by M. T. Miller
Series: The Nameless Chronicle, #4eARC, 210 pg.
Read: November 27 – 28, 2017
I was excited to open my email and see a new book from M. T. Miller waiting for me — but I’m not ready to say goodbye to this series. I do think this was the right point to wrap things up and exit, I just liked life better when I wondered when there’d be a new book about Nameless.
How to talk about this . . . this is really hard without just spilling the beans about everything.
We met Nameless as he seemingly climbed out of his own grave into a dystopian future of the Western US, not knowing anything about himself (inluding, obviously his name), but with a particular set of skills that enabled him to kill — which also seemed restorative. But he didn’t seem to be a monster. After three books of struggle to survive and find some measure of success, Nameless finally succeeded. He accomplished everything he set out to do, and then found a better way to look at life, an equanimity. Life still had challenges, but he has a new way to deal with them, a new confidence.
Then something appears, ready to take it all away — and how will Nameless react? Very differently than he would’ve before (while consistent with the guy we’ve come to know).
Not only that — but a lot of the mysteries surrounding Nameless are resolved. Questions I stopped hoping/expecting to get answers to were answered as we say goodbye to him and the world that Miller has created for us.
There’s a good degree of character development here for both Nameless and Rush — and a believable lack thereof for many others. Characters you liked in earlier books, you’ll still like. Characters that you were ambiguous toward earlier, you’ll probably still be ambiguous about.
About halfway through the book, Miller changes the rules — he does something gutsy and incredibly hard to discuss without ruining. Just when you get to the point where you pretty much accept what he’s doing, he changes it again. Up to this point, this was my favorite of the books — I really got into things. I liked it less with each new tack. Not that I didn’t appreciate the ambition, or Miller’s skill — it just changed Nameless’ story from Story Type X to Story Type Z. And I’ve never been a fan of Z, I don’t hate Z, but it’s just not my cup of tea. The more I think about it, I can see where this is justified by everything that’s happened throughout the series, and I can even defend it. I just don’t like it.
I guess you can compare it to what happened at the end of Lost or Moore’s Battlestar (both of which I liked, I should mention) or — the writers of those made a choice and executed it. I appreciate Miller’s choice and execution, but it’s just not something that’s every going to appeal to me. Basically this series consists of 1 novella and 3.5 novels that I enjoyed with .5 novels that was well done, but not my taste.
Like I said, I do think that this was the time to leave the series, I think Miller had done everything he could with Nameless, Rush and the rest. I wasn’t crazy about how he landed the plane, but I appreciated it for what it was. I can easily see others thinking I’m wrong about Z, and really digging the parts of the book that leave me cold — so please don’t take anything I said as a discouragement from reading either this book, or the series. I’m really looking forward to whatever he ends up doing next, because I do think I can see Miller’s growth over these 5 novels/novellas. It was a heckuva a ride, and I’m glad I came along for the ride. I heartily recommend it.
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for this post and my honest opinion. Thanks, Mr. Miller! This didn’t impact my opinion of the book in any discernible way.