2 April 2012
Series: No, standalone
UK Publisher: HarperCollins
UK Release date: March 2012
Genre: Historical Paranormal
Kindly given by the publisher for an honest review
Tess is embarking on the journey of her life. As maid to the Lisle family, she will be travelling with them to America on the HMS Titanic. However she secretly plans to run off and live a life free of servitude as soon as she arrives in America. But when she meets the handsome and rich Alec on board the ship, Tess becomes embroiled in a fight against dark forces. Soon she will be trapped, hunted throughout the ship and with no means of escape. Little does she know what else awaits on the journey across the Atlantic.
It seems the Titanic is having a bit of a revival at the moment, particularly so in this retelling of the tragic and ill-fated voyage. Gray has taken a unique point in time and given it a paranormal twist with the surprising element of werewolves, pushing the well-known story down a completely different path. As a sometimes-fan of historical stories, I loved the historical elements and how well it had been researched and portrayed with all the rich finery in first class and boisterous playfulness in third class.
For me, Tess was the perfect kind of heroine. She's kind, brave and knows her own mind, but isn't unnecessarily pushy or subservient. She really pushed forward the plot, coming up with plans and taking action when other characters were stuck in their own situation. I think without Tess's strength, the story wouldn't have been as good.
Although Alec was rich, handsome and protective of Tess, he wasn't necessarily your typical hero. His countenance was generally quite sad and depressed, which at some points overpowered any sense of individuality or personality. However I still liked Alec - even in the most difficult or unusual of situations he still protected her and felt a link to her. With plenty of secrets, he certainly has the element of mystery surrounding him, which is always an attraction for me!
I couldn't help but feel sorry for so many of the characters. Each of them had a reason for travelling across the Atlantic, which may or may not come to fruition. I mean, we all know what happens, but they are all oblivious to the fate that awaits them. I kept wondering who might survive and who might be swallowed by the dark cold waters (and who I actually wanted to survive!), which for me added an undercurrent of tension and suspense throughout the story. Although I never like giving spoilers, I will at least say that Gray did a great job with the inevitable ending, making it gripping, scary, powerful and yet very true and real.
Fateful is an enjoyable read, adding thrilling paranormal elements to a famously ill-fated tragedy.