Both novels are historical fiction (YA). Fox handles the genre beautifully. The amount of detail that went into Forgiven was astounding. While most of the action takes place in the early years of the 20th century in San Francisco, we see several other settings all beautifully and accurately rendered by the author. Each chapter begins with a quote from a novel or news-sheet relevant to the story, and from the time-period which is a testament to how much research Fox did to bring this story to life. I learned so much from those little quotes that I feel inspired to look into the history of San Francisco which I don't know that much about.
The story itself was a cross between action/adventure and romance. The book also dealt with social issues like racial prejudice and class consciousness. Nob Hill was REALLY Nob Hill at the time. The characters are beautifully rendered on the page and the settings highly evocative. If I had any criticism at all, I'd say that the story felt a little rushed at the end. I don't want to give a lot away about what happens, but I had become so invested in the place and the characters that I was left wanting more at the end of the book. That might not be such a bad thing as it's probably good for the reader to be so invested in the characters that (s)he wants more. And maybe Fox will write another book in the series and we'll find out what happens to heroine Kula and the band of folks she's left with at the end of this story.
I'll definitely pick up Faithful and other books by this author. Great reads for young adults too because they mix entertaining storytelling with real history and social issues. Would be good discussion starters in a history or social studies class, I would think. Not too didactic, but enough material to get a solid discussion going and to think about how far we have (or haven't) come as a society since the early 20th century in terms of class and race consciousness.