I don’t have to tell you how popular paranormal romance books are these days—just glance around the teen section at any library or bookstore in the nation. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but because of the abundance of werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural creatures, a book centering on these things has to bring something new to the table to really stand out.
Fateful by Claudia Gray tells the story of Tess Davies, an eighteen-year-old maid sailing to America with her wealthy employers. When she meets Alec, a handsome first class passenger, she discovers the web of dark secrets that entangle him; as they become closer, she finds herself entrapped as well. Nothing prepares her for the discovery of werewolves aboard the Titanic, dangerous creatures who will stop at nothing to get what they want. Soon, Tess realizes that werewolves may not be the only peril she’ll face on her ill-fated journey across the ocean.
I had high expectations for this book. I’ve yet to read any of Gray’s other books, but her vampire-centric Evernight series is very popular, and I thought that a paranormal romance set in the early twentieth century would be a nice change of pace from the countless other paranormal romances out there. In this case, Gray takes our brave heroine and our brooding paranormal and places them on the Titanic in 1912, which is something you don’t see very often. However, the plot doesn’t exactly live up to its potential; Fateful is boring and predictable. The writing seems forced, as though the author couldn’t find ways to easily incorporate the speech of the time period. I found it hard to relate to the characters; Tess has her moments of bravery, but isn’t very interesting, and we barely get to know Alec. Especially when it comes to Tess and Alec’s relationship, it’s just hard to care. My favorite character is Irene, the daughter of Tess’s employers, but even she borders on bland.
Overall, Fateful isn’t terrible, but there just isn’t anything special about it to separate it from the many other paranormal romance books out there.
Natalie loves reading, writing, and reading about writing. If she hasn’t yet figured out a way to be paid for simply reading books, she hopes to be a book editor when she grows up.