Review: “The Dark Days Pact” by Alison Goodman

When I finished The Dark Days Club a few weeks ago, I checked my local library for this book, its sequel. I was so relieved to see it available so I instantly put a hold on it! I brought this book with me while I was on vacation (I should write a post about that…). It held me over on the long drive (Husband drove, don’t worry ^_^), and when I returned home, I devoured the book. Now I just want book 3!

The Dark Days PactTitle: The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2)
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release date: January 31, 2017
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction, paranormal, romance
Length: 490 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.”

five-starsMy Thoughts

OH MY WORD. THIS BOOK. I still can’t believe I finished it so fast. I couldn’t put it down! *cries* And then I finished, and the ending, and AHHHH. Why isn’t the next book in my hands NOW?

Whine

But seriously. I think this might just be one of my top reads for this year! The next book doesn’t have a title yet on Goodreads, or a cover, nor does it have an actual release date outside of 2018! One can hope there will be news soon, right? I mean, is it too soon? I hope not because I’m on the edge of my seat!

This book has all the things I love. I’m a huge Anglophile, so having this set in England, let alone Regency England, is the best! Then there’s your strong female character, eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall, who currently resides in Brighton under the context of “health problems” with her chaperone, Lady Margaret, but there’s also the delectable Lord Carlston, whose training Helen to use her Reclaimer powers after they learn of a Grand Deceiver, a prophesied evil that, if s/he obtains the three key pieces of alchemical which could open a door to Hell and destroy the world.

SOUNDS INTENSE, RIGHT? Well, it is!

I’m such a sucker for the forbidden romance tropes and the slow-burning romance and this series has that written all over it. I love how Lady Helen and Carlston are connected, not in a physical way, though Helen obviously finds Carlston attractive, but there’s a deeper sense, too. They connect mentally and spiritually, and toward the end of the book, we see exactly how important the two are in the fight against the Deceivers and for the fate of Reclaimers.

I loved the friendships in this book. The way Helen handles herself in various situations, especially under certain disguises, shows she is not only smart but witty and clever, and can definitely take on a lot. Considering the time period, there are a handful of men in the Dark Days Club who feel Helen can’t handle her role as a Reclaimer. They voice their opinion, too, but not only does Helen have to deal with men’s opinions about what a woman should be, they think she can’t handle her job as a Reclaimer. Instead of her uncle, we have Mr. Pike, a fellow Reclaimer bent on pushing Helen to her limits, thinking her feminine disposition will cause her to fail. Pffffffft. What a stupid man.

Then there’s the Duke of Selburn. At first, I liked him. He’s charming, and has a way with words. But as the story progresses, he’s just another product of the time who thinks women need a man’s protection. He doesn’t quite understand Helen the same way Carlston does, and their ongoing battle does Helen no favors. If this continues, I hope the Duke comes to some sort of understanding about how important Helen is as a Reclaimer.

Also, the kissing in this book! It’s such a tease! A horrible, lovely tease!

want more

No, Katerina, it’s NOT WRONG. lol Not when it comes to this book!

Goodman does a fantastic job dropping you right into the Regency world. Not only do we see the high social class of Lady Helen, but we also venture down to the uglier parts of 1800s England. I learned a lot about the time period in this book. I love the lower class dialect and colloquial terminology, and that Helen herself struggled with it at times. There’s a definite line separating the social classes, but Helen finds herself fascinated and pleased with herself that she’s able to manage things well.

Okay, wow, this was a really long review. I guess that’s what happens when I like a book a lot. Things aren’t often coherent when I can only flail about the series, but I think I did fairly well, haha!

You can order this book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Book Depository (where you can purchase the U.K. editions of the book).

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