Release Date: September 13, 2011
Read it in: 4 days
Source: The library
Fateful was a retelling of Titanic's story combined with a unique paranormal twist-- it had my heart racing and left me speechless by the end. I burst into tears at multiple parts of the story, because it was that good at drawing me in and making me feel emotionally invested in the characters-- even the minor ones. The writing was both beautiful and powerful, and the story, despite being paranormal, was very true-to-life and accurately followed historic accounts of Titanic's fate. Altogether, Fateful was one amazing book!
The romance between Tess and Alec was done so well. Their love was genuine and not superficial, and I loved reading along to see their relationship develop, despite the fact that there were so many barriers between them. Not only is Tess a third-class servant and Alec a first-class heir to a major fortune, but Alec also happens to be a werewolf who has no control over changing into a monster every night. These two things work against Tess and Alec being together, but Claudia Gray had me totally convinced that their love was strong enough to overcome all odds. By the end, like I said, I was crying so hard I could barely read, I kid you not! It was just a very touching and beautiful story.
The historical account of the doomed voyage of the Titanic was done perfectly-- you really felt like you were actually there on board. The whole time I was reading, I knew that the inevitable was going to happen eventually, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, wondering when it was coming. Just like when watching the movie Titanic, (which, by the way, I LOVE, so this review *might* be a little biased!) every character and every relationship became that much more important and special, because you know in the back of your head what they're all about to go through...
Claudia Gray notes at the end of the story that all of her characters, except a few famous ones who make "cameo appearances," were fictional, because she didn't want to be disrespectful towards those who went through the unforgettable disaster. I loved that she did this. Even though it is an alternate history with a paranormal twist, I thought that nothing was ridiculous or took lightly the actual story. And the account she tells of how the Titanic sunk, and what those people went through? Once again, I was bawling.
Finally, the ending was spectacular. Crying aside, I actually gasped out loud at one point, I was so freaked out-- I won't give it away and tell you, but I will just say, the ending was totally unexpected and I could not put the book down for the last 100 pages or so. I stayed up until almost 2am to finish!
***Because I am a big history nerd, I DO have to state however, that if Tess had been on board Titanic as a servant to a first-class family in real life, she would have had a cabin close to the first class rooms, and not have stayed in Third Class-- Titanic was simply too big for servants to be stowed in Third Class, since it was too far away from First, so rooms were reserved for them near the families they served for convenience sake. But I can understand why Claudia changed this factual detail, since it gives us a look at all parts of the ship and all aspects of life on board for the different classes!
I will just end this review by saying that this is one book I highly recommend to all my fellow book-lovers. If you love paranormal romance but want something different than vampires or fairies, or if you love historical fiction that is done really well-- get Fateful and make it your next read! It definitely was one of the best books I have read in a long time, and I'm so happy I discovered it!
Besides this, I just love the artwork of the original-- if you have seen it on the actual book, you know that there is a beautiful iridescent sheen to the entire cover, and the title is raised in beautiful lettering. So which do you like more?