Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Me on Nameless
Author: Lili St. Crow
Release Date: April 4, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)
When she was six, she was found alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven, the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute and scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill along with his son, Nico. Now Camille is turning sixteen. No longer mute, she keeps her scars hidden under her school uniform and only opens up to her friends Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered heiress, she knows she's not really Family. Unlike them, she's a mortal with a past buried in trauma. It's not until she meets Tor, who has scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth, to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.
Nameless is an enthralling and captivating tale, dark and dripping with magic and decadence. In an intricate world so powerful, so unique, so dangerous, a girl struggles to discover where she belongs, if she belongs, who she belongs to. What her name is.
Cami is a curious creature, caught between the family that took her in and the unknown mysteries of her past. Where did she come from before they found her, shaking and bleeding in the snow? What is creeping out from the darkness that causes her nightmares? It can be difficult, having the meek quiet girl as the heroine, but sometimes it's the quiet ones you have to watch out for. It's the quiet ones who get inquisitive, who get tired of not knowing, who follow and grab hold when a hidden truth is revealed. It's the quiet ones who have to figure out their place in the world.
For those looking for a romance in this magical world, they'll find it muted, but I didn't seem to miss it. Cami's connections to each of the battered boys is different. Nico's anger and fury hide the pain and scars on the inside and Cami's hands flutter with the urge to soothe and comfort. Tor's scars on the outside that mark him reminds Cami of her own, of a past she can't remember, and she knows that somehow, in some way, they are similar. In different ways, she cares about them both.
The world the author has crafted here is wonderfully complex. New Haven is not part of the normal human world, it doesn't even have the same history as our own. Everything sounds and tastes familiar, but woven in are the magics and the creatures and a different history that crafted this place. Potential, Twists, jacks, fausts, charmers, the Families. Not everything is fully explained which adds a wariness to it all, a hidden danger lurking in the darkness, in the shadows. An exciting world crackling with power at the edges.
It doesn't take long to see who the fairy tale counterparts are in Cami, Ruby, Ellie, or other characters. What makes this retelling work is the unique world, the darker and dangerous magic, the secrets and nightmares. Everything the author brought and added to the story of Snow White, every twist and turn, makes this a refreshing and exciting retelling while still staying faithful to the original.
As with the author's previous series, I found myself devouring it, sinking down as deep as I could into the story, feeling the icy bite of the falling snow, hearing the mad thump of someone's heartbeat. And, as with the author's previous series, I found myself craving more the second it was over.
(I received an advance copy from Penguin Canada.)