Let me start this review by saying that I was super intrigued by this book, but then I read that it involves the titanic and I immediately put it back on the shelves. I’m the girl who cries during the movie every. single. time. I even cried watching the trailer on TV when Titanic came back out for the 3D release in theatres. This story really tears me up. However, werewolves and the Titantic? I was intrigued and it was only when my friends at goodreads informed me that it had a happy ending that I decided I would go for it. I’m glad I did.
A tragic tale about falling in love on the world’s most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing… and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever.
The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets.
When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn.
Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…
New York Times best-selling author Claudia Gray delivers adventure, dark paranormal suspense, alluring romance, and a truly surprise ending, set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic’s first — and last — voyage.
This story was beautifully built from the historic era, to the ship, and to the characters. I was so surprised by this book. Throughout the story, I was so enraptured in Tess’s relationship with Alec that at times I forgot that he was a first-class passenger and she was a third-class handmaiden and that they were both on the doomed Titanic. I don’t know how Claudia Gray did it, but she made the possibility of werewolves on the Titanic so believable. The relationship between Tess and Alec was believable too. They didn’t fall into insta-love. They were obviously attracted to one another but it wasn’t until they shared their deepest secrets and were brought together through dire circumstances that their love could bloom. It made the acts of love at the end of the novel that much sweeter because there was a genuine connection between them. I never once thought their words of love were cliché or fake. It felt real to me and it made this story unbelievably amazing.
Gray created connections all over the place, bringing in storylines that drew you close to each character and their relationships. It was that much more heartbreaking when the ship finally goes down. It’s safe to say I bawled my eyes out. I loved Myriam who became quick friends with Tess on the ship and the 7th officer, George. Their relationship was so sweet and new. I nearly lost it when Irene’s secret is revealed and the consequence of such was her undoing. Through only a short book, Gray draws you in and you love everyone Tess encounters, except for her employer, the despicable Mrs. Lisle.
The conflict between Alec and being initiated into the brotherhood was thrilling and really drove the story to its heart-breaking conclusion. My only issue with this book was the nauseating horror that grew within me with each page turned because I knew, I KNEW what was going to happen to that ship. All I could think was how on earth could they possibly all get out? I wanted all of them to live!
I appreciated the care that Gray put into creating this story where she created her own fictional characters to be on the ship in order to avoid soiling someone’s real name or story, especially since this story has a paranormal element. I thought she accurately portrayed the ship in all its splendor to honor those who were lost at sea those many, many years ago.
I was so glad this story had its own version of a happy ending, sadly the Titanic must always go down. However, as much as I liked the happy ending, I wish there was more time to acclimate to the good news before the book ends. Its almost as if I didn’t believe that good things were happening because they happened so fast. The action in the end took away that moment of disbelief I was hoping would happen between Alec and Tess to really solidify it was really happening. Regardless, I really liked this book. I’m interested in reading more of Claudia Gray. Her character development is right up my alley, I love a story with strong characters and even stronger, believable bonds between them. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical and paranormal romance; this book had the best of both worlds.