painful and raw, which is also something I would use to describe this book.
Happy reading! ~ Taylor