Tess Davies has served the wealthy Lisle family for most of her life. Forced to live in squander whilst working to the bone, her only hope is to start over in America after accompanying the family abroad. But an encounter with a handsome stranger the night before the voyage temporarily puts her plan out of focus. He’s hot, he’s manly, and he’s just saved Tess’s life and then instantly disappears. She puts the event out of her mind as she focuses on her duty to the Lisle’s as they board for their coming journey. Yet there’s more to this handsome stranger than Tess realises and it’s honestly the least of her worries as she and the Lisle’s settle in on the RMS “Titanic”.
I really wanted to like this book. Entranced by the cover (how could one not?) and intrigued by the blurb I was hungry for a disaster story. Adoring the history around the Titanic it was wonderful to be transported to a different point of view (a servant girl’s) rather than just how the wealthy enjoyed the voyage. Regardless, I couldn’t like the book. I praise Gray for giving herself a challenge. Writing about the Titanic and weaving an evil supernatural society into the logistics isn’t an easy task. Regardless, I felt that Tess has too many loopholes. I didn’t buy the love story either, and that is what ruined the book for me. I wanted to believe in Tess and Alec, but it was just so easy. ‘I see him! I love him!’ Doesn’t cut it. And he’s a werewolf, big surprise!
What kept me reading, and on the edge of my seat was when the Titanic hits the iceberg. We all know it’s going to happen, and what occurs after, but how does Tess cope? Will she make it? What about the family she serves? Do the readers want them to survive? Reading through the tragedy creates such a level of suspense that before you know it; the end of the book arrives.
I think Fateful is an ideal book for YA readers, especially on the younger side of the spectrum. It’s got passionate love up to first base, a heroine that young girls will want to succeed and protagonists to root against. Blending history with fantasy is a difficult task, and even through the holes, Gray is able to create truly romantic supernatural tale.