The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
Release date: January 26th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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?
I had insanely high hopes for this book. It was even one of my most anticipated reads for this year! I have a thing for Regency England (blame it on my obsession with Jane Austen) and the synopsis was complete dynamite. A society girl meats a mysterious and slightly scandalous man who introduces her to a dark world of demons…oh yes please! I just really wanted to like this book, it just was really, really hard to. In the end, it was just alright, okay, there. I don’t even know. Giving it a rating was quite difficult.
The main issue I had was that the story doesn’t really get going until you are about 40-50% into the book. Up until then nothing really happens. I understand the story needs to be set up, characters introduced and so on, but the slow pace had me debating if I should give up or not. The first part was boring. Lots of promenading around the park, descriptions of clothing, etc. But when you do get to the exciting stuff the book is awesome! It just makes me sad that it took so long to get there. The book is like 500 pages and could have easily been shortened at the beginning to get to the good stuff.
I really liked how the dark world of demons and reclaimers (the people who vanquish demons and save souls) was explained. It’s a really interesting concept, especially when woven in with actual historical events and people. This was done seamlessly and I was willing to believe it. I also liked the strong friendship between the main character, Helen, and her maid. It’s nice to read about women who have each other’s backs and will do anything to aid the other. I really hate it when author’s pit women against each other to create drama. This relationship was a breath of fresh air and one that I totally wasn’t expecting.
So, as you can see I am completely mixed about this book. On one hand it was slow and lacklustre, but on the other super interesting and fun. It really is a book of two parts. If you can get through the first half you are in for a real treat in the next. I will read the sequel as it looks like this is the first in a series. Enough groundwork has been laid to interest me, but I sure hope it’s all action and not a slow death march.