Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release Date: December 14th, 2015
Series: Lady Helen #1
Genres: 19th Century, Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
London, April 1812. Lady Helen Wrexhall is set to make her debut at the court of Queen Charlotte and officially step into polite Regency society and the marriage mart. Little does Helen know that step will take her from the opulent drawing rooms of Mayfair and the bright lights of Vauxhall Gardens into a shadowy world of missing housemaids and demonic conspiracies.
Standing between those two worlds is Lord Carlston, a man of ruined reputation and brusque manners. He believes Helen has a destiny beyond the ballroom; a sacred and secret duty. Helen is not so sure, especially when she discovers that nothing around her is quite as it seems, including the enigmatic Lord Carlston.
Against a backdrop of whispered secrets in St James's Palace, soirees with Lord Byron and morning calls from Beau Brummell, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club is a delightfully dangerous adventure of self-discovery and dark choices that must be made ... whatever the consequences.
The build is slow
Patience grasshopper. I was expecting THE DARK DAYS CLUB to have a slow build from seeing blogging friends reading it and from my experience of reading Alison Goodman’s other book, EON. The time is taken to establish the world and characters at a slow, but not entirely unreasonable, pace. Little bits and pieces are sown into the story that make you question what is going on until the paranormal elements finally start to appear. Some people may not have the patience if they’re not interested in some of the other aspects of the book. Fortunately for me I love historical fiction and there was something about THE DARK DAYS CLUB that I found intriguing and addictive despite the slow build.
Writing that sends you back in time
Historical fiction has always been one of my favourite genres and the one thing that really makes a historical novel is the writing. If it’s done right, not only will everything be described well and the characters have appropriate dialogue, but the writing will make you feel as if you’ve travelled back in time to the setting of the story. One advantage of this is that it makes it even easier to sink back into the story and world every time you sit down to read, and it’s incredibly hard to pull away. Alison Goodman easily achieved this feat!
I love the characters
It wasn’t until I was thinking about what I was going to put in this review that I realised how much I loved all of the characters, even the secondary ones. Okay some of them are arseholes (like her Uncle) and I don’t really like those but they’re still great characters! None of them are simple, one dimensional characters. Each has layers and history that shapes who they are and I look forward to uncovering more about them and their motivations.
The romance is the definition of slow burn
GUYS I SHIP IT SO HARD. LIKE OMG. THIS SHIP. Barely anything even happens. Helen doesn’t even begin to have feelings or thoughts about the love interest until page 304 but omg I ship it. The way the characters interacted and everything was just… perfect grounding for all my favourite ships honestly. I can’t remember the last time I shipped something this hard on so little substance. I’m crossing my fingers that this will continue to develop slowly over the course of the series but give me a little bit more to base my ship on haha.
As you can probably tell from this slow burn comment, the romance does not interfere with the plot at any point whatsoever. It was marvellous. There is also a pretty decent love triangle in the book! What made the love triangle great was the history and emotions shared between the two potential love interests which still hasn’t been fully explained ksafjskdf
I cannot wait for the sequel
One of the main reasons I think THE DARK DAYS CLUB has a slow plot was because it’s a set up book. It introduced and established the world, characters, and the big bad force that will be fought in the sequels. From the way it ended I expect there to be more paranormal elements, more suspense, and more of Helen kicking ass in the next novel, as well as a larger involvement of the big bad villain!
LADY HELEN AND THE DARK DAYS CLUB wasn’t the fastest book in the world but boy did I have great fun reading it. Regency England is one of my favourite time periods to read about and I was enamoured by the writing and setting. The paranormal elements and the barely there romance I couldn’t help but ship way too hard were added bonuses. I recommend LADY HELEN AND THE DARK DAYS CLUB to fans of historical fiction who have patience.