Friday, May 4, 2012

My Thoughts: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Published: September 13, 2011
328 pages, hardcover
Source: Jamie
Goodreads summary: When 17-year-old Tess Davies, a ladies' maid, meets handsome Alec Marlow aboard the RMS "Titanic," she quickly becomes entangled in the dark secrets of his past, but her growing love puts her in mortal peril even before fate steps in.

I didn't have much luck with Gray's Evernight series, but I thought with the concept of two things I adore (werewolves, Titanic), this book would be a humdinger for me. And see, this is why I sometimes get so upset with myself when I read books that should be awesome. Especially because I've heard good things about Fateful and ALL OF THE INGREDIENTS for a mind-blowing experience are wrapped in one pretty little package.

I'm sad to say: Fateful and I did not see sparks.

Tess plans on breaking free of the family she serves once they reach America. I think she was supposed to be spunky and rambunctious, but she came off pretty flat as a protagonist. The moment she meets Alec, her entire word is thrown askew and he's all she can think about. I wanted more fire from her. I wanted more of a struggle for the two of them to fall in love. I wanted her to actually be smart about her decisions when she was in danger (which was pretty much every other page), but it all felt very formulaic and the love story feels like so many that I've read before and did not believe.

And maybe this was just triggered by the fact that my heart and devotion were not in this book, but the werewolf mythology was hard for me to follow. I kept staring at the pages blankly, waiting for the pieces to come together as if by some ocular magnetic force I was shooting from my eyeballs, but it didn't happen.

A couple positive things? The villain. He was the scary sort. One of those scary villains who doesn't just want to kill people to get what he wants from them, but he wants to torture them in every way possible (and in every way pleasurable) to him. That is deathly frightening to me. I think Gray did a pretty good job at instilling a sense of OMG GET ME THE EFF OUT OF HERE fear with Mikhail as the bad guy.

Also, I liked Tess' roommate, Myriam, and Alec's father. I feel like they were the most fleshed out character in the entire book and hardly got the page time they deserved. Maybe that's why I thought they were so well done. There wasn't really a chance for them to get on my nerves.

A book about paranormal canines and the boat where Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet fell in quality instalove (THAT was believable, by the way) may very much warm so many people's hearts, but I need more than just that to quench my book thirst. The sinking of the Titanic was a terrible tragedy and the fact that the boat still sank was heartbreaking to me, but even that couldn't save Fateful from it's me.


  1. Myriam was legit, yo.

    I liked Fateful, but I can see where people would not be into it, like it's hard to get on board with werewolves and instalove and easy love etc.


    Sucks when all the great elements don't come together in a perfect way.

  2. I really love great villains.

    That being said, honestly Jen, I just have never been a huge fan of werewolves. I mean, I've read two of the Mercy Falls books by Maggie S. because her writing is FLAWLESS of course (and I'm shallow enough to love the colored print on the inside) but I've not yet made it around to any of Claudia Gray's books and I've heard that I should read the Evernight books first because they are better.

    I just don't know. But it stinks when a book isn't all you want it to be, no?