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Fateful by Claudia Gray

Tess is an English ladies’ maid in 1912 who dreams of a life other than her own. No, she’s not silly enough to dream of rising above her station, per se. Dreams like those are sure to land a girl in a world of trouble. Tess’s dreams are just as simple as leaving the Lisles, the family she works for. And now, Tess finally has the perfect opportunity. She will accompany the Lisle family on a voyage to America, where she will then leave their employ and strike out on her own with the money she has saved up over the last few years. But if Tess thinks that this trip will merely be a test of her emotional endurance, then she is sorely mistaken. When she unintentionally becomes involved with the gorgeous first class passenger Alex, she finds herself in the midst of a potentially deadly power struggle—between werewolves. But these supernatural threats aren’t even the worst part—because Tess is on the first and last voyage of the RMS Titanic.

In general, I’m not the biggest fan of novels that take place on the Titanic. The problem with using such a widely known historical tragedy is that everyone knows how it ends, so I can generally assume that nothing in the plot will particularly surprise me. However, with Fateful, I found that I actually wanted to know how the story would develop to end so disastrously. Now, with that in mind, the reason I cared was partly because I started to genuinely like Tess’s character but mostly because the plot was like a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from. It seemed to me that at every opportunity that something could go wrong, it did. It started to get a little exhausting to read. All of this was not helped by Gray’s somewhat clumsy transitions and poor development of most secondary characters. As for the paranormal angle, though I was initially wary of adding werewolves to the already tragic mess of the Titanic, I found that it worked reasonably well in this story. It certainly added a new dimension of excitement to an old story that is probably why Fateful is actually a pretty good read.

Fateful will be enjoyed by fans of Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn, Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber, and The Dark Divine by Bree Despain.

Rating: 3.5

Review copy from personal collection

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