Review: Fateful- Claudia Gray

3/5 Stars

Fateful-Claudia Gray

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I’ve been looking for someone to rescue me since I first felt the hunter’s stare on my back when I boarded this ship. Before that, I thought I was so strong and smart, with my little felt purse of money to save me. Now I feel like I understood nothing about the world then-nothing about the true horrors it holds-except for one thing, one I realize is more true than ever: Nobody else will ever be able to save me if I’m not fighting as hard as I can to save myself.

The Brotherhood is the dominant group of werewolves. The ruling pack. There are other groups-smaller, weaker, hunted by the Brotherhood. And there must be lone wolves hiding out, the way I did at first. But the Brotherhood will stop at nothing short of absolute power. They control henchmen in the streets. They control members of Parliament and Congress. There’s no one too low for them to notice or too high for them to command.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I honestly pick books by their covers or spines. I sit down and read them and have no idea what I’m getting into. This way every read is a surprise. It’s kind of fun, though sometimes disappointing. Fateful was nothing like I expected. From the cover you’d think desolate looking girl in the water…tragic love story? Never did I expect a werewolf romance set on the Titanic. Definitely threw me for a loop. Knowing that the iceberg hit was inevitable left an air of suspense, you knew it was coming but weren’t quite sure when it would happen…well unless you know the exact date of the Titanic’s sinking, which I certainly did not. And if you don’t know the date, I suggest you don’t look it up before reading, the sense of impending doom is half the fun.

Plot:
Tess Davies is a maid to the notorious Lisle family. Up until this point she has carried on as a good chamber maid to the youngest child Irene but for 2 years she’s been saving her wages to make an escape from servant life. When the chance to flee to America comes up, Tess latches onto the idea. The Lisle family is bound for the Titanic and the Americas, where they hope to pawn heirlooms to pay off some debts and for Lady Regina to marry off her children to wealthy Americans in the last effort to save their reputation before falling into financial ruin. The night before they embark, Tess rushes to a shop for Lady Regina when she stumbles upon some men in a dark alleyway. All appears fine until one rounds back and threatens her for eavesdropping. That’s when things get weird, she is being chased by a wolf that suddenly appears and is rescued by a handsome young man. This is the first time Tess experiences attraction to another person and she can’t seem to forget her savior. So when they arrive on the Titanic, and Lady Regina like a shark who scents blood spots the Marlowe family(steel owners and very rich), Tess is shocked to discover that they boy who saved her is Alec Marlowe, heir to millions. As Lady Regina runs Tess ragged with chores, Tess can’t help running into Alec many times and someone else she didn’t expect, the man who accosted her in the alleyway back in England. One night while running from Mikhail(the man from the alleyway) who seems to have countless ways to torture Tess, she is locked in the Turkish baths and witnesses Mikhail’s transformation from human to werewolf. At this point Tess learns that the supernatural is a reality and she is horrified by what this means for her. Now that she knows his secret, she is sure Mikhail will murder her. Trembling and scared out of her wits, Tess barricades herself in the changing stall as a second wolf shows up. Mikhail leaves after a skirmish with the second wolf and Tess falls to sleep. When she wakes there is a very naked and injured Alec on the floor. That’s when she knows his secret. From this point on Alec tells Tess of the Brotherhood and their worldwide influence. The Brotherhood is a pack of werewolves with money and political power all over the world. Mikhail is after the Liste family heirloom, an initiation blade that when used with a spell will allow the werewolf to change whenever he pleases. From this point on Alec and Tess team up to fight the Brotherhood, save themselves and their loved ones from Mikhail, and fan the flames of their fiery attraction before time runs out and the iceberg hits.

PROS:

  • Tess is an outspoken, highly opinionated, unbelievably strong young woman. She faces terrible circumstances and murderous werewolves and yet she hold her head high in the face of danger, thinks on her feet, and is not afraid to throw a few punches. Tess risks everything, her livelihood, her dignity, her life, and her heart for what she believes in and the people she loves. If you’re looking for a heroine of natural, unquestionable power look no further, this girl is a wonderful depiction of a woman maintaining her own inner strength in leu of circumstances beyond her control. Tess, despite the time period and her station is unwavering in her convictions to surpass what is expected of someone of her class and to start a new, free life in America. Some would call this foolish and delusional, in Tess it is startlingly brave.
  • Alec is dreamy. He’s a little jaded, but compassionate, kind, and oh so casually romantic. He’s got untamable curly hair and gorgeous eyes, and is the heir to a metal industry in America. However, all Alec wants is to build, to be a great architect, but he cannot because of his condition of the lupine variety, and he is haunted by his past.
  • If you dislike historical fiction or fiction that is written in the language of the time, in this case early 1900s and British English, as well as American English, then you might be slightly irked by this. The writing style is perfect for the time period and the word choice is simply brilliant. You feel like you are in the early 1900s and the depictions of the gaps in social classes are beautifully done. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you’d appreciate this. 🙂
  • Historically, the treatment of foreigners was spot on. Didn’t matter if you were the heiress of the Norwegian bank or something of the sort, if you couldn’t speak English you were put in 3rd class and the last warned of disaster. Although, Mikhail is a Russian count and he is treated like royalty despite his foreign status.

CONS:

  • Mikhail was not much of a villain, sure he was Russian(cliche) and yeah he was a little more mob than KGB but his creepy stalking and futile threats were a bit bland. There were several times that he could have caused way more damage and it took away from his violent, bad guy image when he backed off simply because Alec showed up. If he would have been a realistically portrayed antagonist than he would have been more inclined to fight than run away with his tail between his legs. Literally. This was so disappointing and not what I envisioned as a serious Russian antagonist at all.
  • The juxtaposition of the Brotherhood threat with the fate of the Titanic diminished the overall direness of the Brotherhood situation. They were all destined for death anyway. Or at least put in a likely deadly situation.
  • There were minor discrepancies in descriptions and actions. And also one mix up of characters in a dialogue scene.

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-BB

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