Book Review: Fateful + ARC Giveaway

Author: Claudia Gray
Published: Harper Collins (September 13, 2011)
Audience: Young Adult
Source: For Review
Young Adult  * Paranormal Romance * Historical

Description from Goodreads:
 It's about a servant girl named Tess in 1912, who wants to escape from the house where she works, and most particularly the lecherous young lord of the manor. But that's not her biggest problem. While on a voyage to America, where she plans to escape and start a new life, she meets Alec, who's ruggedly handsome, fabulously wealthy, intelligent and yet so clearly troubled that she'd rather not fall for him, but she does. That also is not her biggest problem. Alec, it turns out, is a werewolf ... one cursed to change every night, unless and until he surrenders his independence and joins the Brotherhood, a pack of violently misogynistic werewolves who have been tracking him for months. You'd think that would be their biggest problem, wouldn't you?

But no. Their biggest problem -- though they don't know it yet -- is that they're aboard the RMS Titanic.

As a huge fan of Claudia Gray's Evernight series, I was very excited to read an advanced copy of her new book, Fateful. This new book is a stand-alone (as far as I know) and it's very different from her Evernight series. Firstly, this is historical paranormal fiction, instead of contemporary, and Claudia Gray does historical so well. Reading Fateful, it was very obvious that Gray had researched the period well. The dialogue, the clothing, the description... everything felt true to turn of the century London. She describes the lifestyle and the environment so well that I felt like I was immersed in the time period. Also, having seen the movie Titanic countless times, I could catch references to different real-life people like Margaret Brown and Mr. Andrews. You don't have to know a lot about the Titanic story to enjoy it, but I think history buffs (or fans of the movie) might get even more out of it.

Another really interesting aspect of the story was the werewolf element. It was handled in an original way, with an interesting twist on the typical werewolf pack, changing in the moonlight, and all the obvious werewolf myths. I also loved the villain in the novel. He was scary and manipulative and everything I want in an antagonist. The characters in general were very well-done. The wealthy family Tess works for is deliciously snobby and unkind and secondary characters, like Irene, Layton, and Myriam are very multi-dimensional and well-written.

Alec, however was my favorite character. His spirit was great, and I think he offered the most complexity. He and Tess had amazing chemistry and with all the obstacles preventing them from being together -- class/status, the fact that Alec is a werewolf, lurking danger of the villain, and their potential deaths when the ship eventually sinks -- their romance was sweet and light. It was very wel-done.

Overall I liked the story.The ending felt a bit rushed, and the plotline with Alec and the werewolves that are hunting him (which was great!) would have probably been developed better if it didn't have to work around the limitations of a short ride on a ship that would eventually sink. I would recommend this book, though, to fans of Claudia Gray's superb writing and people interested in history and/or werewolf mythology.

Claudia Gray is not my real name. I didn't choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn't), because I'd always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven't) or even because I'm hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.

I am a full-time novelist based in Chicago. So far, in life, I've been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing. You can follow her on twitter: @claudiagray or on her blog:

Her official website is:

Complete the form below for a chance to win an advanced reader copy of Fateful. Please read contest rules carefully.


1. Please do not enter any personal information in the comments section (it will be deleted if you do), you must complete the Entry Form to officially enter the contest.
2. The contest runs from August 28 to 11:59 PM Pacific Time on August 31, 2011.
3. You must be 13 or older to participate in this contest.
4. If you are selected as a winner, I will notify you by e-mail. If you do not respond within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
5. This contest is open to the  U.S. and Canda.

Claudia Gray's Afterlife Review & Giveaway!

Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Harper Teen (March 8, 2011)
Audience: YA
Source: For Review (Dark Days Supernatural Tour)

Description from GoodReads:
The fourth book in this electrifying vampire series has all the romance, suspense, and page-turning drama that have made Claudia Gray’s Evernight books runaway successes.

Having become what they feared most, Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They must return to Evernight Academy, Lucas as a vampire and Bianca as a wraith. But Lucas is haunted by demons, both personal and supernatural. Bianca must help him fight the evil inside him, combat the forces determined to drive them apart—and find the power to claim her destiny at last.

Readers have fallen in love with Bianca and Lucas, and they will be thrilled to read this exciting conclusion to their romantic adventure.

Claudia Gray's Afterlife is the highly anticipated final chapter to her best-selling Evernight series, a young adult series about vampires and humans living together at the reclusive Evernight boarding school. Personally, I was really looking forward to seeing how things would end for Lucas and Bianca and how the mysteries surrounding the school would resolve, and I wasn't disappointed.

This is a spoiler free (!!) review of Afterlife, but it does reference events from the first three books in the series, so you have fair warning.

Afterlife lived up to expectations for me. At the end of Hourglass, book 3, Bianca had become a wraith and Lucas was turning into a vampire, the one thing he had been resisting for the whole series. This brought a new dynamic to the duo as they adjusted to their new bodies... or forms, in Bianca's case as a wraith. I loved watching Lucas struggle with what he had become and how that affected his relationship with Black Cross, especially his mother. I also loved seeing Lucas and Bianca back at the academy. I enjoyed them being on their own, out in the real world in Hourglass, but it felt great to have them back on familiar territory, readjusting to life now that they were both so different.

There were many unpredictable plot twists, especially with Mrs. Bethany and her relationship to the vampire/human/wraith populations at the academy. There was also some interesting Balthazar moments in there for fans eagerly awaiting Balthazar's spin-off novel. It's difficult to discuss the novel without giving too much away, because so much of this book ties up loose ends. I will say that I loved how Claudia Gray ended Bianca and Lucas' romance. I was worried about how they would work everything out, but I was more than satisfied with their ending. Overall, I really liked this one -- lots of action, romance, and drama to make it a real page-turner.

Now, on to the fun part: THE GIVEAWAY!

Here are the rules:
1. Please do not enter any personal information in the comments section, you must complete the Entry Form to officially enter the contest.
2.  The Contest runs from 12:00 a.m. on March 26, 2011 to 11:59 p.m. on March 31st.
3.  You do not need to be a follower of this blog to enter, but if you are it will earn you an extra entry.
4.  You must be 13 or older to participate in this contest.
5.  If you are selected as a winner, I will notify you by e-mail.  If you do not respond within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
6.  This contest is only open to UK participants .(Sorry U.S. and International Followers...there will be another contest for you coming soon)

Good luck!!