Khanh the Killjoy

Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness, #1)

Nameless (Tales of Beauty & Madness, #1) - Lili St. Crow,  Lilith Saintcrow I really am torn as to what rating to give this book. It's an interesting concept, I loved the writing. However, after having finished the story, I still have no idea what the big reveal is and what it means, the book is that confusing. So, excellent writing, excellent atmosphere, interesting characters, wtf-world building, and a plot that makes my head spin. This is supposed to be a retelling of Snow White; if so, there must be a pretty big wiggle room for writers' creativity. Had I not known it from the start, and if not for the blatant references in the book (random-as-fuck craving and choking on the apple? Come on now.) I would not have a clue that this had anything to do with Snow White.Despite my preference for light reads that do not make me think, I do enjoy the challenges of a complex book, and I like to think I'm not so far beyond overlooking the obvious. I don't need everything spelled out for me, but there are books in which it's necessary for the author to let the reader know the world into which they're being plunged into. It is not necessary to do so in a verbose and Dickensian manner. I've had enough of A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations from 10th grade AP English to last me a lifetime, thank you very much, but I do appreciate a good description. I love exploring new worlds, and when the author has seen fit to define a new genre (I say so because as stated above, I am confused as hell), it needs some descriptions. It needs some hints in the writing as to what the new world is like.Ms. St. Crow has created a new genre of which I've never read. I would like to coin a new term for it, that of steampunk-dystopian-Godfather mafia. It's not just about vampires, although it is strongly hinted that the Families (did I say Godfather before? You think I was kidding? Nope) are vampires. The world is referred as What the heck does that mean? What are the Twisted? What are Jacks? What are Minotaurs, if not actual minotaurs? Why are there trashcan-gobbling machine-monsters in the street? There are more questions than answers, and although the world-building is extraordinary, there is never enough information given to actually define the world itself. Some authors do a great job of giving us information without making it look like we're reading an encyclopedia; I would have actually appreciated a prologue or footnote or an actual encyclopedia, because the entire time I was reading this book, I had no idea what these strange new creatures are in this new world the author has built.As for the characters; Nico. Oh, my. What a dream character. I was so angry when it seemed that the story was making him out to be the bad boy. Camille (Cami) was another story. I was torn between sympathy for her, feeling like one does not belong is not a good thing. She also has a terrible stuttering problem, which I hate to admit, got on my nerves a lot. I know I sound like a terrible person for saying that, I probably am. She is such a spoiled-poor-little-rich-girl, though, and I found my sympathies for her deteriorating rapidly. She has this wonderful family, who, although not biological, clearly loves her, worships her, and gives her anything she desires, yet she persists with this oh-woe-is-me routine, and frequently plunges herself into TSTL situations. She also sympathizes with those who are not deserving of it, making excuses for them. Cami is a very hard character to like. The others in the book are much more relatable.I was satisfied with the ending, although it seems rushed, and again, too much information s omitted for me to truly enjoy the book. However confusing it is, and however much is left to the imagination, it is still one of the better books I've read lately.