Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review: Fateful

Release Date: Sep. 13, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 356 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Historical
Source: Library
Goodreads 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.
When I read the summary for Fateful a few months back and saw that Claudia Gray was writing a book about werewolves on the Titanic, I knew I had to read it. While, I loved the historical aspects of this book, I was a little disappointed with the romance.

In Fateful, it’s clear that Gray did her research on the Titanic and it’s reflected in both the big and small the details about the ship. I love how Gray subtly and effectively combines the historical and paranormal aspects of the book.

Tess’s character is likable. She is a maid for a rich family whose matriarch treats the help very poorly. Tess, being smart and ambitious, plans to quit as soon as the ship gets to New York and make a new life for herself. She handles herself with grace even when being bereted by her employer. She is brave when the people she cares about are being threatened. The secondary characters are also well written and I loved how their stories were slowly revealed throughout the book.

As much as I liked Tess, I just was not enthusiastic about her relationship with Alec. Alec is the rich, handsome passenger from first class and Tess unwittingly gets involved in a dangerous situation he has going on with another passenger on the ship. Alec is dark and brooding throughout most of the novel. I understand that he is unhappy about his situation, but I really wanted him to stop moping and work just a little harder to keep Tess safe from Mikhail.

I was bugged by the fact that Tess does most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in this book while Alec is mostly sad. She thwarts the bad guy on several occasions, comes up with some of the better ideas to help Alec and pretty much saves him from himself. I’m all for strong female characters but I don’t think we need kick-butt heroines at the expense of strong male lead characters.

Their romance also happened a bit fast for me and before you say it, I know that a shipboard romance on the Titanic means that the couple has to meet and fall in love over a four day period. And yes, while I bought the shipboard romance in the movie Titanic, Alec and Tess are no Jack and Rose. I just was not feeling it. 

Fateful is original, has lots of action, forbidden romance and a dramatic and well written setting. Hardcore historical and paranormal romance lovers may like this more than I did. While not bad, this was just an OK book for me.

Content: Kissing, sex (no graphic descriptions) and violence.

My Rating: Just Fine


Giselle said...

I've been seeing a lot of just so-so reviews on this one. Boo. I hate insta-love and I had high hopes for this one too. Just look at that cover! *sob*

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P.E. said...

I was disappointed too. There were a bunch of good elements in this book but they never really wowed me. The romance was one of them. Like you said, it needs to happen fast but it felt rushed. Thanks for the great review!


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