Friday, 20 April 2012

[REVIEW] Fateful by Claudia Gray

Published: September 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Young Adult
A tragic tale about falling in love on the world’s most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing… and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever.

The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets.

When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn.

Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…

New York Times best-selling author Claudia Gray delivers adventure, dark paranormal suspense, alluring romance, and a truly surprise ending, set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic's first — and last — voyage. (From Goodreads)

First of all, the cover for this novel is absolutely amazing.  Well mainly the font...but the colour is good too!  My first thoughts from seeing this cover was that this book was definitely about ghosts...well clearly I'm not very good at guessing because this book was not about ghosts.  After reading the story the cover quite accuratly depicts the story.

Fateful is about a girl, Tess, who is a servant of the Lisles family, an old noble family, that board the Titanic with them on a trip to America.  At this moment, you can already see where this is going.  Of course the story is about the sinking of the Titanic.  Claudia Gray puts her own twist in to this by introducing werewovles and this werwolf cult called the Brotherhood that has some buisness on this boat and Tess ends up in the middle of it.  On the boat, Tess also meets a wealthy nobleman called Alec.  The only problem is Alec is hiding a secret that could possibly harm Tess if she were to get closer to him.

Of course in Claudia Gray fashion Alec is a man that is of different background or social standards than Tess.  It is predictable and quite frankly tiring to read every time but I guess that's one of her signature trademarks and makes her special as an author.

The only major criticism I have with this book is that there are several sub plots that seem pointless.  Closer to the end, the purpose of them is revealed but I am pretty sure that if they weren't included in the story, the story would be equally as good, if not better.  For instance, when Tess starts reminiscing about the past and the mistake her sister did, I was constantly thinking "so? What does this have to do with the fact that you're on a boat bound to sink in the cold, freezing water?" Clearly I was very confused and then later the sub plot reaches a purpose and I'm still thinking "What did that have to do with the story?"

There are also dates, probably to show what happens during one day or the time line of this voyage.  I didn't really understand those either.  If the story is written well enough, readers should be able to tell when a new day has come or if several days have passed.  There is no need for prompting dates (as I call them) in this story.  The story is so simple that these dates only hinder the reading.

What I did like about this book is mainly how Claudia Gray explains emotions.  She does this in her Evernight series as well but all the characters have their own distinct emotion that is explained so detailed and written so well that sometimes I feel like I'm in the room with them when a daughter and mother get into a fight or when Tess is running for her life or when she experiences love.  This writing also made this Titanic tale much more interesting.  Claudia Gray's writing brought the sinking to life.  I'm pretty sure most of us, in our lives, have written or seen something detailing the catastrophic tragedy of the Titanic.  Fateful is written that I felt the explanation of the sinking and what the passengers actions and emotions were, was different to what I've encountered before.  There was pure emotion there and I really felt sorry for the passengers that couldn't make it off the ship.

Fateful is a stand alone novel and I really wish there was a sequel to this but there isn't. 

Give Fateful a try, perhaps you'll find you like it.  I didn't hate it but there were definitely parts that I was iffy on.

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