Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

From Hicklebee’s: Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.

Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .

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

In Fateful, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray delivers paranormal adventure, dark suspense, and alluring romance set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic’s first—and last—voyage.

I love when historical meets fantasy and Claudia Gray did such an amazing job with Fateful. We all know the fated story of the ship Titanic, but Gray’s imaginative retelling of what really happened on the ship is masterfully told and incredibly fun to read.

Tess is a maid in a good family household. Like most servants she is treated horribly and hates every moment of it. When she finds out she is going on the Titanic to America, she devises an plan to leave service and start a new life on American soil.

Tessa is a hardworking, smart, and interesting character. While the family she is in service too isn’t very fleshed out, I think that most of the peerage were concerned with flippant things at this time period and Gray showed their lack of passion well.

When Tess meets two werewolves on board things get extremely interesting and steamy. Alec tries to protect Tess while protecting himself from the Brotherhood. A society of wolves that believe they are gods, they need Alec and his family money and influence on their side and they will stop at nothing to get it. They turn Alec on Tess, then on the general population while he is in wolf form. It seems he has no choice but to join the Brotherhood and leave Tess behind, even though they have began to have feelings for each other.

The book continues at a break neck pace, here’s a spoiler for you – the ship sinks – but who makes it off alive? Who makes it to American soil to start again, and who is lost to the tragedy?

While I think the ending of the book was way too easy, and far-fetching I did enjoy the other 95% of the novel. I understand that the ending was there to coax a possible sequel but it didn’t jive with the other part of the book. I was wholly disappointed by the conclusion, but wouldn’t be averse to picking up a second and seeing what trouble Tess can get herself into next time.

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Review: The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare created a whole new world and race of people in this stunning trilogy. I was recently introduced to these books by a Twitter Friend, xbellaxmiax, she told me to pick up the trilogy and read it and I am glad I took her advice. I had seen the books around on Amazon even in my recommendations of products I might like to purchase, I think it was the titles that put me off a bit at first because the cover art is very stimulating, while not taking away from your imagination as you read.

The first book follows Clary through the discovery that not all things in her life is as they seem. Clary was born and raised in New York, life as she knows it with her Mother Jocelyn is pretty calm. Jocelyn is an artist, Clary dreams of becoming as good as her mother in lots of ways. Art, beauty, and the way Jocelyn is always calm and in control. They live in a beautiful victorian loft in the city. She has her best friend Simon, and her father figure Luke, all in all Clary is a pretty happy teen. She does tend to wonder why her Mom freaks out so much when she is a bit late, or when she goes to the club Pandemonium in the city.

Things start to change for Clary when she is in line to gain entrance to Pandemonium, she sees this handsome guy with blue hair gain entrance to the club carrying a weapon, fascinated by his looks and cunning, Clary is distracted by him through-out the night. She is terminally shy around boys except for Simon and finally talks herself into walking up to the guy and asking him to dance, but that is exactly when she sees him flirting with this amazing girl. She is tall, gorgeous with flowing black hair and perfect skin. She sees the girl and they boy disappear into a back room. Just as the boy steps in Clary sees two shadows with knives step in behind him. Flustered she tells Simon to find security while she stalks off into the room to see what is going on. She witnesses a murder happened. The two shadows have materialized and are killing her beautiful blue haired boy. She screams, the gorgeous girl and the two shadow boys turn around. This is when Clary is told she can see things that no ‘mundane’ should be able to see, she finds out the blue haired boy was a demon and the girl and boys killing him are shadow hunters.

The book then spells out with Clary falling for one of the shadow hunters named Jace, Jocelyn being abducted by an evil hunter, Clary finding out about who she really is and how her and Jace band together to give the hunters a bit more time before a huge war. Clary with the help of Jace finds Jocelyn but all is not well. Clary finds out her father is the evil hunter Valentine, and that Jace is her brother Jonathan, the incestuous plot didn’t bother me in this trilogy. It wasn’t anything like some slash fan fiction quality stuff, but how it would actually be if you found out you had a brother and was completely mad for him.

The second book begins with Clary dating Simon, he has been in love with her for years. She really isn’t into it because she is still in love with her brother Jace, but she is trying to make it all work. Jocelyn is still in the hospital asleep and no one seems to be able to wake her up. Jace and Clary are still confused and weird around each other and then their Father begins to attack everywhere he can looking for the Mortal Instruments. If he retrieves all three then no one will be able to oppose him and the fate of regular humans with demon blood along with shadow hunters being enslaved by Valentine is in the hands of Clary, who has never had training and is still learning what all this shadow hunting business is all about. The book follows the two through saving the Mortal Cup, and trying to stop their incestuous feelings for one another. The couple are betrayed at the center of their group of friends and Valentine wins the battle for the cup in the end.

Book three, Valentine has the sword and the cup. Clary has a special shadow hunter power and Jace realizes he has physical abilities beyond the norm. Jace and his adopted family return to the city of glass and Jace leaves Clary behind. So she draws a new rune makes a portal and follows after them. This book was more faced paced than the other, I love them all three equally and believe they should be read in order, but City of Glass had me on pins and needles. I was even reading the book in my class and missed out on some stuff the instructor was going over. I can’t really give you much more of a plot here, I don’t want to ruin the story with spoilers. I guess I can say Clary found the key for waking up Jocelyn, Valentine wages war on the city of glass, just as the clave leaders are going to submit to Valentines rule, Clary discovers a way they can fight. It doesn’t mean they will win though.

I thought the writing style for these books was amazing. The detail Clare put into these books is astounding. You got to see, feel, and almost touch every person and every aspect of this story. There are no open endings, no plots left unturned no matter how small. was sewn up into a detail abundant package. This quickly became one of my favorite trilogies. I am sad the story is over, I will always miss the city of glass.

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