Friday, February 10, 2017

Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Fateful by Claudia Gray
Series: Standalone
Published: August 29th, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
325 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction/Paranormal Romance
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It's 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they're sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.

Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He's in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it's because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec's past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

In Fateful, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray delivers paranormal adventure, dark suspense, and alluring romance set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic's first—and last—voyage.

I have four words for you: Werewolves on the Titanic. Intrigued? I sure was when I first heard of Fateful. Having been obsessed with the Titanic since the movie came out (20 years ago - ugh I feel so old!), I’ve always been curious about this book, but never picked it up until recently. I want to read more paranormal books this year as well as more backlist books, so I thought I’d start with Fateful. I’m glad I did.

Tess is eager to escape to America when the family she works for boards the Titanic. She plans to leave their service as soon as they arrive in New York and strike out on her own with the money she’s been squirreling away. One of the things I love most about books like this (as well as TV shows and movies) is seeing how differently people lived - in general, as well as between classes. The family Tess works for stays in first class, with all its luxury and opulence, while Tess is relegated to third class. It was interesting to get a glimpse of what things were like between the classes, as well as see the Titanic through Tess’s eyes. Most people know at least a bit about the Titanic tragedy, so throw in the concept of being trapped on this massive ship with deadly werewolves, and it makes for a fun story with great underlying tension and an added sense of danger. You know things aren’t going to end well, but how will the characters fare? It was tense and exciting, and the added element of romance made it that much better.

If this book had a different setting, I might have found the romance between Tess and Alec less believable. Between their proximity and being forced together for various reasons, it made it easier to accept the instalove, and even root for it as things developed. I loved how down-to-earth and humble Alec was despite being the heir to a great fortune. He’d been through a lot and was haunted by personal demons, but he opened himself up to Tess. The other characters in this book were great too. I love stories with meaningful side characters, and I think Gray did a fantastic job of making me care about the side characters as much as the main ones, especially Myriam and Irene. 

If you’re looking for a paranormal romance with a setting that’s as unique as the story itself, Fateful is a must read.

Have you read Fateful? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Have you ever read a book about a well-known event with a unique spin? Do you have any recommendations for books set on the Titanic?

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