Big props to the cover editor on this one. It’s really gorgeous in real life.
I really like it when history is bastardize*. I don’t know about you, but I would really like a book such as:
A mermaid romance set to the backdrop of the Columbus’s so called “discovery” of America. As one of Columbus’s sailors must make the ultimate choice betray his crew or leave his mer love to face instant death.
A love triangle between an angel, and knight, and a Turkish prince taking place during the crusades. Note, there will be no motorcycles taking the angel to hell since motorcycles weren’t invented during the ninth century.
Werewolves on the Titanic. Can true love defeat the moonlight or for that matter icebergs?
Believe it or not there is actually a book that is about werewolves on the Titanic. And yep, that book is Fateful by Claudia Gray.
General Summary: So yes, this book could essentially be summed up as being like the James Cameron movie with the roles reversed-and-yeah, there’s werewolves on board the unsinkable ship.
Review: As far as books go this one was a surprise to me. Honestly, I bought the book as sort of a joke. The summary seems ludicrous and I’m just not a big fan of Claudia Gray’s writing-I only got through the second book of the Evernight series before I gave up. Despite some eye rolling cliches and purple prose, I kept reading Fateful. Perhaps it was because everything was so wrong it was right. I guess I could say that about a lot of books, Halo, is one that I can think of on the top of my head. But I enjoyed Fateful a lot more than Halo. Probably because Fateful had likable enough characters and despite the fact it employs a lot of annoying cliches it had some things going for it (a.k.a. the Titanic).
The Titanic has so much history. And I am a history buff. So it was interesting to me that Gray chose to tie in history to the paranormal…the only thing was it sort of failed. It wasn’t near as big as an epic fail as I thought it was going to be, but it still sucked. And not because she decided to have a big pink octopus sink the boat-no, she kept to the actual history of the tragedy. My problem was that The Titanic was essentially irrelevant to the overall story.
It’s just that you really didn’t feel like the characters were on the Titanic until Tess mentioned it. They could’ve been really anywhere. And that to me seemed cheap. Come to think about it, lots of things about this book seemed cheap. I might be a twenty-first century American girl, but I’ve read lots of novels written in the twentieth century and for that matter have some UK pals and watch perfuse amounts of British television and Tess doesn’t sound British. She just sounds like a modern American girl who happens to be in a book that takes place in the early twentieth century. I feel like the novel could’ve been much better told had it been in third person.
Likewise, I was sort of upset with how Gray would use quick fixes to get around history. Like for instance, Tess is granted a special key to allow her to go from first to third class with some shoddy explanation–essentially her employer’s pay off the ship’s crew. And then there’s how the plot handled itself. Pacing in this book does not exist. Tess comes to realization with little to no explanation about several things in the novel. And when Gray does slow down there’s no purpose. For instance, twenty pages were spent on this golden pin. And while it did make Tess think about her sister, it served no other purpose to the novel. While I did think the characters were nice enough, like the plot I think there was really little development. Tess was your standard heroine, she was likable enough but I didn’t feel like I got to know her enough to like her. That there was anything really unique about her. But she was definitely more developed than Alec who was mind candy at best.
Best Feature: Cult potential. You know how some awful movies become cult classics because how ridiculous they are. Well, this is how this book was to me. The writing wasn’t terrible and it was an easy enough to read despite it’s eye rolling moments. And I have to admit I sort of have a thing for period pieces. Plus, the summary looks so horrifying it makes this book look interesting.
Worst Feature: Cliches: Although, I found this book to be occasionally amusing, the cliches could be a tad bit too much. There was insta love. And Mr. Insta Love just happens to be rich and you guessed it he’s some sort of paranormal creature. Oh, and he tells Tess all his dirty little secrets right after meeting her. Grant it, he was sort of in a predicament where he had to-but still. Add in some ridiculously purple writing and what do you have. One big cliche.
Appropriateness: There is a sex scene in this novel. And there is death, lots of death. Unplanned pregnancies and abusive situations are also talked about. Honestly, I would say that the novel would almost qualify as adult fiction except a lot of these scenes are fluffed over and the tone of the novel is YA.
With this cover though it does look a little more like a bodice ripper and perhaps that would’ve been more appropriate.
Blockbuster Worthy: Hmm, it might be interesting. Though it might be a bit of a Titanic rip off—oh, wait there are plenty of movies that ripped off the James Cameron’s Titanic. Perhaps you’ve seen this one.
Anyway, if Fateful ever got turned into a movie here’s who I’d cast:
Tess: Dianna Agron
. Somehow I can picture her playing Tess. She’d have to gain an accent and wear a scullery maid’s hat throughout most of the film.
Alec: Usually I don’t advocate casting animated characters but I couldn’t help but think Alec would look a lot like Dimitri from Anastasia except-well, not animated. And if that didn’t work you could always get Leonardo dicaprio circa 1998.
Overall Rating: Five out of ten wolves. It was a fast read. Even enjoyable. However, this book had it’s flaws and while I would recommend it if you like all things Titanic and want some cheese. Overall, I would say stick to the very original material. At least with it you get this
obnoxious song. Oh, and Leo who will never let you go while Alec will just throw you (or should I say Tess) overboard.
* Note, the above statement was said in total sarcasm