From Amazon: Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.
Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .
Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.
In Fateful, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray delivers paranormal adventure, dark suspense, and alluring romance set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic’s first—and last—voyage.
I bought this book from the $10 or Less table at my local mall book store when I was out shopping for a coffee maker. I needed a non-digital book to read between calls at work (one of the few perks of call centre life), because our electronics policy prevents me from using my kindle on the call floor. I know, it's a hard life. The story seemed vaguely interesting - historical teen romance on the Titanic, mystery boy with a dark secret...Sounds ok. I did not, no mater what my husband says, buy it just because the book jacket was shiny. Although that didn't hurt.
So, this might be a spoiler, but not really because it's all over the internet in every review everywhere - this is not just a historical teen romance on the Titanic - this is historical teen romance on the Titanic with werewolves. Oh, yes. Sounds terrible, right? Like, the kind of epic terribleness that could make the book awesome or could bomb miserably.
Also, I would like to note that I do not, regardless of appearances and reviews of Hemlock Grove, have a werewolf obsession.
It's not that it's really that great of a book. I mean, obviously I enjoyed it enough to read it in two days. It wasn't wholly original (a lot of reviews point out it's basically Titanic but with werewolves) and not particularly surprising or suspenseful. I could pretty much see where things were going, more or less, the entire time.
So, figured I'd get a week or more worth of work reading out of this. Instead, on the day I started it, when I came home from work, I thought, I'll just finish this one chapter that I'm in the middle of. And then binge read well over half of the thing, right up until the time I had to force myself to stop and go to bed. I only stopped to cook and eat supper. I might need to work on my impulse control. I polished off the rest during my shift the next day.
Still, I read the whole thing in two days. I mean, I'm not a slow reader, but still. Two days.
I spent a good chunk of time trying to hate all of the characters. This was set on the Titanic, so obviously everyone was going to die. This may or may not have actually come to pass by the end of the book. I figured, probably main character Tess gets to live, but everyone else is going to die so I better not get attached to anyone. Unfortunately, all of the characters that you're supposed to like are absolutely likable, and the characters you're supposed to hate are jackasses and monsters. Not overly complex, but easy enough to get into.
I'm going to make some Divergent comparisons now. Divergent is on my list of favorite books ever, and although this book doesn't rank anywhere close to that, there are some strong parallels between the main characters and their love interests, which might explain how I got pulled into this book so completely. Parallels that start at the very coincidental fact that one is named Tess and the other is named Tris. Coincidental, but still. Also they are both so much stronger, smarter and capable than they realize. Love interests Alec and Four are both mysterious and broody, at least at first. Not sure where exactly I'm going with this paragraph. Interesting similarities, is all.
The ending. I hated the ending. Even if it did end in Halifax. How to do this without spoilers....Ok, so sometimes you really want something to happen in a story, but you know it can't happen because it's wrong. It's just the wrong ending for the story. So no matter how much you want it to happen, it can't. Well, in this book, the thing I wanted to happen but shouldn't happen, happened. I was reading along, and this other thing happened, and I was like, Oh god. Really? Really, Claudia Gray? You are really doing this. And then it happened. The end. It didn't ruin the book, and it wasn't a bad ending, but it was wrong. Oh so very wrong.
On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful, I'd give Fateful an Almost Excellent. A fun, quick, albeit unoriginal read with a not great ending. And werewolves.