Thursday, June 16, 2011
Fateful by Claudia Gray
First, this book is an ARC. It will be released on September 13, 2011. I had the privilege of reading it ahead of time.
Now, in all fairness, I probably would've given Fateful four stars were it not for the Titanic setting. I rank it right at four stars story-wise, but the Titanic makes it solidly five. I've been fascinated with the story of the Titanic since I first saw the movie, which was at least ten years ago. Though James Cameron's movie incited my love, I went further and read several books on the ship. Needless to say, anything involving the Titanic catches my eye, though not always my fancy.
Fateful follows ladies maid Tess Davies as she accompanies the Lisle family on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. Tess has plans once she reaches America; she has saved money and will quit the Lisles' service to strike out on her own. When Tess meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger with dark secrets and is inexplicably drawn to him she becomes entangled in a drama far beyond her imagining, involving secret societies, lost fortunes, werewolves, and true love. Not only does she face the peril presented by Alec's situation, but also the fate of the doomed ship.
I ridiculously enjoyed this book. I liked Tess as a protagonist. She was strong, but real in her strength. She had concrete reasons for why she did things, but was compelled most of the time by her love. I adored Alec. Read the book and you'll see why. I thought the characters were developed and had real intentions.
I also liked the way Ms. Gray gave many real officers and passengers cameos without making them characters, with the exception of Thomas Andrews. She mentions this in the author's note and I definitely agreed with her reasoning. With the concept of the story being so based in fantasy, the reality of the sinking and the death of those poor souls would not have been a comfortable juxtaposition for most, and definitely not me.
As for the story, I can't complain. I didn't find the plot too stuffed with extras, just enough to make every scene interesting. I will admit that this book had me crying, pretty badly actually. Partially, that was my fault. I made the mistake of listening to the score from Titanic while reading the scenes of the sinking through the end. I do believe I would've been crying no matter what, but the music made it worse. If you like to be emotionally drained after finishing a book, try this. I promise you'll be exhausted!
While the story has a closing that could stand alone, though I don't think it should, I would be among the first in line for a sequel, even though it obviously won't be set on the Titanic, and that alone testifies to how much I enjoyed the book.
Risk a paper cut? If you like paranormal romance or the Titanic, for sure. Otherwise, it's an entertaining read, but could ostracize people without those interests. (But, hey! If you're like me, and love BOTH paranormal romance and the Titanic, you'll be in hog heaven!!!)
Five out of five stars.
To buy: Amazon
Barnes & Noble