Book Review | Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
For years, Tess Davies has looked forward to terminating her employment with the Lisle family. The journey to America on board the RMS Titanic is not only the start to a new life for the Lisles, who are running out of money, but also for Tess. Once the Titanic docks, Tess will run away forever with the little money that she has managed to save and make a new beginning for herself. In America, the possibilities will be endless.
Tess’s future becomes jeopardized when she catches the interest of Mikhail Kalashnikov, a predatory Count who is part of a mysterious Brotherhood of werewolves. Her fate becomes entwined with that of a first class passenger named Alec Marlowe, a werewolf whom Kalashnikov hopes to initiate into the Brotherhood for his connections and wealth. Despite Alec’s painful past and the differences in their class, Tess and Alec begin to fall in love, but how can they even have a chance at a future together when everything–including the forces of nature–are working against them?
Though Fateful by Claudia Gray is a very familiar story (especially to fans of the blockbuster film Titanic, which also features two lovers doomed by class), I think anyone who enjoys a good romance set amidst tragic circumstances will enjoy it. It’s really hard not to compare and contrast Titanic to Fateful, however; there are just too many similarities, beginning with the Lisle family, who need their daughter Irene to make a wealthy match to secure their own future. Unlike Titanic, Fateful focuses less on the aftermath of hitting the ice berg and more on werewolves on board the ship. It’s only in the last 60 pages that the sinking of the ship occurs.
I loved Gray’s depiction of vampires in Evernight, so I was definitely looking forward to reading Fateful since it deals with another supernatural favorite: werewolves. We really get to know little about werewolves and the Brotherhood since we know just as much as Alec and Mikhail. There isn’t really much a fresh take on the werewolf lore; silver is harmful to werewolves, and they shift forms under a full moon. The fresh material that Gray adds in regards to the initiation into the Brotherhood is interesting, and something I would have loved to know more about.
Since the setting is on board the Titanic, I knew there would be casualties. I wasn’t prepared for the deaths of some of the characters that grew on me, even though it was more than inevitable. I didn’t expect that I would cry, but I have to confess that the last 60 pages were as challenging to get through as they were riveting.
Fateful is not only a good paranormal romance; it’s also a fantastic historical novel. Gray thoughtfully researched the early 20th century and nailed the life of a domestic maid, as well as the details and descriptions of the Titanic and its passengers. I definitely recommend it for anyone who loves both genres.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*