Werewolves on the Titanic! It sounds ridiculous (and make no mistake, it is), but fans of campy, swoony romances should find this mix of the historical and the paranormal a worthy guilty pleasure. Gray (the Evernight series) delivers a novel filled with soap operatic twists and turns, romance that bridges class boundaries, and lots of sharp fangs. Tess Davies has long been maid to the Lisle family, headed by the harsh Lady Regina. The family is aboard the Titanic, traveling from Southampton to New York City, where Tess plans to ditch the Lisles and start a new life. When Tess meets Mikhail, an evil werewolf, and gorgeous Alec, a werewolf fighting his violent nature, her voyage suddenly becomes about survival—but also love, her steamy relationship with Alec leading to such lines as "You can offer me tonight" in response to Alec's lament that he has nothing to offer Tess. Though the serious tone, extreme melodrama, and constant threats to Tess (a depressingly passive heroine) get to be a bit much, Gray's fans should find it a fast-paced, fun read. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
VOYA - Jeff Mann
Tess Davies's life is no picnicshe is stuck as a servant to the domineering and wealthy Lisle family, but her working life proves rather dull when the Lisle's book passage on the maiden voyage of a new luxury ship, the RMS Titanic. Once onboard, Tess quickly falls for a good-looking and wealthy passenger named Alec. The ship offers many new experiences, including a romance with the seemingly perfect Alec, and allows her to create a plan to quit her job and strike out on her own upon arrival in America. Yet her life becomes even more complicated when she uncovers a dark secret: that werewolves are not only real but they are on the ship and have targeted both her and her new love. Fateful is much like a locomotivethe story slowly chugs along at the start and continues to pick up steam throughout the novel as the plot twists and turns come faster and faster. Tess is an interesting characterstrong willed, caring, and adventurous, all while maintaining the prim and proper behavior of a British servant in 1912. While her adventurous spirit is fun, her deep love for Alec seems at times improbable for a story that spans less than a week, but it is her love that propels her to make most of her decisions in the book. While many readers will see several of the plot twists coming, they will enjoy them nonetheless. An imaginative plot, a touch of action, a pair of star-crossed lovers, werewolves, and the Titanic all wrapped up with a touch of history make a recipe for which many teen readers will be hungry. Reviewer: Jeff Mann
It has come to this: werewolves on theTitanic.
As the paranormal-romance juggernaut continues, it seems as though authors wishing to sell books find themselves compelled into ever-more-outlandish scenarios. Hence this novel, which indeed should appeal to the Twilight crowd. Tess, a servant since the age of 13 to the arrogant Lisle family, joins them aboard theTitanic, where she and wealthy Alec, the good werewolf, fall madly in love while fighting Mikhail, the evil werewolf. The sinking of the ship, although vividly portrayed late in the story, serves mainly to resolve some issues and set up the ending. Fortunately, paranormal romance isn't the novel's only feature. Gray researched the conditions of servants in pre–World War I England and accurately portrays Tess' life as one of hardship, penury and, sometimes, abuse. The fate of some third-class passengers and the crew adds poignancy to the narrative. While most characters, including Alec, prove as multi-dimensional as anime drawings, Tess herself displays plenty of spunk and enough rebellious spirit to appeal to teens. A fellow passenger, Myriam, also adds some life to the proceedings. Dialogue and romantic encounters fit the usual overdone style of the genre. The author repeats most important points three times but keeps suspense high and paces the story well.
One wonders, why werewolves? At least it has some approachable history. And it will probably sell.(Paranormal romance. 12 & up)
Once I picked EVERNIGHT up, I couldn’t put it down! I can’t wait for Claudia Gray’s next book!”
Praise for STARGAZER
Praise for Claudia Gray:“If you like Twilight, this book has even more drama.”
Praise for the Evernight series
“Stephenie Meyer fans will find similar rewards in the flashes of humor; the terrifying battle between ancient, supernatural societies; and the steamy romance in which love bites aren’t just a euphemism.”
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Forbidden-romance clichés and heavy-handed class-system critiques run through this torrid tale of secrets, lies, and werewolves on the doomed Titanic. Pretty Tess Davies, beleaguered ladies' maid in a shallow and financially troubled English household, accompanies the family on the ill-fated voyage to New York, where she hopes to break free from service and start a new life. She finds herself a hunted pawn in the plottings of Mikhail, a powerful werewolf (an oily Count by day) who's onboard to steal an artifact in her employers' possession coveted by the evil international werewolf Brotherhood. Tess's only protection comes from handsome Alec—another gentleman werewolf, not yet committed to the Brotherhood, whose chestnut curls, muscled torso, and simultaneously frightening and protective air are too much for Tess to resist. Her account provides detailed descriptions of the ship itself, sometimes jarringly didactic details of 1912 life, and society's rigid and hypocritical customs. Her ostensibly defiant, spunky voice sometimes sounds like that of a modern American, and she's as astute about explaining complex social situations as she is foolish in her inability to figure out plot "surprises." With constant threats of physical or sexual violence, she's frequently a classic damsel in distress, flimsily clad and vulnerable, in need of instruction or protection. Fans of Gray and this ever-growing supernatural/romance genre will likely love this title, and Titanic buffs might too—but there isn't much substance here.—Riva Pollard, Prospect Sierra Middle School, El Cerrito, CA