Monday, November 2, 2015

Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins

by Jennifer Jenkins
Read: October 21 - 23, 2015
October 6, 2015 by Month9Books
Source: Kindle purchase
Category: YA, fantasy, enemies romance, 

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.

I'm a sucker for mortal enemies who fall in love stories. Even though the Romeo and Juliet style set-up is always fraught with a lot of pain and high emotions, I can't get enough (although I desire HEAs!). Some features of this type of story: the two love interests are majorly forbidden to fall in love, often must deal with power inequalities when they're in the other's world, and are forced to reexamine their own beliefs along with prejudices about their love interest's society/familyAll of those points lead to greater complexity and amazing tension as the plot develops. Not to mention the potential for an incredible slow-burn romance. Some recent favorites in this genre are The Winner's Curse and The Book of Ivy

In Nameless, four tribes have been warring for centuries, though recently three of them have formed as Allies against the larger more dominant Ram tribeAs I read I kept thinking of Great Britain around the time of Roman occupation. However, the story pulls from different settings/people and is decidedly fantasy. For the Ram, imagine if the Spartans built and lived behind Hadrian's Wall. What a scary thought that would be! 

Zo is a Wolf and has just undertaken a mission for the Allies: infiltrate the Ram as a Nameless slave and gather intelligence for their side. She knows its a suicide mission, and has accepted it. That is until Zo discovers her younger sister has followed her into enemy territory, and Zo must stay alive to keep her sister safe. This is a nearly impossible mission, as the Ram are a people of strength, not mercy, and their lands are secured behind an impenetrable wall. All of this came together to create a fascinating by brutal world and a story with lots of increasing intensity.

Going into this book, I expected for my views of the "good" and "bad" side of this war to skew as I read the story and got to know both Zo and the Ram solider Gryphon. But I didn't wavered in my support of Zo's allies' goals or her mission. Getting deeper into the story, I actually felt more strongly about them. Even so, I respected Gryphon's dedication to his people, and while there were some characters that I would have been glad to see with arrows in their hearts, I discovered amazing people fighting on both sides. My absolute favorite secondary character is Joshua, a young Ram whom Gryphon mentors. He pretty much stole my heart in this book. 

Nameless also features an incredible slow-burn romance, which I'll admit is my favorite aspect of this story set-up. Zo and Gryphon are on completely opposite sides of their world. Zo is a Wolf, a healer and a spy in enemy territory, fighting for the allied clans. Gryphon is a young but well respected soldier for the enemy who's completely dedicated to the cause of his people. That is until he meets Zo and his priorities and goals slowly begin to shift. The slow change in each of them, as they begin to regard the other person differently, was so well done in this book. Their turning towards each other is not at all a speedy process, but it pays off in tension and swoon.

Nameless is part of a duet and ends on a desperate but hopeful moment. I'm excited where the story is headed, but the wait for book two is going to be torture! 

Love Triangle Factor: None - Zo makes her choice clear. Highlight: Though there is a another boy from her tribe who shows interest, she doesn't reciprocate. I like Gabe's addition to the story, though I didn't love the slight romantic drama surrounding the "two guys in love with one girl" trope. However, I was pleased that this didn't descend into an angst fest, and overall wasn't an issue. Zo states from the beginning that she isn't interested in Gabe that way. 
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium - ends in an intense moment, but with hope. 


  1. This is such a fantastic book!! I'm so glad you enjoyed NAMELESS as well. I really enjoyed the slow burn romance and the unique tribes - reminded me of the Celts and/or Spartans as warriors.
    Thanks for the lovely review, Lauren :)

    1. YES! I like that you said the Celts. That's also an influence for sure. I like that she pulled from many different cultures in this story. And the romance was yummmmyyyy!

  2. I loved the slow burn romance as well. The book reminded me of a cross between The Winner's Curse and Ember in the Ashes. The whole mud on her face just bothered me, to be honest and it stayed in the back of my head the entire time. Sometimes this happens to me. It just wasn't realistic that, if they're worried about Rams, why they would allow her to keep her face covered in mud, especially given that apparently they can see if you're a Ram just based on your looks. And she's a healer, working on people with a muddy face? That made no sense to me. But I still really enjoyed the book! ~Pam

    1. Yeah the mud faced thing was strange! A mud face mask all the time? Weird. I was able to ignore it mostly, but it was far fetched for sure.

      I think she was just trying to hide that she was a Wolf though, not appear to be a Ram. By hiding her beauty, she could be from another tribe, I guess. Or at least avoid the advances of slimeball men. But imagining her working on patients and trying to keep everything sterile while covered in mud? Doesn't make sense.

      I'm going to try and not think about this too much because I really loved the book. I totally get having one seemingly small thing really drag down a story, though.

  3. I've got to read this one. I've heard nothing but amazing things and I just know I'll love it. I do love a slow burn (my fave!). Wonderful review!

  4. Awesome review Lauren :D So glad you liked this book a lot sweet girl. <3 I have heard so much about it lately. And I do think it sound amazing :D I'm just nervous that I won't like it, lol. But maybe one day. Yay for liking the romance :D And glad the drama didn't get any worse. Ack. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3


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