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Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Summary: Eighteen-year-old Tess Davies has had enough. After many years being a maid to the spoiled, wealthy Lisle family, she cannot take the mistreatment any longer. When she accompanies her employers on a voyage to the United States in 1912, she decides she’ll quit her job and start a new life in a new country.

What Tess doesn’t know is that there are two problems:

1) She is traveling aboard the ill-fated RMS Titanic.

2) There are werewolves aboard.

Yes, that’s right. Werewolves. On the Titanic. One of them wants to kill her. One of them is a handsome young man traveling in first class. He might also want to kill her. Poor Tess just can’t get a break…


What I liked: Let’s face it. When we think of Titanic, we all think of:

But don’t worry, this is not the same story. Oh sure, there are a few similarities: snobby rich people, an inter-class romance, that whole thing about the ship sinking… Again, though, this is not James Cameron’s Titanic. In fact, the ship’s sinking seems to go much faster in this novel – it is a plot point, but not more than that, whereas in the film it seems that it takes half the movie for the ship to go down.

Most of the characters are well-drawn. Tess probably has to be the toughest ladies’ maid ever. She’s so easy to sympathize with – I got angry when unfair things happened to her and cheered at her successes. The supporting cast is interesting too, from the imperious Lady Regina to Tess’s sensible Lebanese cabin mate Myriam.

The werewolf plot isn’t as shoe-horned in as you may think. Separately, the werewolf premise and the Titanic premise are not very original, but combining them together certainly produces a unique blend.

Though there’s room for sequels, the book has a solid ending, which is a rarity in the era of series 🙂

What I was not so crazy about: A romance story that takes place on a voyage lasting less than a week is going to include “insta!love” by default (just add (icy) water!), but see image above – that’s nothing new. What bothered me was that Tess  resolves that she wasn’t going to make the same mistakes as others and get taken advantage of by a rich man after just one thing…and then you can guess what she turns around and does. There are other ways for an author to show the characters love each other than have them spontaneously sleep together, especially given that this is YA. I realize that others may not be bothered by this, but personally I thought it was unnecessary.

I said most of the characters were well-drawn, but the villain is clear from the start, and is rather two-dimensional. There are too many scenes where he’s threatening Tess or slinging her around.

Tess is also rather unfazed to find out a certain character is a werewolf…she takes it in stride and is very quickly sympathetic. Almost too quickly sympathetic.

In short: This book was quite a page-turner, with an interesting combination of themes. Tess is a strong and likeable heroine accompanied by other interesting characters. Although there was some content that didn’t need to be there IMHO, it was still a gripping read, and I’ll probably pick up future sequels.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Something similar: Everlasting by Angie Frazier

Cover: The title is really generic, and the cover is too…I do like the cover, but something more related to the Titanic would have been more fitting.


One comment on “Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

  1. Pingback: Review: Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren « Back to the Bookshelf!

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This entry was posted on December 22, 2011 by in 4 Stars, Books, Edwardian, Historical, Romance, Werewolves, Young Adult and tagged , , , , , .
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