Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Published: September 13, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 325 pages
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Paranormal, Romance, YA
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from Amazon:

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.

Reading this book was such an enjoyable experience! The author has brilliantly woven fact and fiction together to result in an amazing story. Mixing the paranormal aspect of werewolves with the historical events of the Titanic may sound outlandish, but believe me when I say that once you begin reading you will find that these two concepts work so well together! There's really never a dull moment in this book; the excitement starts immediately and just continues to flow throughout the plot, never wavering. Claudia Gray does such a splendid job of painting a clear and historical picture of 1912 and the Titanic. She also knows how to write one heck of a romance!

This story is told through the perspective of Tess Davies, who is a ladies' maid to a wealthy (and mostly snooty) family, the Lisles, in the year 1912. She's a young woman with a kind heart and big dreams of escaping the servitude of the Lisles family. The opportunity to start a new life in America arises when Tess' employers plan a voyage aboard the Titanic, and as you can imagine, gaining her freedom becomes the least of her worries after a while. Not just because of the peril she'll be put in aboard the Titanic, but also because of the chain of events that unfold after a chance meeting with a handsome stranger, Alec.

Tess is such a great character, and her situation as a poor citizen and servant seems like a very accurate depiction of what it must have been like for people like her back then. This is why when she meets the mysterious Alec, their growing attraction to one another is severely frowned upon because of his status as a wealthy young man and her status as a poor servant girl. Not to mention the supernatural circumstances that surround Alec could easily complicate a relationship on their own. But despite all of the obstacles, dark secrets, and anguish in their way, Tess and Alec are very strong-willed people, and it's clear that they belong together. I was certainly rooting for them throughout the entire book!

One of the things that is so fantastic about this book is that there is one thing the reader knows is going to happen for certain, above all else, and that is the sinking of the Titanic. You know what's coming but you have no idea how the author is going to portray it and what will become of the characters. There were times, though, when I would be so wrapped up in the intensity of Tess and Alec's situation, as well as the malevolent secondary characters, that I found myself randomly remembering, "Oh yeah, this ship is going to be sinking any day now! Holy crap!". That just goes to show you how much is going on within the span of almost a week. But approaching the end of the book and reading about the ship going down is truly a chilling experience, and the author makes you feel like you're right there in the chaos and tragedy. Knowing the outcome of the Titanic, however, still doesn't prepare you for the excitement and conclusion of the book!

So if you enjoy anything involving the Titanic (or even if you don't!), werewolves, seriously creepy characters, and a fantastic romance, then definitely pick up Fateful A.S.A.P.! It will far exceed your expectations.


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