Book Review: Fateful

Published By: HarperTeen 
Publication Date: September 13, 2011 
Page Count: 328
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound 
Source: Gifted ARC 
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal, Historical 

 I was so excited about this book! The summary had me so anxious to get it in my hands. Fateful combines two of my favorite things - the Titanic and the supernatural (in this case, werewolves). As the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic approaches in April, I expect to see many new books featuring the tragic voyage, but this will probably be the only one that features our furry friends. 

Fateful is the story of a young ladies' maid, Tess, as she boards the ship along with her employers, a family of faltering aristocrats who are seeking marriages with prominent people in the states who can refill their dwindling bank account. Tess loathes her position and longs for freedom, but in a day and age where a strict social hierachy is in place, there is little hope of her shaking off the shackles of domestic servitude. However, stepping on board the Titanic will change Tess' life in ways she never could expected. Tess meets Alec, a handsome first class passenger and soon finds her destiny entwined with his. 

 I was slightly worried when I realized that there was going to be some sort of attachment between Tess and Alec. Third class passenger gets involved with a first class passenger - hmmm, seeems like I have heard that one before - Jack and Rose perhaps. The genders were at least switched around, but this could have very easily become a retelling of Jack and Rose's story with the addition of fangs and fur. While there were moments that sent my mind back to the Titanic film, overall Claudia Gray did a beautiful job of making Tess and Alec's story all their own. As with the film, I did find the connection between people of different classes to make an interesting story, but it was a bit far fetched. It is unlikely that a third class passenger would have interacted with someone in first class in other capacity than as a servant. That is the beauty of fiction though - you can make the unlikely possible. 

 Gray also did a nice job of showcasing some of the Titanic's most famous passengers without making them key elements in the story. I cannot imagine a Titanic tale that doesn't mention John Jacob Astor, Molly Brown, Bruce Ismay, and Thomas Andrews. Also, while this book is not meant to be a perfectly accurate detailing of the sailing and sinking, Gray has obviously done her research and tried to honor the history of this event. However, it is fiction, so not all things are accurate, but the discrepencies are essential to the plot. 

 I was slightly disappointed in the werewolf aspect of the book. The wolves did not fascinate me like the ship or the characters' relationships. I found myself glazing over during the discussions of the Brotherhood. The werewolf elements were not bad, but I would have loved this book without them. I expected Gray's werewolf lore to be as captivating as her vampires, but alas it did not happen for me. My only other complaint is that the beginning of the book was pretty slow. It was tedious to wade through Tess' servant duties and listen to Lady Regina insult everyone. The action does pick up towards the middle and from the sinking on, I was riveted. 

 If you area fan of Claudia Gray's Evernight series, I would recommend giving Fateful a try. Her writing style is the same with a solid characters, romance, and paranormal moments. Readers of YA supernatural novels and Titanic buffs will also enjoy this one.

One Last Gripe: I really disliked that Irene allowed herself to be bullied when the ship was sinking.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The Titanic - It has been a fascination of mine since childhood

First Sentence: It's not too late to turn back, I tell myself.

Favorite Character: Tess

Least Favorite Character: Lady Regina - ugh

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.


  1. Okay, I'm trusting you here. I've been on the fence about this one, thinking the same things you were (Rose and Jack... I just can't take that again, until the 3D relese, of course) but I'm going to give it a shot. Thanks for the great review!

  2. @Mrs. Trujillo - I hope you enjoy it! Just try not to think of it as Jack and Rose. Give Tess and Alec time to win you over.


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