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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 8 Up-Forbidden-romance cliches 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 (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.