Title: The Dark Days Club
Series Details: Lady Helen #1
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Imprint: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Blurb from Goodreads:
London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?
Wow. This has been a very pleasant and satisfying read, and definitely has a potential to be an amazing series. The story takes place in London 1812. And it involves demons. Yaaas, demons! Those soul-sucking creatures that possesses humans and use their bodies to blend with everyone else. They remind me of The Stars Never Rise, but The Dark Days Club is fascinating in its own way.
“You once said to me that all I offer you is danger and threat. That is true. However, I also offer you extraordinary importance and purpose. You and I have been called into the service of mankind, and I can conceive of no greater honor. I hope that you will answer that call, Lady Helen. You can be assured I will stand beside you as your mentor, and that ranged behind us will be the brave men and women of the Dark Days Club.”
This book has a strong historical fiction feel to it. I loved the author’s attention to detail. Everything is described intricately from the ball gowns to the stench of some places in London. I can tell that the author really did a serious research for this because it felt so realistic. There’s a lot of emphasis in propriety. And it gives us a glance of the society’s standards during that period.
It does lag at some points and it took quite a few chapters before our heroine, Lady Helen, got into the thick of things. But the novel is so well-written. There’s a kind of magic in the way Alison Goodman tells her story. A magic that makes you keep reading despite the slow pace. You see, Goodman is good at constantly throwing mysteries. She knows when and where to throw another question or build another puzzle and you just can’t help but care.
I have to say that I love each and every character of this book. They’re all very intriguing and they do felt real. Helen is not a perfect heroine but she is a very likable character. She’s intelligent, witty, her compassion is admirable, and she could be the most powerful Reclaimer there is but she is not invincible. In fact, even after she gained her full Reclaimer strength she is still vulnerable. And that’s one thing to love about her.
Ahh, and there’s Lord Calston with his mysterious, dark, commanding character.There’s a certain pull in his character that would surely make readers root for him.
If she had one word to describe him, Helen decided as she drew closer, it would be commanding. Or enigmatic. Or disturbing. Which of course, was three words. Lord Carlston was not a man to be contained, even in adjective.
The romance is very subtle. It’s barely there and it didn’t really made me swoon. Lord Carlston and Lady Helen’s relationship with each other unfolds in a nice and easy pace which is fitting, considering the period in which the book was set.
You will not read a lot of fighting scenes in this book. There’s a little fight between Reclaimer and Deceiver but it wasn’t much. But I guess there’s a lot of action to expect in the second installment. There’s also the promise of a “Great Deceiver” who has yet to show himself (although I have a strong feeling that Lady Helen had met him already). Then there’s still that question about what happened to Lord Carlston’s wife. Helen’s training as a Reclaimer is also something to watch out for. And yes, the bloosoming attraction between her and the Earl of Carlston, who wouldn’t want to see how it would turn out?
I love this book for all its historical aspects mixed with some cool supernatural elements. So if you’re looking for a historical fiction with some dark twists this book might be just for you.