Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Lady Helen #2

The Dark Days Pact

Rate this book
June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.

496 pages, Hardcover

First published January 31, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Alison Goodman

16 books3,507 followers
Alison is the author of seven novels so far including the award winning Dark Days Club trilogy (aka as the Lady Helen trilogy) and EON and EONA, a New York Times Bestselling fantasy duology. Her upcoming novel --The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies-- is book 1 in a new series, and will be published in the USA, UK and Australia at the end of May 2023.

Alison lives in Australia and has recently completed her PhD, so can now call herself Dr Al.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,594 (37%)
4 stars
3,006 (43%)
3 stars
1,120 (16%)
2 stars
170 (2%)
1 star
48 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,039 reviews
Profile Image for Sabaa Tahir.
Author 27 books31.8k followers
February 10, 2017
I was pretty open about my obsession with Book 1 in the Lady Helene series, Dark Days Club, but HOLY HOT CROWS PEOPLE, Alison has written such an incredible sequel. It's the perfect balance of suspense and romance and cross-dressing and regency drama. It picks up pretty soon after DDC left off, and we are plunged right back into Lady Helen's world of reclaimers and deceivers. Lord Carlston is is usual broody, dangerous, fantastic self--someone give that man a standalone series.

And the research in this book is incredible! But not like annoying and obvious--it's just woven so neatly and seemlessly into the story that you really feel as if you're in the streets of Brighton and London, dodging baddies with Lady Helen.

The plot is clever and unexpected and the ENDING, OMG. Probably I'm going to have to find a way to get Alison to tour with me again so that I can then steal her computer and read Lady Helen #3 because I simply cannot wait, I must have it now. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this series.
Profile Image for mith.
751 reviews259 followers
February 10, 2017
EVERYTHING HURTS AND I NEED BOOK 3. also you can read my review HERE, as in, on a blog. if that kinda thing is your thing. (or you can scroll down too, if that's more of your thing than clicking to another blog thing. anyway.)

I don't know when I will be over this book because a few sentences ruined me and also Lord Carlston. MY HEART!

It's been a few weeks since the thing at Helen's birthday ball. She's now with Mr. Hammond and his sister, Lady Margaret, in Brighton, where she's learning to become a Reclaimer. She has to learn how to walk, talk, and overall, be a man--but that's harder than it seems when her mentor, Lord Carlston, is struggling with troubles of his own. Helen isn't sure how to help him, but to make things worse, she also has to focus on how to get a dangerous journal back before a Deceiver gets it, even if it means keeping secrets from Carlston.

Alison Goodman is an amazing writer. (She's also ruined me, but more on that later.) She's done an amazing job with the historical setting for this series, to a point where it feels so authentic, there's no doubt that every single detail is accurate. She's beyond meticulous with the details--everything is there with no awkwardness in her descriptions. She truly brings 1812 in a vivid light. I'd like to think that if somehow, some way, I was transported back there, I'd have a slight idea on what to do.

Let's hope that stays impossible, though.

Anyway, as much as I love all of that, it makes for a very slow paced story. There aren't many jumps in the plot--it's mostly a day-to-day ordeal throughout. It's slow going, with each scene aptly described and whatnot. Normally, slow books are hard for me to get into, but! This series doesn't bother me because Goodman, the brilliant woman she is, truly brings out her characters.

They all feel so real, despite the fact they exist over two centuries ago. None of them feel flat or boring--and they're all crucial to the story, and Goodman adds amazing depth to every player.

The relationships are wonderful! From Darby and Helen to Carlston and Helen, Goodman has created amazing friendships (and more) in this novel. The strong female partnership between Helen and Darby makes me so happy! They'd truly do anything for each other and always support one another and it's amazing. Although I wish there was more of it--I'm always wishing that--I've no doubt Goodman will do an amazing job with book 3.

There was more romance in this book than its predecessor. I LOVED IT. EVERY SINGLE THING. Even though the players caused me SO MUCH PAIN. Unimaginable PAIN. As much as I would love more physical interactions, I totally get why, if a little painfully, as to why the book wasn't full of them, despite the obvious reasons (training, missions, DANGER, and all that wonderful jazz). Still, this made each and every single interaction all the more exciting! Helen and Carlston do not have it easy at all but god, I love them with all my heart.

