REVIEW: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Title: Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: September 13, 2011 by HarperTeen

In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets....

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, 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.

Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike.


Why I Read this Book: I hadn’t heard of this book until it showed up in the mail one day. The first thing that caught my attention was that the setting of Fateful takes place on the RMS Titanic. The second thing that caught my interest was the addition of werewolves to the storyline. At that point, I had to read Fateful to see how the author would incorporate these two elements into one story and I am pleased to say that the author did so splendidly.

What I Liked: The best part of the book was the paranormal twist that was added in. It was a fascinating element that kept me turning page after page and left me wondering how things were going to turn out. It gave a whole new spin to such an incredibly tragic and historic event – one that has been forever imprinted in our minds.

The author did her research. She kept events and occurrences true to fact in Fateful. She kept many of the infamous passengers in the story, from Captain Smith, Benjamin Guggenheim, the Strauses, Mr. Andrews (the ship’s builder) to John Jacob Astor and his mistress Madeleine Force. The life of the servants is what enlightened me the most. Even though I have watched the movie Titanic a million times, the way the author describes the life of a servant in Fateful is so rich in detail that it gave me a completely new understanding. There was definitely a fine line drawn between those of nobility and the servants that worked for them.

With YA novels, authors should be careful with how they approach love scenes. Yes, teenagers have sex but I, being an adult, do not want to read about the details and I, as a mother, wouldn’t exactly want my daughter reading the graphic details. I’m fine knowing ‘it’ happened but anything more than that brings on an ick factor or makes the book borderline adult romance reading material (depending on how it’s done). Author Claudia Gray did a great job with this and handled the love scenes with delicacy in Fateful.

This is a small thing but I was so pleased that the author didn’t make Tess’s character make a ‘promise on her soul’ without hearing the details first. One of my biggest reading pet peeves is when a character agrees to a promise (or favor) without hearing the details first. To do so would to set one’s self up for anything without the chance of adding in any necessary stipulations.

What I Didn’t Like: The author has declared Fateful to be a stand-alone novel. It ended in such a way that I am okay with it being left as a stand-alone (there are no cliffhangers) but there is definitely room to expand on some secondary story arcs. I personally would like to see a sequel written simply because it was such an enthralling tale.

It was almost impossible for me not to compare certain occurrences in Fateful to those in the movie Titanic. It’s hard not to since both are about the same epic and tragic historical event. Here are a few of the similarities:

  • There’s an overbearing mother preparing (pressuring) her daughter for marriage and the daughter is not exactly thrilled about this.
  • Said daughters (in both the movie and the book) are in love with someone not of their ‘class’.
  • There’s a valuable item stowed away in a safe that’s later stolen and sought after.
  • The first-class passengers do not heed warnings about the ship’s sinking, whereas the third-class passengers do (though this would be due to the fact that the third-class passengers see the evidence of water coming into the ship first, since they’re living in quarters farther below the first-class passengers, and thus making them more aware of the seriousness of the situation).
  • Both heroines (Rose in the movie Titanic and Tess in Fateful) are looking to make a fresh start for themselves once the Titanic docks in America.
  • Both heroines are reluctantly put into a lifeboat without their heros by their side.

It was a bit distracting at times, comparing Fateful to the movie, but thankfully Fateful had the paranormal aspect going on to set it apart.

Overall Impression: Even with the constant reminders of the movie Titanic, I still found Fateful to be a compelling read. The paranormal twist is what set it apart and it’s what captivated my reading senses. This book will definitely appeal to readers of all ages and to fans of the movie Titanic.

The Book Vixen’s Rating:

4 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. I should have this coming in the mail soon from a giveaway. Looking forward to reading it!! Thanks for the great review. I love that we set our reviews up in a similar fashion. It helps me to see what people liked and didn't like in particular about a book, so I set reviews up the same way. YAY! Thanks :o)

    Mickey @ imabookshark

  2. I really enjoyed your review, and I'm looking forward to reading this one when I can get my hands on it!

    When I first read the synopsis I was afraid that it would be a little too close to the Titanic movie story-line, but it's good to hear that the paranormal element helps it to stand out. :)

  3. Nice review, very honest and well organized! I can't wait to read the book now :)


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