Thursday, January 7, 2016

Review: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

From the Back Cover:

Helen must make a choice: Save her reputation, or save the world.

London, 1812. Eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall is on the eve of her debut presentation at the royal court of George III. Her life should revolve around gowns, dancing, and securing a suitable marriage. Instead, when one of her family’s maids disappears, she is drawn into the shadows of Regency London.

There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few able to stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons that has infiltrated all levels of society. Carlston is not a man she should be anywhere near, especially with the taint of scandal that surrounds him. Yet he offers her help and the possibility of finally discovering the truth about the mysterious deaths of her parents.

Soon the two of them are investigating a terrifying conspiracy that threatens to plunge the newly Enlightened world back into darkness. But can Helen trust a man whose own life is built on lies? And does she have the strength to face the dangers of this hidden world and her family’s legacy?

My Thoughts:

I love historical fiction, paranormal romance, and YA, so when all three come together in one book, I'm all in, and I jumped at the chance to review The Dark Days Club.

But alas, it was not all I'd hoped it would be. It has a great premise and a strong heroine, but the pace is so slow, and the story gets bogged down by too much description, including entire scenes about shopping and other social activities that didn't impact the plot. If the book had been shortened by a hundred pages and some of those extraneous scenes replaced with ones that deepened some secondary characterization and advanced the plot quicker, this could have been awesome.

Lady Helen's character is the only one that is fully fleshed out, and I think readers will find much to admire in her bravery and in the decisions she grapples with, but not enough is revealed about Lord Carlston for me to really get in his corner. I love a dark and brooding hero, especially one who is the misunderstood subject of rumor and public disapproval, but he remains as aloof and mysterious at the end as he was at the beginning, and I needed to see a little more emotion from him to feel that Helen wasn't wasting her time thinking about him.

I give the story big props for smoothly incorporating the history of the time, including the assassination of the prime minister and the Luddite riots, and the author doesn't shy away from depicting the inequalities between men and women of the time, which apply to even the wealthy and highborn. But overall, the story just didn't grab me enough to overlook its problems, and I'm not sure that I'll be continuing on with the series.

My Rating:  3 Stars out of 5

*Please Note: This review references an advance copy received from the publisher through the Amazon Vine program. These are my honest and unbiased opinions, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.


  1. Commenting on your current read! love the look of the Vatican Princess!

    1. I haven't had the chance to get too far into it yet, but C.W. has yet to disappoint me!

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