There is a fair amount of action in the novel and Goodman shines in this aspect as well. Though they were somewhat limited, each scene was amazingly written and still kept me hooked. They had the perfect balance of danger and suspense. It was hard to predict what would happen--I never know what to expect!

Also, can I just say how much I love Helen? She's so levelheaded and caring and strong! She's sensible and one of the most brilliant main characters I've come across. She always tries so hard! She's had to give up so much more than her family for the duty of being a Reclaimer and still, she doesn't complain and stays true to her job. Her struggles show throughout the book and Goodman wrote it all so realistically. Nothing was easy for her--not the training, her feelings, or the decisions she's had to make. Helen is admirable and capable and so strong in her own ways. No matter what, Helen doesn't give up and it makes me adore her all the more.

So guys! If you love historical novels, please, I beg of you, give this series a try! Even if you don't like them, it's worth checking out. It's brilliantly written, with great characters and a nice blend of action and fantasy as well! Also, there's Lord Carlston. Broody and amazing Lord Carlston.

Overall, ALL THE STARS. I demand book 3!
they're going to reveal the cover soon and i don't like it because THEY'RE CHANGING IT AND PUTTING A MODEL ON THE COVER
and it makes me sad.
here's a little sneak peek at the new covers
(keep in mind this is for the US editions!)
Why has no one put up the title, The Dark Days Pact, on Goodreads yet?
(ETA: thank you to whoever put up that title xoxo)
♫ It has a title. ♫ We have a title. ♫ I love it. ♫
Oh bless. It's a trilogy. Longer wait but totally worth it.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews839 followers
February 14, 2017
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman
Book Two of the Lady Helen series
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen and her maid, Darby, to spend the summer season in Bristol, where Helen can sharpen her Reclaimer powers. Then the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work take hold, and his sanity begins to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are ever higher for Helen, and her decision will truly change the world…

What I Liked:

The Dark Days Pact is an excellent follow-up to The Dark Days Club - it follows none of the sequel slump pattern that we've seen so often in Young Adult trilogies. I liked The Dark Days Club very much, though at times I found that book to drag a little. This sequel was thoroughly intriguing and entertaining, with a lot of action and revelations, and a little bit of angst. I enjoyed this book immensely and I am looking forward to reading the final book in the series.

Lady Helen is well on her way to becoming a fully trained Reclaimer, and an official member of the Dark Days Club. Mr. Pike comes to Bristol to swear her in, and he also gives her a task: obtain an important journal of a secretive nature. But it's clear that Mr. Pike has another intent - spy on Lord Carlston, and get rid of him. But Lord Carlston has been showing signs of deterioration, in his health. Time is running out to find a cure, which also hinges upon the journal. Helen must get the journal before Carlston does, or risk breaking her oath as Club member. But she doesn't trust anyone except Carlston, Mr. Hammond, Mr. Quinn, and Darby, and she doesn't think Mr. Pike is honorable. The journal itself isn't what it seems, and Helen's decision about what to do with it will have consequences she can't comprehend.

This sequel moves at a faster pace than The Dark Days Club, which I appreciated. I loved The Dark Days Club, but there were definitely times when I really felt the length of the book (500+ pages). This book is also around that page length, but it has more action and intrigue, in my opinion. Helen was always getting up to something sneaky, which I thought was hilarious (good for her!).

You can clearly see Helen's growth, in this novel! Much of this book is focused on her training as a Reclaimer, and so we see her grow in that way, but also in general. She stands up for herself and doesn't let herself get shuffled around. When her oath to the Days Days Club comes up against her loyalty to her friends, and Carlston, she doesn't meekly follow one side or the other. She seeks more information and bides her time, but ultimately, she makes decisions. I wouldn't say she is totally decisive at first, but she really grows into a stronger character. There are so many feminist moments in this book in which I was cheering for Helen. Especially every time she told Selburn she didn't need a protector - you go, girl!

That being said, it's interesting how Goodman worked that strong, feminist attitude into Helen's character. It was always there, but I like how Helen really stands up for herself, especially towards the end. She definitely is confined by societal rules and customs, but at the same time, she makes choices for her reasons, and not society's. Recall that this series is set in the 1800s - so it's painfully obvious that, historically speaking, this is a "man's world", and females are subservient (given the time period). But Helen doesn't appreciate having to hide behind a man - and she doesn't let it happen. Again, she is still confined by society's "rules" for women, but she does things her way. She has to come to terms with some difficult decisions, like dressing as a man for disguise, and cutting her hair, but Helen is a tough girl.

