Jun 262014
Genevieve Reviews: NamelessNameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness #1) by Lili St. Crow
Published by Razorbill on Apr 4, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, YA
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

When Camille was six years old, she was discovered 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, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though 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 heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. 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... to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

After tearing through Wayfarer, which was the second book in this series (I accidently read it out of order) I was really excited to read Nameless.

I wasn’t disappointed.

This one is very loosely based on Snow White. Cami, the main character, doesn’t remember where she came from and she struggles to feel like she belongs in her family and still wants to know what happened to her in her past.

This series features one of the more interesting, weird systems of magic I’ve seen. Cami was adopted by the Family, which are, as close as I can tell, mafia vampires. I never totally jumped on the vampire bandwagon, and I usually don’t seek out books about vampires. So this book has my kind of vampires, in that the book didn’t focus on them too much and just lets them be one more magical creature.

The romance in this is a departure from most of what I’ve read in YA. It doesn’t focus on physical attraction so much as the past between Nico and Cami. They’ve grown up together and the book shows how close they are. Nico is very flawed and I really enjoyed reading about his character, and I thought the bond he and Cami shared was both fascinating and very sweet.

Cami’s friends, Ruby and Ellie, get some nice character development too, and I like how the author works in foreshadowing for the next book, which features Ellie in a retelling of Cinderella.

The plot, much like Wayfarer, was engaging and I finished the book very quickly. There a little bit more world building in this book, but it’s weaved in nicely and there’s no boring infodumps.

My favorite thing about these books is still the writing style, which is very rich and descriptive. St. Crow has a way of writing that just makes you feel things, and most of the time I could picture everything very vividly. I also just love how weird everything is, and how St. Crow takes the traditional fairy tale and magical tropes and reinterprets them into something totally original. My only complaint is that sometimes the writing does get a little too purple, and it can be difficult to actually understand what’s was going on.

Overall I had a lot of fun reading this story.

About Reviewer: Genevieve

Genevieve is an occasional reviewer at Workaday Reads. She lives in Boston with her fiancé, and loves reading books that transport her to other worlds or introduce her to new cultures. Her favorite genres are YA fantasy and crime thrillers.

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