Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Solid standalone fantasy is inspired by Chinese folklore.

Soundless Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+


Despite the strong female main character, I ended up disappointed in this book. It was interesting to envision a community that is entirely made of deaf people, and I appreciated that the portrayal was predominantly positive. However, in the end it's the return of the Fei's hearing that makes her into a hero, as though a person cannot be heroic unless they can hear--a very ableist point of view. I'm also unsure of the portrayal of Chinese culture.
age 12+

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (1):

This standalone fantasy is a solid if not remarkable tribute to Chinese folklore. The main character has a milder version of the fiery courage of author Richelle Mead's Rose (Vampire Academy) and the intelligence of her Sydney (Bloodlines). A quick read, Soundless may not please readers expecting Mead's signature snark and swoon-worthy romantic tension. As would be fitting with the ancient Chinese fantasy setting, proper Fei and her forbidden love, Li Wei, may have feelings for each other but can't think only of themselves when their duty is to their villagers and, more importantly, Fei's sister, whom they left behind in hopes of a solution.

There's not a ton of action or much by way of immersion in the Chinese surroundings, but Fei and Li Wei's journey down the mountain is just compelling enough to make the 250-plus-page-read quick and easy. Kudos to Mead for not only writing about a non-Western character but making sure the cover featured an obviously Asian model -- something that's not always done in children's publishing about multicultural characters. Although some of Mead's urban fantasies feature mature content, Soundless is light on the romance and violence and is appropriate for middle school and young teen YA readers.

Book Details

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