5 Things About Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club

January 14, 2016 Review 24 ★★★★

5 Things About Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Source: Publisher
Pages: 448
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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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.



Rating Report
Overall: 4.1

24 Responses to “5 Things About Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club”

    • Bec

      There is quite a lot of buzz about it right now. Maybe this book will surprise you and be a slow historical you end up liking? One can hope anyway haha.

  1. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Well, you’re the second trusted blogger friend to seriously love this one Bec so needless to say, I need this like air! Nicely done with the TARDIS gif by the way, that’s the BEST part about historicals: when you truly feel transported into another time ♥ The characters and the romance sounds fantastic too, I can’t wait to get my hands on this one :D
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Abhorsen

    • Bec

      Feeling like you’ve been transported back in time really shows how much time and effort the author put in to research. I hope you get to read it soon!

    • Bec

      Yeah the US title is shorter, which isn’t that unusual for Aussie books that go overseas. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Alise

    “The build is slow” *backs away slowly* Usually starts like that don’t bode well for me but I’ve heard this author is amazing and I do enjoy a slow burning romance.

    • Bec

      I think you should wait for me to read the sequel before I start to figure out if you’ll have the patience for this haha. Alison Goodman writes fantastic stories but they do take their time developing everything.

    • Bec

      Well built characters are a must for a 5 star read in any novel! Slow burn romances are also my favourite. It’s nice seeing the characters get to know each other properly and not jumping into things head first.

    • Bec

      It was super fitting! Getting lost in the historical world and characters certainly kept me entertained enough that I couldn’t care less it was slow.


    • Bec

      Yeah that historical setting development was part of what I enjoyed haha. I was so worried about what I was going to think of it when I saw what a terrible time you were having.

    • Bec

      She’s not a super popular author compared to some others, but I’ve loved the books by her that I’ve read (which is this and Eon, a chinese inspired fantasy featuring dragons!). I really need to read some more of her stuff.

    • Bec

      It is the start of a series so there better be a sequel! I need more!

      The ship is great. I can’t believe I shipped it so hard before anything even happened hahaha

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