I was super excited for my preorder to arrive when this final came out last month. I couldn’t wait to see what the ending would be for my all of my favorite characters. And while I did thoroughly enjoy The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen, #3) by Alison Goodman, I don’t think it quite lived up to amazingness of the previous two books.
The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen’s demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.
Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.
In the final book of the trilogy that began with THE DARK DAYS CLUB and continued with THE DARK DAYS PACT, the intrepid Lady Helen’s story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.
As was the case in the previous books, Goodman’s research of Regency England is the biggest standout in the story. You are truly transported to the time period while reading this story. I especially love that each book moves the main location so you get to experience a few of these popular Regency sites, which in this particular book is the city of Bath. I loved learning about the famous Roman baths that dominated the “cure” for most ailments during the time. As a little bit of a history buff, I just ate up all of the information that Goodman is able to weave within the story.
Which ultimately also leads to the overall story reading a bit like classics written during the actual Regency period. And if you’ve read your fair sure of classically written novels, you’ll know that they aren’t always the most fast paced in terms of plot. They tend to meander a bit while focusing more on the details and less on the action. If you’re not big on slower paced stories, then this might not be the book for you.
But the best part of this series is the characters. Lady Helen is still a bit of a spitfire, though I think she suffered more from self-doubt than she ever had before. You could really tell how the plot was affecting her overall character. In The Dark Days Deceit, she is preparing herself for her upcoming wedding and how her future will no longer be in her own hands but ran by her husband. Goodman does a great job of showing how Helen’s uncertainty towards her future, affects her overall personality and decision-making within the Dark Days Club. It seemed like how I might act in that same situation. And as always, Lord Carlston is still the best. He continues to be broody, but you can see how his relationship with Helen has dissolved some of the rudeness that he exhibited in the previous books…. And you, Lord Selburne, I still very much despise you!
All in all, I think this was a solid finale. However, the pacing was still on the slow side and I felt that some of the buildup action lacked any real threat. I never felt a true sense of impending doom for our characters, which is something that I really like when it comes to book finales. But overall I really did enjoy the book and I would not be mad at all, if Goodman decided to continue writing stories set within this world. 😉
Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars
Have the Lady Helen trilogy? If so, which book was your favorite? Did you like the direction Helen’s character took in this final?