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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Nameless by Lili St. Crow

Title: Nameless
Author: Lili St. Crow
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: April 4, 2013
Publishing House: Razorbill
ISBN: 9781595143570
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


A battered child is found alone in the snow by the godfather of the Seven - the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopts the girl, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now sixteen, Camille keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform. She opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino princess, she knows that she is not really Family. She is merely mortal, with a buried, uneasy past. And it's not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth - and of the mysterious white-robed woman who calls from beneath New Haven's twisted secrets...

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


No matter how much money she has in her purse, or how protected she is as a Vultusino, Cami knows that she's different from everyone around her. For starters, she doesn't have fangs, and once she's dead, she's staying put in her coffin, thank you very much. Cami thinks that she is living a lie, and when the mysterious new gardener makes her question everything she's been keeping inside, Cami's not going to stay put within the Vultusino territory when she could have actual answers outside. Outside, where the truth is deadly.

Nameless is one of the strangest books I have ever read. I haven't tried any Lili St. Crow book before, so I wouldn't really know how the author goes about writing her books. Nameless has a lot of terminology, and St. Crow doesn't really spell them out for the reader so it takes a bit of a guesswork to find out what they mean. The novel may also be categorized as a retelling of Snow White, but I'd like to think that it is instead, inspired by the ebony-haired, red-lipped princess. There's obviously the apple, but I thought that the story was getting weirder and weirder as it progressed. Like, cryptic, incomprehensible, what-am-I-reading weird. I might as well be stuck in a dark room, groping the walls for the light switch.

The characters were uninteresting and too dramatic for my liking. It was hard not to get annoyed what with the lead character being too docile and fragile all the freaking time! The romance was odd and not very convincing. The romantic interest, Nico, runs hot and cold, and sometimes even both at the same time, and boy, is it frustrating. 

The Snow White aspect only really shone through in the later half of the book, so the Cami-and-the-apple thing just left a weird taste in my mouth. She was acting fine, but all of a sudden, she starts craving apples? I felt like that bit was just thrown in there because the novel was supposed to be a retelling of Snow White, and thusly felt a bit shortchanged. 

Nameless isn't really a book I'd revisit anytime soon. Granted that I might make more sense out of it if I'd read it over and over and made all these hypothetical connections in my head, I'm pretty sure I'm calling it over with this one.


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