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Fateful by Claudia Gray
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Oct 08, 11

bookshelves: book-review, need-to-purchase, paranormal-romance, young-adult
Read on September 28, 2011

April 9, 1912: It's not too late to turn back, I tell myself...

And now, the onslaught of vampire-related reviews closes out with a werewolf book review. Ah, the irony. But although Fateful pertains to werewolves, I was a little wary about reading it. Despite the fact that these furry beasts generally morph into a phenomenally sexy male protagonist in the daylight, this book takes place on the Titanic. The freaking Titanic! I watched the movie and it was not pretty. I was in emotional turmoil for days afterward! I kept thinking, would it really be wise to pick up a book that is set during such a disastrous and heart-wrenching event?! Aboard the treacherous vessel on top of that!

So me being me I prepped myself and had the Kleenex on hand just in case. Went to school with my purse stuffed with tissues. Thankfully, the tragedy of the Titanic wasn't the focus of the book. Fateful is very fascinating, yet hampered because of this. Tess Davies is boarding the ship to serve her employers until she can make her escape to America and start over. Her being on the Titanic is obvious foreshadowing, but the book is riveting because there's a dastardly villain who harbors evil intentions toward both Tess and her love interest, Alexander "Alec" Marlowe, as well as anyone close to them. Even with the dark fate of the Titanic looming, there's this thrilling and suspenseful and dangerous game of hide-and-seek going on. Tess has to stay away from the evil Mikhail and so does Alec for reasons that shall remain secret in this review. The whole werewolf aspect doesn't dog the story so much as amplifies the overlying eeriness of it!

But what really made me like the story is the 20th century setting, and all that entails, and the characters. It's safe to say that Gray gives readers a genuine and vivid portrayal of the early 1900s. It extends to the characters and their lives, their dress, their status. Tess is the servant of a wealthy family and I could really see what it was like a day in her life. And her determination and unwillingness to settle on being a maid(?) for the rest of her life is what makes her both relatable and likable. Tess wasn't the only one who absorbed my attention, though. His gorgeous looks aside, Alec's supernatural history also kept me engrossed in the story. Not to mention the fact that he's not some rich bastard who idolizes class before the goodness of a person. The side characters - Ned, Irene, Myriam, George - all felt like integral parts to Tess's story and I grew to care for them deeply, few of which more than Tess.

I did have an issue with the overall pacing. I started to get bored because the story started to feel dragged out. And I wish the sinking of the Titanic would've happened sooner. I feel like that would've boosted my interest in the story and waved away the oncoming boredom with the plot. I get that it wasn't the primary focus of the story, and I think the book worked because of it, but the Mikhail-Alec-Tess chase thing started getting a little old and the ship sinking would've shot up the intensity level.

Fateful is a well-written, intriguing read that, while it didn't totally consume me, entertained me with it's beautifully depicted setting, approachable characters, diabolic villain, and steamy, alluring romance. For anyone interested in historical fiction with an awesome paranormal twist, Fateful is definitely something you want to read.

WHEN OUR LIPS PART, I'M TREMBLING ALL OVER, AND HIS BREATH IS SHAKY. "YOU HAVE TO GO," HE SAYS.
"I KNOW." BUT WE DON'T LET GO OF EACH OTHER AT FIRST.
"PLEASE, TESS." ALEC PLEADS WITH ME TO HAVE THE STRENGTH OF WILL THAT IS FAILING HIM. "I WON'T BE MYSELF MUCH LONGER."
"I'M GOING."
"ALL RIGHT." ALEC PUSHES OPEN THE DOOR, RELEASING SOFT CLOUDS OF STEAM. "I KNOW THAT-FOR YOUR OWN GOOD-I SHOULDN'T SEE YOU AGAIN. BUT I CAN'T STAND THE THOUGHT OF NOT SEEING YOU AGAIN."
"I'LL BE WITH THE LISLES THE REST OF THE TRIP." MY VOICE SOUNDS VERY SMALL.
HE CLOSES HIS EYES, STRUGGLING AGAINST SOMETHING. "DAMN IT, DAMN IT, GIVE ME ANOTHER FIVE MINUTES." HE'S TALKING TO THE WOLF, WHICH WILL NOT LISTEN.
ALEC'S HAND IS SINEW-TENSE AGAINST MY CHEEK AS HE PULLS ME CLOSE AND KISSES ME AGAIN... (151)

Originally posted on my blog, Paranormal Indulgence.
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Reading Progress

09/28/2011 page 356
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