Thursday, March 10, 2016

Book Review: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Pages: 496
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Pub. Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books
Source: Library
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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?"

It's Regency London and Lady Helen Wrexhall has her important presentation to the queen coming up.  Her aunt and uncle, who are her legal guardians, remind her that everything is riding on this as her deceased mother is considered a traitor.  But things aren't what they appear in Lady Helen's world. For starters, she finds out that perhaps there is more to her mother than just being a traitor to the crown.  Also, there are strange disappearances in London and not to mention Helen is seeing "strange" things as well. Enter the scandalous Lord Carlston who knows secrets about her mother as well as Helen's new-found "abilities."  Helen's aunt continually reminds her that she must be a proper lady, but that becomes harder and harder with the more she finds out. Alison Goodman's The Dark Days Club is a fun romp through Regency London that fans of historical fiction with a twist will enjoy.  

Helen is an interesting character in The Dark Days Club. I really felt for her and her situation in the novel. I can't imagine living during that time period and abiding by the rules for proper behavior. Women had very little rights and this was shown through Helen's interactions with her guardians. Obviously, readers knew there was more to Helen than what meets the eye and Goodman slowly shares with us her new supernatural abilities.  

Goodman did a great job combining historical fiction and fantasy. I liked the many supernatural elements that she included; it definitely brought something extra to the story. The historical aspects of the book felt extremely accurate and well researched. 

However, my one major complaint is the pacing.  The Dark Days Club felt quite long in parts and very slow. Goodman slowly revealed things and because of this I think at times the story lost momentum.  I also felt the romance was lacking; so, if you are expecting a swoon-worthy romance in The Dark Days Club, look elsewhere.  This book is for fans of the time period and readers who want some supernatural elements thrown in.

By the novel's end, the pace and suspense did pick up, so I may check out book two, which comes out in 2017.


  1. I have this on my upcoming TBR pile. Thanks for mentioning the pacing and romance issues. I have previously read (and loved) Goodman's YA fantasy novel Eon so I know she has a talent for world building. I think the pacing was slower in that book too but it has been a few years since I read it so I'm not sure.

    Great review! Glad the book got better in the end.

    1. The world building was the best part, Christina. She really knows her stuff about Regency England. If you can deal with the slow pace at times, you will enjoy it. Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Too bad on the slow pacing Christina! I've found that to be nearly as difficult for me to deal with as love triangles lately. I think because I've been so busy with work and have had less time to read, so I want the books to move forward quickly since I have such limited time to get through them!

    1. YES! I think things are the same way with me, Jenny. It's tough when the book doesn't suck you in like you were hoping for. Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

  3. I felt the same way about this book. The sluggish pace just bogged me down.

    1. I remember we shared some of the same complaints! I'm glad you feel the same way. Thanks for dropping by, Joy!


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