You know when you push off reading a book because you just know that it’s probably going to be really slow and boring? Yeah, well I did that with The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman, and then ended up falling in love with this story. So maybe I should stop doing that, right?
New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!
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?
I really enjoyed Goodman’s writing style. I thought it flowed very well and really fit with the setting of the story. She was able to use Regency language and descriptions but also make them easy to digest and understand. I never caught myself having to reread entire paragraphs to fully understand or picture what she was describing. Let’s be honest, that’s really important when it comes to reading a book that’s already almost 500 pages long.
Lady Helen will become your new favorite heroine for sure after this book. She’s strong, independent, a little headstrong, and definitely isn’t afraid to bend the rules of propriety. I loved that Goodman was able to create a character who tackles the misogynistic society of the Regency period. Helen artfully picks her battles and is constantly trying to take matters into her own hands. Yes, she still tries to stay within the boundaries of acceptance but I felt that it made sense with who she is and how she’s basically at the mercy of her aunt and uncle. Then you have Lord Carlston, who comes with a terrible reputation and has reached a point where he cares less what society thinks of him because he’s too busy trying to save the world. He’s basically the perfect asshole turned hero character. Like, I might be a little bit in love with him now… and no, I’m not even ashamed!
The pacing in this novel didn’t bother me at all. I saw on Goodreads that it was a problem for some readers but luckily that wasn’t the case for me. I thought the plot flowed fairly steady and I didn’t think it was particularly slow. This is the first book in a series so there was a lot of world-building and build up to the climax and action, which I feel is fairly typical for most fantasy novels. However, maybe the pacing didn’t bother me too much because I’m also a big fan of historical fiction and I know that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. (Damn, now I want a cup of tea!)
Overall, this book was soooo much more than what I had originally pictured. It was engaging and left me constantly wanting to pick it up to see what mess Helen was going to get into next. Not to mention dying for more of the mysterious Lord Carlston (seriously, this crush is getting out of hand now…). If you enjoyed The Infernal Devices Trilogy and have been looking for a new series to fill that void, I think this is the one you’ve been looking for. I’m so glad that I already own the sequel because I’m dying to jump back into this world!
Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Do you enjoy historical fiction novels with a fantasy twist? Did you enjoy The Infernal Devices Trilogy? Have you read this series? If so, what did you think of it?