By Jennifer Jenkins
Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Four clans have been at war for centuries: the Kodiak, the Raven, the Wolf and the Ram. Through brutal war tactics, the Ram have dominated the region, inflicting death and destruction on their neighbors.
Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave, joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission – Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both revenge and an end to her own misery. But after her younger sister follows her into Rams Gate, Zo must find a way to survive her dangerous mission and keep her sister safe.
What she doesn’t expect to find is the friendship of a young Ram whose life she saves, the confusing feelings she develops for a Ram soldier, and an underground nameless insurrection. Zo learns that revenge, loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first installment of this two-book series.
Nameless was a refreshing, unique, and riveting read. It was damn near perfect. I flew through it in a matter of hours (if you discount the time I spent where I actually had to live my life) and am absolutely dying for a sequel. There was an admirable balance between the main plot and the love triangle, with the most love in the story being familial and the focus being survival. (On that note, the cover makes much more sense after you read the book.)
There is so much love between Zo and Tess, the little sister, in this book that it is palpable. They only have each other in this world and would do anything for the other, even if it means going to this world’s version of the gates of Hell just so the other doesn’t have to enter alone. Zo’s motherly devotion to Tess was a main point in the plot and was a strong influence over her future decisions. In addition to the sisterly bond of Zo and Tess, Zo also develops a lovely and touching relationship with Joshua, a Ram, her enemy, but also her patient. He falls under her charge and worms his way into her heart and life with his innocence and his refusal to see her as an enemy.
I while Jennifer’s world was ruthless and shadowed by the Ram’s brutality, it was beautiful. It’s concept was unique, with a world that felt it was full of people beyond the main characters. I would have loved to have read more about how the world became this way, why the Ram and Wolf clans were such intense adversaries, but I have a feeling that this information is going to unfold as the plot continues in the next installments. I found it interesting to see the influences that Jennifer pulled from play out in the story, the most obvious being the Spartan-like society of the Ram tribe, and how she adapted them to fit her characters and how these aspects influenced their actions and psyches.
As for the love interest, (interests?) Gryphon was a complex hero. He was a man trying to redeem his family name in the eyes of his tribe while also being awoken to the short comings of the clan he once saw as infallible. With these two aspects fighting for control over his life, with no area for a middle ground, he could have easily been a frustrating character. However, his point of view pieces gave voice to his inner struggle and gave his seemingly black and white choices more shades of gray. The other possible love interest, Gabe, was seen for only a relatively short period of time. His relationship with Zo is much more solid, but having seen only a minimal amount of their interactions, I find it hard to choose a boy to root for.
Nameless offered an engrossing and quick read. The main characters were perfect, with my only complaints residing in some of the frustrating choices made by supporting characters that should have known better (i.e. Jax, get your family the hell out of there). I can not stress enough how much I loved these characters and this book and that heartbreaking ending. This book was absolutely fantastic and I can not wait to get my hands on a sequel.
With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.
Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).
Visit her online at jajenkins.com
Some super cool news before you go: NAMELESS is in development for film by Benderspink! That’s the same company who optioned Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen and produced the I AM NUMBER FOUR film!
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Disclaimer: Thank you to Chapter by Chapter for providing the synopsis, cover photo, author information, and more. None of these belong to us. The eARC was provided by the tour service in exchange for an honest review.