Readership: Young adult
Genres: historical romance, werewolves
The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets.
When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn.
Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…
Fateful had me at Titanic. Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with the tragedy of the Titanic. I was obsessed with reading books about the survivors and their stories. I was obsessed with watching television specials on the Titanic. I was even obsessed with the movie. Everything. About. The. Titanic. I mean I grew up close to the story; my grandmother told me every April when the anniversary rolled around that her mother was supposed to be on it. In short, I have always been drawn to the story of the Titanic. When I saw that someone had written a YA romance on it, I was intrigued. Then I saw that it had werewolves too. That's when I got slightly confused. I had no idea how on earth an author would weave werewolves into such a real thing as the Titanic.
The premise is a very unique combination of historical fiction and paranormal. It has the potential to be done very well or horribly, horribly wrong. It has the potential to be cliche, predictable and boring. The doomed Titanic plus the lowly servant girl plus the damaged, haunted, broken but handsome - don't forget handsome! - rich gentleman who turns out to also be a werewolf could equal up to be pathetically obvious, boring and a waste of time. However, I am pleased to say that Claudia did it well.
Tess is a ladies maid for the Lisle family, a wealthy bunch who are all arrogant, sour and horrible all save for Irene. Tess has been in service since she was thirteen years old. She views her coming journey on the Titanic as a fresh start. Once she arrives in America, she wishes to start over, to quit her job witht the Lisles and use what little money she had saved all those years to start a new life, a better life. Tess is driven. Tess is strong. Tess is everything I would want to be if I was in her situation.
When Tess meets Alec on board, she is thrown for a loop. She is inexplicably drawn to him but she knows she has no chance with them. She is resolved in that fact. It just cannot happen: she is a servant girl and Alec is the son of a millionaire. But they are drawn together. Tess knows that Alec has a deep, dark secret and she soon finds out what it is; Alec is a werewolf. I thought that Gray approached the couple in a realistic way. At first, Tess is afraid of Alec, of what he is. It wasn't the usual 'OMG! he's a werewolf but I lurve him so much!' we usually see in these types of situations. Tess fought the fear and soon she realizes that Alec is so much more than the monster he thinks he is. She fights for him. She puts her life in danger for him. She loves him very much. A few of their scenes brought me to tears. Their romance is so raw and genuine that I was rooting for them the entire time.
I sometimes forgot they were even on the RMS Titanic because they had so many problems to deal with that I couldn't help but wonder how on earth Gray was going to wrap it up in time for the ship to sink. She did that wonderfully too. At about 70 pages left, I had to keep pausing to let myself cry. I think Gray handled the sinking wonderfully. There is nothing like crying about a book at 4 in the morning.
I loved all of the characters in this book - well, not Lady Regina, Mikhail, or Layton but I digress. From Irene, to Ned, to George, to Myriam and the old Norwegian ladies. I was a complete wreck about each and every one of them by the end.
I'm not sure exactly what I expected when I began Fateful but I don't believe it was much. I was wrong. The story of Fateful is a captivating one. It is a story of love, of loss and of tragedy. It's a story of endings and new beginnings. Most of all, it is a story of hope. Of being able to face even the most terrifying things and be all right in the end. Of having the resolve of knowing you did your best, all you could. Fateful was a beautiful read, one I know I will pick up again.