Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Review: Fateful

Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Pages: 356
Read it in: 4 days
Source: The library

Summary: In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets....

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, 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.

Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike.

LC's Take:
Hands down, this book was absolutely incredible! I loved, loved, LOVED it!

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!

~Cover Talk~

I might be one of the few, but I actually like the original, hardcover edition of Fateful a lot more than the newer paperback with the girl in the red dress. In my opinion, the original is much more eerie and mysterious, and I think it does a much better job at subtly capturing the idea of fate and inevitable doom-- to me, the newer cover is too obvious and forced. I sort of find the "red dress" cover to be cheesy and too literal, but that's just me! I know that a lot of readers prefer 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?

LC's Rating:
An absolutely stunning paranormal romance, set within a fantastic historical retelling of the Titanic. You must read this book, it was just incredible!!


  1. Fantastic review! I love the movie TITANIC, so this book definitely sounds like my cup of tea ;D

  2. I love it when a book keeps you up all night reading! I liked the idea of this one, but I'm not really a fan of the author's other series, so I have mixed feelings.

    The Cait Files

  3. This book is on my TBR but after reading this review I want to start it right away! Great review! I hope it's really as good as I'm hoping it is.

    Sarah's Shelf

    Sorry about the delete early, I totally messed up that comment!

  4. Okay...I'm going to have to check this one out. I love anything Titanic and the twist with this story sounds so good! I know a lot of my students would love something like this too...thanks for talking about it! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy and put one into our library! :)

  5. I'm really looking forward to reading this one I love everything about the Titanic it fascinates me. Wonderful review it sounds amazing!!

    Xpresso Reads

  6. Great review.

    On the cover: It's weird because my favorite color is blue but I like the paperback one better. I think I just love the dramatic effect of that red dress flowing in the wind. It kinda reminds me of the extravagant fabulous-ness of the dresses on the covers for the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, which I have a lot of coverlove for, haha.

    The hardcover version is pretty cool, too. But not gonna lie, would love to own the paperback version of Fateful.

  7. Oh my, this sounds like an amazing book! I've always loved anything to do with the Titanic so that combined with werewolves is just an epic win ten times over lol. I'll definitely be getting this book soon!

    Great review as usual :) although I seriously need to comment on a regular bases, gotta get with the program lol.


  8. Hm, I started this but was having trouble with some of the language...but your enthusiastic review makes me want to pick it up again soon!

  9. I really want to read this one, Lea, but I'm actually waiting to pick it up on paperback because I personally like that cover more lol.

    I'll be honest, I didn't know how I felt about this book until all the positive reviews started pouring in... I'm glad that you said that the paranormal aspect is well-done because that was one part I was unsure about!

    Thanks for sharing your review, Lea :)

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

  10. First off, I love Claudia Gray, and I also LOVE Titanic. I've watched it over and over a thousand times. Every time I watch it, even though I know what's going to happen, I still cry when Jack dies. I always hope he doesn't, even though I know he will. Lol.

    But anyway, this has been on my tbr list for so long. When I learned Claudia Gray was writing another book, I looked it up and saw werewolves + Titanic I was sold. =D

    GREAT review! Though it makes me lust even more over the book. Hopefully I can get my hands on a copy soon.

  11. I read this book just after the Evernight series & totally loved it!


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