Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Fateful by Claudia Gray

October 20th, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: September 13, 2011

Publisher: HarperTeen

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from

Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.

Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .

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

Titanic stories always catch my eye but I’m also a little wary about reading them as I find reading about people on a ship you know is doomed just breaks my heart.  I couldn’t resist though and the story was so addictive.  I admit I even caved and let my daughter watch an episode on TV so I could finish the last few chapters.  I enjoyed all of the characters from Tess who is so naive in many ways and yet you have to admire her for strength and bravery to Alex who is handsome, kind and a tortured secret.

I will say though that it was more of the secondary characters that really made the story.  I loved Alec’s father and enjoyed how he was really integrated into the story and unlike in many other stories in which the parents are clueless about what has happened to their children he knows about Alec and fully supports him.  The seventh officer, George, and Tess’s bunkmate, Myriam, were also made a touching complimentary side romance that was endearing and has the reader hoping they will find their happy ending.  I would have liked to see a little bit more of the friendship development between Tess and Myriam but still Myriam was a nice added touch.  The story did feel a lot like the movie Titanic with some paranormal aspects thrown in but I thought Ms. Gray carried it off well.

I especially liked that for the most part the characters were pure fiction and Ms. Gray explains in the afterword that she wanted to be respectful of the real people who died on the Titanic and not try to attribute actions or traits that may or may not have been true.  It’s always a delicate balance to take a tragedy like the sinking of the Titanic and spin a fictional story into it while remaining sensitive to those involved but I thought this story was well done.

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

4 Responses

  1. Kailana

    I am thinking there are going to be a lot of Titanic related books for the next year or so. I requested this one from the library.

  2. Debbie's World of Books

    I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Pam (@iwriteinbooks)

    Oh, this is a great review. I’ve been very interested in how this one has been received. I’ll be checking it out for sure.

  4. April (Good Books & Wine)

    I loved the author’s note too.

    And YES to Myriam and George. They rocked, especially Myriam, though. I loved how feisty he was.

    Glad you enjoyed Fateful!

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