Saturday, May 28, 2016

Book Review: The Dark Days Club by Alisonn Goodman

The Dark Days Club
Author: Alison Goodman
Series: A Lady Helen Novel (Book 1)
Publication: Viking Books for Young Readers (January 26, 2016)

Description: 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? 
    
Set in the glittering social world of the Regency upper-crust, the Dark Days Club is a supernatural adventure that introduces New York Times best-selling author Alison Goodman’s Lady Helen Wrexhall—another heroine whom, like Eona, readers can take to their hearts.

My Thoughts: Lady Helen Wrexhall is getting ready for her presentation to Queen Charlotte and getting ready to take her place in society. She is an orphan being raised by her aunt and uncle after her mother's scandalous death. Her uncle is something of a religions bigot who rules his household with an iron fist and is determined that Helen be married off as soon as possible.

Helen is developing some special powers as she comes into womanhood and it looks like Lord Carlston has some answers to questions that are plaguing her. Unfortunately, Lord Carlston also has a scandalous past. He has been convicted in the the court of public opinion of the murder of his wife since she disappeared and no one knows what happened to her.

Helen has to court scandal to find out what she needs to know about her mother, about herself, and about a world that has existed around her all her life. Lord Carlston is a member of the Dark Days Club who have been tasked with ridding England of supernatural creatures who prey on innocents. There are only eight of the Reclaimers including Helen who is brand-new against 10,000 of the Deceivers.

I really enjoyed this story which is set in Regency England with its stark contrast between the lives of the upper-crust and the lives of most others in England. The author brought in the politics of the day by talking about the Luddites who are protesting the industrialization of the country. She also allowed out heroine to attend balls and wear lovely dresses.

I could understand Helen's conflict when she learns about her destiny and then learns that she might have a way to avoid it. She was drafted, she didn't volunteer to fight monsters. Deciding what the right thing to do is forms the essential conflict of the book for Helen. Also, she needs to decide if she should marry the very charming Duke of Selburn who is her brother's best friend and who likes her for herself or throw in her lot with Lord Carlston and become part of the Dark Days Club.

This book begins a series. There are still secrets to be uncovered and decisions to be made. The book doesn't really have a cliffhanger ending though. Helen has made a decision though the consequences aren't clear.

Favorite Quote:
If she had only one word to describe him, Helen decided as she grew 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 adjectives. 
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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