Original Review Posted on Bookwyrming Thoughts
.Note: Formatting may be lost due to copy and paste. Photos and captions have been removed in Goodreads review.
*Warning: Minor spoilers may be sprinkled throughout review*
Tess Davies is a servant working for the wealthy Lisles in 1912 London, never before having seen anything outside of the city. She has always wanted to be from servitude, and gets her chance when the Lisles are planning to leave for America on the Titanic. There, she meets Alec and enters a world of dark secrets past and present that can eventually separate them forever.
Ohhh, the Titanic. The majestic ship which unfortunately sank from an iceberg. It's probably the 2nd thing in Historical Fiction that I somehow enjoy reading, next to the Holocaust (I don't know why I like tragedies... non-Romeo & Juliet style). I also found the author's notes at the end helpful, because without it, I'm pretty sure I would've mentioned that a few supposedly dead people in Fateful by the Titanic's journey were well... pretty dead – unless they were a vampire and climbed clawed their way out of their coffins... *shudders*
I have one word for most of the Lisle family (at least the ones we get to know throughout Fateful): snobby. Just plain snobby and nasty, even to a family member. Except for maybe two members, and one of them is as innocent as a teacup. They're also ungrateful. Even though Tess could've left them to rot away, she at least tried to warn them. But what I found most memorable, however odd it might be, is when Irene finally breaks out of her shell. If I were less astonished, I'd never stop applauding.
Claudia Gray writes Tess's life as a servant in a realistic way during the 1900s in London, although there are some parts, as mentioned in the author's notes, that were made up for drama. However, I do pity Tess, Ned and the other servants (even the overly seemingly strict Mrs. Horne) and applaud her – however silent and virtually from the sidelines – for wanting to break free. But I do wish that the other servants and Irene would have survived such a tragedy as well with Tess.
Mikhail is even worse. Powerful and dangerous – the very fact that he kills, or even injures innocent people just for the fun and pleasure of it all is just... ewww (that's as bad as animal abuse). And just because he apparently thinks of himself superior to everyone else unless you're part of the Brotherhood. I do hope the other members aren't as cruel and stalkish-like as he is... but somehow, I doubt it. Though the least he could do was not turning every situation he's involved into a mess, however much he wants to successfully reach his goal, and however sly he tries to be. Somehow, he just fails in the concept of being sly when it comes to handling those situations. Unless it has something to do with influencing his power to get a potential member of the Brotherhood out of a nook or crany. (Must be for persuasion purposes.) And considering the fact that he was revived later, I'm also thinking he's the next Frankenstein. Or Frankenwolf, Frankencreep, Frankenstalker.... Whichever floats your boat. Maybe someone will come up with a better name for him than I ever can.
Also, I never noticed the irony of Fateful's synopsis mentioning the journey as a "dangerous game" until I realized near the very end that Alec and Mikhail are basically colored like checkers when they're changed into wolves – no, really. Red and black? Very checker-ish. I thought it would be Chess101 in a way, not exactly Checkers101. Though I suppose there can be, well... red kings, queens, knights, pawns, etc. (I'm sorry for thinking of Breaking Dawn, folks, but is there another book or movie with Red and Black Chess?).