Alyssa's Reviews > Fateful

Fateful by Claudia Gray
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really liked it
bookshelves: highly-anticipated, arc-2011, own

I adore Claudia Gray (a pseudo, in case you didn’t know), as both a person and a writer. I followed her blog up until it became the non-active type it is today, finding her to be sweet and generous, as well as incredibly personable and friendly. Her debut series, Evernight, is one of the only vampire texts that I can stomach nowadays, and trust me, that’s not a compliment I dish out to everyone.

The moment I’d heard she was working on something different, my excitement – as well as my guard – shot up. Was I excited she was working on something new? Of course. Was I thrilled – and admittedly, a little nervous – that she was taking on the RMS Titanic as a scenery? Absolutely. Was I pleased with her description – for most of it, yes I was pleased.

But little old anxious Alyssa just couldn’t stop fretting over one little detail: the werewolves. How could someone who wrote vampire fiction so fantastically fast forward to the other end of the spectrum, in turn to write of the creatures of the moon? How could someone who was so on top of the me-drink-you-blood party decide to write something so…different, risqué, overdone? Fret did I. Luckily, I was anxious for nothing.

Claudia Gray eases her way by vampires and the States and ships herself across the ocean to London, England, where Fateful sets off. She focuses in on a very special ladies’ maid named Tess Davies, who simply wants to rid herself of the plights of serving others and wants to indulge in a new life in America. She leads us towards the RMS Titanic and introduces us to Alec, a boy with a secret and a disarming smile. And when she brings us to the end of what’s bound to be an unfortunate tale, she leaves us with feelings of both hope and grief over the very real event in which this book is involved in.

I tried really hard to find something wrong with Tess and Alec. I took out my looking glass and I searched up and down the pages for what you’ll usually find in a YA paranormal these days: a desperate protagonist, a controlling love interest, a love triangle, a predictable plot. Fortunately, Gray has studied her paranormals and has taken a different approach in writing her own – what I found in Fateful was a bittersweet story complete with action, romance, political intrigue and a very sophisticated and well-tackled take on the tragedy that was the sinking of what had been considered “The Unsinkable.”

Although Tess could be considered judgmental and stuck-up, I understood that her attitude was based on her times’ society and her position as a ladies’ maid. Without much schooling, Tess still proved resourceful and intelligent, something I look for in heroines. The other characters were enjoyable reads, too. Alec was, to me, nothing special as a love interest, but he wasn’t an ass and he wasn’t too gentlemanly. He played the part of the werewolf – as did the Big Bad Wolf Mikhail – exceptionally well, especially since Gray’s take on werewolves was as twisted and captivating as her twist on vampires in her previously published books.

The werewolf mythology in Fateful wasn’t anything like I’ve seen before, although I am a little sick of the whole creature in all. Please don’t mistake me, though: I don’t think Gray wrote Fateful with werewolves simply because it’s what’s in – I’m pretty sure it’s because she knows she writes paranormal well and because she wanted to add something sure to her tackling of the Titanic tragedy. Gray, although placing some annoying stereotypes in – I hate that automatically rich people are considered snobs and the epitomes of rudeness – her writing was stunning and worthy of my envy and fascination.*

The novel could have so easily could have sunk. The Titanic is a pretty large thing to tackle, something pretty monumental and real. Since it truly existed and sunk, its case being one of the most popular – and unfortunate – disasters in history books, it would have been very easy to find Gray’s twist on the story distasteful and wrongly executed. Gray states her research was extensive in the Authors Note, and truthfully? I thought she very wrote a stunning story. It tackled love, it tackled tragedy, it tackled a powerful storyline. As beautifully rendered Cameron’s film of the historical event, Gray has written a novel that will touch many readers to smiles and tears.

4.25/5

*I may not have werewolf senses, but I certainly smell the opening and possibility for a sequel to Fateful, something I’m not sure I support or don’t care for.

I was provided my ARC copy from the publisher. Thank you to HarperCollinsCA and HarperTeen for the review copy.
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Reading Progress

July 23, 2010 – Shelved
July 25, 2010 – Shelved as: highly-anticipated
June 12, 2011 – Shelved as: arc-2011
June 12, 2011 – Shelved as: own
July 8, 2011 – Started Reading
July 8, 2011 –
page 85
25.91% "I'm thirsty for more historical novels!"
July 10, 2011 –
page 91
27.74% "I'm on the lookout for things wrong with this book. *grabs looking-glass*"
July 10, 2011 –
page 94
28.66% "Okay, that was really -really! - obvious. *lowers point in Gray's favor*"
July 10, 2011 –
page 100
30.49% "Are all rich/noble/high-society people assholes? I know they all have skeletons in their closets (because everyone does) but are they all really evil and cruel?"
July 10, 2011 –
page 212
64.63% "Loving the book so far, but I'm sorta wishing for more description of the Titanic. Nonetheless, the book really is fantastic."
July 11, 2011 – Finished Reading

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Rebecca I agree, I hope there isn't a sequel (unless it has different main characters)


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