Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen – HarperCollins
Release Date: September 13, 2011
The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Traveling 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 realizing that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…
The entirety of this book is delightfully shocking. Every chapter, there’s a new twist or hoop for Tess to jump through. Even the secondary characters, like the family that Tess works for, are astounding with their dirty laundry that they try so hard to keep to themselves. The hilarity, but yet serious undertone because of the first person narration, was intriguing. The gossip-like mood of the beginning of the book, before the action and conflict that is introduced, was very entertaining.
Some of the, er, less appealing characters (not in a literary way, more of a this-guy-creeps-me-out sort of way – yes, I’m talking about Mikhail) were definitely fear-inducing, and not just for Tess. I was seriously creeped out by this guy. There was murder going on, threats and insinuation, bullying and torture and extortion. It was completely insane, and yet captured my attention so utterly. I couldn’t figure out what could possibly happen next, at any point throughout the book, but especially not at the end.
One point – this book is paranormal historical fiction (a combination that I loved!), so don’t go into the book expecting a happy ending. Despite my desperate hoping for absolutely everything to be set to rights, it’s the Titanic. I’ve seen the movie (which, by the way, I also enjoyed). I was holding back tears in school today as I finished it. Myriam, possibly my favorite character, had all my attention, love, and adoration. But Tess and Alec (oh, ALEC!) were amazing together, and I almost couldn’t bear the end. There’s so much suspense and sadness in this book, it’s so terrifyingly descriptive, it’s a definitely must-read.
I like this cover better than I like the other one, although the red dress on the other cover is more related to the storyline. This one has more of the paranormal aspect to it, and I love the light blue color and the way the sky and ocean are reflecting each other. Also, this book was great as a standalone, but I most definitely would not complain if there was a second book! In fact, I might just be first in line to get it!
**There are no specific details, but there is mention of sex and related events in the book.