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Fateful Hardcover – September 13, 2011
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Praise for Claudia Gray: “If you like Twilight, this book has even more drama.” (Praise for STARGAZER, Seventeen Magazine)
Once I picked EVERNIGHT up, I couldn’t put it down! I can’t wait for Claudia Gray’s next book!” (L.J. Smith, New York Times bestselling author of the Vampire Diaries)
“Stephenie Meyer fans will find similar rewards in the flashes of humor; the terrifying battle between ancient, supernatural societies; and the steamy romance in which love bites aren’t just a euphemism.” (Praise for the Evernight series, Booklist)
About the Author
Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of New Orleans-based writer Amy Vincent, the author of the New York Times bestselling Evernight series. She has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockey, and an extremely poor waitress. Her grandparents' copy of Mysteries of the Unexplained is probably the genesis of her fascination with most things mysterious and/or inexplicable.
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Tess, the protagonist - Practical, smart, fiery, determined, strong. A great perspective to read. I LOVED that she was a servant--not that I enjoyed seeing her be treated badly or anything but just how often do you read a story from that kind of perspective? Historical romance & history itself are often written from the perspective of the victor, the rich, etc. etc. It was incredibly refreshing to have that other take on the story and one that was so heart-breaking. You'll really empathize with Tess. Plus, her reactions were always realistic, which is a nice touch for a paranormal world.
World-building - More than just one world to build -- Gray had to establish both the paranormal world and the historical world, and on both counts, she succeeded. I never once doubted that Tess was on the Titanic; Gray adds a lot of details that make the ship seem like an authentic setting. I also enjoyed her werewolf world. I want to know more about the Brotherhood--how did wolves become this way? I think there was a mention of it but I want more and I want to know how such... misogynistic opinions came to exist.
Relationships - Every relationship felt complex and well-developed .... LOVED MYRIAM. Ahem, and that's not just 'cause she's Lebanese ;p. It's mostly because the friendship between Tess and Myriam became authentic after only a few days... In general, I loved how Gray used all the pasts between the characters to form these dynamic situations layered with such incredible tension.
The Villains - Just as in her Evernight series, Gray has created two sets of villains.. a couple close to Tess and one newly met. One set was incredibly realistic - there are some people who are that nasty and elitist - and the other set? Well, that's just the paranormal. Regardless, though, both posed a great threat to Tess that made me believe in the danger inherent to every moment she was on and off board the ship.
The Romance - Because even though it was intense and had some elements of paranormal romance that I don't like--i.e. references to their obvious connection--it still had me sold. I love their deep-seated belief in each other and the way they admired each other's strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, I understood why they ended up together, why they were attracted to each other to begin with. Gray is a master at spinning romance.
Accuracy - I mentioned this in both the protag. and world-building sections, but really it deserves its own section. The details of servitude and Tess's relationship with her employers, with the other passengers, even what happened when the RMS Titantic crashed--everything was vivid and done so well that I feel like Claudia Gray deserves extra props for her research.
The Ending - Was not expecting that to happen... and yet... it was wonderful! I can't say anymore because I don't want to spoil it for you guys... Still, let me just say that Claudia Gray is brilliant! There. :).
The Writing - The attire and dialogue and emphasis on class were all historically accurate not to mention the descriptions of the world as seen through Tess's eyes. In general, the writing was really fluid and evocative of a tragedy just waiting to happen.
the Pacing - The pacing was sort of neither here nor there. At one point, I had to put the book down to go to class, but even when class finished, I wasn't really thinking about it because I hadn't gotten a place that I absolutely needed to read, you know? The pacing seemed constant throughout, and even when the Titantic crashed, I still didn't feel the urgency. Though... I think that may be due to the fact that I already knew that was going to happen...
Thanks for reading my review :). Hope I was helpful.
Claudia Gray's ability to write fantastic YA books was made clear by the popularity of her Evernight series and continues with Fateful. This fantastic story set aboard the ill fated Titanic is a must read. Fateful is filled with such amazing facts and surprising fiction that I had to keep reading through the night to see what happened next.
Tess Davies is an eighteen year old servant to the Lisle family. While on an errand, Tess meets up with unexpected danger. She is confronted with a black wolf that seems intent on hurting her. The only thing that saves her is a young man who steps between her and the wolf, telling the wolf to leave and strangely it does. Yet before she can thank the young man who saved her, he tells her that she must leave post haste or she will die. Frightened, Tess returns home.
When the Lisle family takes leave to New York aboard the Titanic, Tess again meets the young man. He is Alec Marlowe, heir to the Marlowe steel company, and although she knows nothing can ever happen between them, she can't help by be drawn to him. But Alec has a secret. He is a werewolf, and not the only one on board.
Can Alec be freed from the curse of changing each and every night? Can he escape the Brotherhood; a collection of werewolf thugs? Can the love that Alec and Tess have for each other overcome all the obstacles in their way and finally be together? You'll just have to read the book to get the answers.
Fateful is a fantastically written historical romance with a unique and original twist on the paranormal side. I just loved this book, and I hope that there is a second, third, maybe more. I see a great series potential here.
5 of 5 stars
That said, there is plenty more to like about Fateful by Claudia Gray. There is the heroine, Tess Davies, a young ladies' maid hoping to change her fortunes once the Titanic docks in America; there is Alec Marlowe, the tortured first class passenger who harbors a strange, heart-breaking secret; there is Myriam, a third class Lebanese traveler whose friendship Tess comes to value in many ways; there is Irene, the young woman Tess cares for who has secrets all her own; and there is the Titanic itself, steeped in all the tragedy and grandeur of history. Tess is a young woman ahead of her time, determined to escape the life of a ladies' maid and live on her own in America, and her family's personal tragedy propels her to take chances she might otherwise avoid. Once on board the Titanic, however, her strange encounter with with a wolf on the streets of Southampton turns into an even deeper mystery when Tess finds herself stalked by the creepy Mikhail; her very life comes into danger when she realizes just whom--and what--she is dealing with.
I really enjoyed Fateful with its fast plot, evil villain, and paranormal aspect. The fact that Ms. Gray was able to weave her story among the great ship and its real life passengers was very enjoyable for this Titanic buff, and she explains her liberties fully in the author's note. If the characters are a little too cardboard caricature, it's all right since the story fulfills its purpose and ends on a particularly unexpected measure. My biggest issue was with the idea that no one would report or raise a cry when a rather large wolf escapes and kills a man; that particular scene was really unrealistic, even for a paranormal. And though I loved the "romance" between Alec and Tess, I seriously doubt his ability to fall in love with a ladies' maid, even one who knows his secrets and rescues him. But still, it's a young adult novel and it's a paranormal so I can overlook that little qualm because the ending makes up for every single issue I had. I'm hopeful there will be a sequel or two because this story certainly isn't over. Fun and engaging with a unique setting.
Most recent customer reviews
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Fateful simply is Titanic meets werewolves secret society.Read more
A great book and enjoyable read!