Review: Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release date: January 1, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Pages: 464
Goodreads || Book Depository || Booktopia

After the scandalous events at her presentation ball in London, Lady Helen has taken refuge at the fashionable seaside resort of Brighton, where she is training to be a Reclaimer with the covert Dark Days Club.

As she struggles to put aside her genteel upbringing and take up the weapons of a warrior, Helen realizes that her mentor, Lord Carlston, is fighting his own inner battle. Has the foul Deceiver energy poisoned his soul, or is something else driving him towards violent bouts of madness? Either way, Helen is desperate to help the man with whom she shares a deep but forbidden connection.

When Mr Pike, the hard bureaucratic heart of the Dark Days Club, arrives in Brighton, no one is prepared for the ordinary evil he brings in his wake. He has a secret task for Helen and Mr Hammond, and the authority of the Prince Regent. They have no choice but to do as he orders, knowing that the mission will betray everyone around them and possibly bring about Lord Carlston’s annihilation.

MY THOUGHTS

This is the sequel to Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, which means that this review may contain spoilers for the first book.

Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for providing a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I read and really enjoyed Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club last year and was extremely excited for the release of its sequel this year. I loved Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact even more than the first book and it’s made me even more excited for the last book in the trilogy.

Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact picks up a few weeks after the end of the first book and we follow Lady Helen as she starts her training. Meanwhile, Lord Carlston is acting increasingly strange and Lady Helen, as well as the members of the Dark Days Club, are concerned about Lord Carlson’s motives and his future. When Lady Helen is approached with a dangerous task that will betray the people she has grown to love, especially Lord Carlston, she struggles with what the right decision is. I really loved the entire plot of this book. I thought it was exciting and I didn’t find any of it to be predictable. I was kept on my toes for a lot of the book and I found the last third of the novel to be really exciting. The pace of the novel was quite slow for the first two-thirds but I didn’t mind it too much because I thought it set up the climax brilliantly. The ending of this novel really left me wanting more and I’m highly anticipating the third book in this trilogy.

I really, really enjoyed all of the characters in this installment and I really liked learning more about each of the characters and their backstories. I loved Lady Helen’s strength and intelligence. I loved reading about her journey and the way she approached the troubles she was facing. I also really liked some of the side characters and the role that they played in the novel. I’m not entirely sure how I felt about Lord Carlston in this book because he was kind of moody and wasn’t really himself. I’m looking forward to learning more about him in the next book. The only character who I wasn’t a big fan of in this book was Duke Selburn. I absolutely loved him in the first book but I found him to be extremely annoying and clingy in this novel. I honestly cannot wait to see how the trilogy is going to end.

As a whole, I was extremely happy with Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact. I thought it was a wonderful continuation to the story and I can already see a really exciting finale in store for us. I’m looking forward to learning more about the characters and the world, and I can’t wait to see how the story wraps up.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten 2015 Releases That I Didn’t Get To

ten-2015-releases-i-didnt-get-to

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week I’ll be featuring ten 2015 releases that I didn’t manage to get to in 2015. All of the books on my list are books that I own and acquired in 2015. Goodreads pages are linked!


 

1. The Weight of Feathers – Anna-Marie McLemore

I picked this one up in December of 2015 so I don’t feel too bad about not having read it. I know lots of bloggers who highly recommend this one, including Aila @ One Way or an Author and Summer @ Xingsings, so I’m keen to pick this one up real soon.

2. Challenger Deep – Neal Shusterman

I bought this one in November, so again I don’t feel too bad about not getting to it in 2015. This one won the National Book Award last year and I picked it up after seeing it featured in my bookstore.

3. Made You Up – Francesca Zappia

Now this is one that I’ve had on my shelf for a really long time. I ordered this not long after it was released… so I’ve had this one since May. Whoops. I was really excited for this Made You Up because it deals with schizophrenia and nothing makes me happier than a good book about mental illness. But I saw CW @ Read Think Ponder’s review and she mentioned some things that put a bad taste in my mouth…

4. The Accident Season – Moïra Fowley-Doyle

I picked up this one in September using some gift vouchers that I received for my birthday. I would’ve picked it up straight away… but I also picked up like 6 other books on the same day. It was a case of too many books, too little time.

5. Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin

This is another on that I bought in December so I don’t feel too terrible about it being unread. I’ve heard amazing things about it so I cannot wait to read it in the coming months.

6. The Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan

Jeann @ Happy Indulgence sent me her ARC of this in December and I wanted to read it straight away but I also received some other great books from her that I decided to pick up first.

7. Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club – Alison Goodman

I received an ARC of this book at the HarperCollins BTCYA event (recapped in this post) in November but still haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I’ve since received a finished copy so I’ll be reading it soon. I’ve heard some mixed things from my co-bloggers over at Happy Indulgence. Jeann DNFed it but Aila really enjoyed it… so I’m excited to see what I think of it. We’ll be doing a discussion review over on Happy Indulgence… as soon as I’ve read it.

8. The Peony Lantern – Frances Watts

This is another book that I acquired thanks to the HarperCollins BTCYA event. It was one of the featured OzYA HarperCollins titles and it sounded so interesting that I had to buy it at the end of the event. It’s a historical fiction novel, set in Japan.

9. Wind/Pinball: Two Novels – Haruki Murakami

I buy pretty much all of Murakami’s new releases (well, newly translated), even though I don’t get to them straight away. This one has the most eye-catching cover. Because it contains two stories, it has two different covers and they’re both so interesting to look at! Wind/Pinball was purchased in August and I feel terrible that I haven’t read it yet. One day…

10. One Hundred Days of Happiness – Fausto Brizzi

I can’t remember when I bought this one but I’m guessing it was around August or September. This was caught my eye when I was browsing the new adult releases and it had such an interesting premise and format that I had to pick it up.I don’t think this is actually a new release. I’m guessing that it’s been published previously in Italian but newly translated? Regardless it sounds fantastic and I hope I can get to it soon.