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Book Reviews

Review: “Fateful,” Claudia Gray

October 16, 2011
Review: “Fateful,” Claudia GrayFated (Standalone)
Written by Claudia Gray
Published September, 2011 by HarperCollins
309 pages
Genres: Historical, Werewolves / Shifters
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three-stars

The RMS Titanic might be the most luxurious ship in the world, but all passenger Tess Davies wants to do is escape her dreary existence as a maid.

Trapped in a web of painful memories and twisted family secrets, Tess vows to make a run for it as soon as the ship reaches New York. A new world awaits… and a new life!

Her single-minded obsession shatters when she meets Alec. Handsome and mysterious, he captivates her immediately – but Alec has secrets of his own. As she uncovers the darkness lurking beneath his sophisticated surface, Tess discovers a horrifying truth. Werewolves, once only the stuff of nightmares, are real – and they are stalking Alec. Tess’s love for Alec puts her in mortal peril, but an even greater danger lies in front of her before their journey on the Titanic is over…

I went into this book with low expectations. Being a reader who has held a long-time interest in the Titanic as well as supernatural romance, I was worried the two wouldn’t be able to be mixed in a way that wouldn’t make me cringe. Claudia Gray has managed to tell an interesting and enjoyable story, though there are some overly predictable paths and plotlines.

Despite worrying the two couldn’t mix, I was pretty excited for Fateful when I heard about it. But after it came out, I was seeing some very mixed reviews. Some friends were rating it high, while others were rating it incredibly low. I knew that I’d only be able to make up my own mind about it, so decided to take a leap.

I’ve only read a few chapters of Claudia Gray’s Evernight series some time ago (I don’t recall much, but I fear that it’s no longer my thing) so I wasn’t sure what to expect from her style of writing. Fateful tells the story of Tess, a servant in the Lisle household who’s accompanying them to New York aboard the Titanic. Unbeknownest to them, she’s preparing to leave their service as soon as the ship docks, making a new life for herself. All this turns upside down when she meets Alec, a wealthy young gentleman with a secret of his own.

I thought the werewolf mythology and Brotherhood deal was pretty cool, but I wish it would have been fleshed out a little more. Even without knowing much, though, I was able to gauge where the story was heading as soon as Tess described the contents of the Lisle’s lockbox. This, teamed with instances such as ‘who Irene secretly loved’, ‘what happened to Gabrielle Dumont’ and ‘who got Daisy pregnant’, were painstakingly obvious to me and somehow derailed my liking of the book a little.

The relationship between Tess and Alec was likeable enough, which is good because the story rested upon their shoulders a whole lot. The pacing, too, was fantastic as it spanned the few days the Titanic was at sea. Fateful was a page-turner, so if you’re planning on reading it you’ll find you’re able to get through it pretty quick. And I think a lot of that has to do with the pacing.

The ending however, with the sinking, was when the pacing went shonky. I’m sure it’s just my being used to the film version, but the sinking in Fateful (as it did with Bianca Turetsky’s The Time-Traveling Fashionista) felt over too quickly. The events that happened afterward, including Tess visiting the ice rink, felt like a blur. I was hoping for something a little more solid and believable, but the quick-pace of the last handful of chapters seemed to throw that to the wind.

Don’t let me dissuade you from reading Fateful, though. I highly urge anyone with an interest in it to give it a go. There’s a good read to be found here, and I did enjoy it a whole lot. It’s a satisfying escape from the real world for an afternoon!

Recommended to: Readers who are interested in the Titanic, but also love supernatural romance, will definitely get a kick out of this! Despite mixed reviews over the web, give it a chance.

About Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray lives in New Orleans. So far, in life, she's been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. She especially likes to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, she enjoys writing.

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