Along those lines - Goodman has done a fantastic job in building the world of this series. The novel is set in 1800s England, so there was a lot of research that needed to be done to write this book. Goodman has quite the eye for detail! I read a lot of adult historical romance novels, so I'm very used to this setting, but I must say, Goodman really outdoes herself with the world-building. Drop in all the monsters and supernatural powers and important magical objects and we've got a very interesting world in a realistic historic setting. Well done by the author!

This book is told in third-person, limited to Helen, and I liked this mode of storytelling. First-person is so common in Young Adult literature, but I think I much prefer third-person. Goodman writes it very well.

The other characters besides Helen are incredibly important and so well-fleshed out as well. Carlston is arguably a protagonist, equally as important as Helen. He is ailing and clearly not getting better, and no one can figure out what is causing his deterioration. Fits of temper and bursts of madness are evidence to his deterioration, and try as they might, Helen and the gang can't hide this from Mr. Pike (who clearly wants Carlston gone). But Carlston shines in this book; he trains Helen efficiently, and he never tries to control her (like, dare I say, Selburn attempts to do). I wouldn't say that Carlston is sweet or tender - he is a quietly brooding warrior with a bit of a temper. Yet he cares so much about Helen, and he doesn't take care to make it less obvious. The poor man! He suffers quite a lot, in this particular book.

Darby is her usual feisty self, and she and Mr. Quinn get close. We learn a lot about Mr. Hammond, and I adore him so much. His sister, Margaret, is annoying as ever (but in an endearing way). A character that becomes very important in this book is Delia; her addition to the main plot was surprising, but in the end, very welcoming. Selburn is unfortunately in this book, more in second half, and honestly he is the peskiest of flies.

In the first half the book, the focus is on training Helen and Darby, and for Helen, making the deal with the man to get the journal. But the man, Lowry, wants something that Helen refuses to give, and then she finds out that Carlston is looking for the journal (not knowing that she is too), so Helen must sneak around and try to find out more, in order to steal the journal herself. But plans never go planned, and so there is a lot of close calls and nighttime excursions.

The romance is so obvious and wonderful (assuming you like Carlston). I didn't really see Selburn being part of the romance in The Dark Days Club, and as annoying as he is, I still don't see him being a real threat. Romantically speaking, it's all Helen and Carlston. While Carlston isn't a big softie, he gets romantic (for a moment!) in this book. The bond they have goes beyond being Reclaimers, or sharing energy, or whatever: it's clear that they both love each other. I'm hoping Goodman works that out, in the end, because there really is no other ship to be boarded.

The ending is good in some ways, and painful in others. I love how exciting the ending is! It was a mad race to make this or that happen, and so every single character in this book was converging to one spot. All of our main characters are still alive and well and survive the scuffle. I did mention that the ending is slightly painful, and it is. It's a cliffhanger that has little to do with Reclaimers and Deceivers. Still, I have hope, and I'm very excited to read the next book.

What I Did Not Like:

I will complain about a thing that I can't say specifically because that would be spoiler-y. But. Remember how I said that there isn't really a love triangle? That is very true, because Helen is in love with Carlston, and vice versa. Never mind that Carlston is still technically married (his wife has been missing for six or so years). Never mind that the Duke of Selburn is obnoxiously obsessed with Helen and won't stop asking her to marry him. Which is weird! Why does he persist? She has rejected him so many times. Again, I'm complaining about a thing that happened in this book that I can't say specifically. But, it's a thing that I want to see disappear very quickly, in book three, if possible.

Personally (and this is just a theory, and not a spoiler), I'm hoping that Selburn is the Grand Deceiver. We still don't know who is, by the end of this book (though we get some more information about the Grand Deceiver). I'm hoping it's Selburn, because he is so slimy in a nice way. He's too protective and invasive, in terms of Helen and her business. Sure, it would be convenient if he were the Grand Deceiver, but still. A girl can hope.

Would I Recommend It:

Despite the not-love-triangle, I really enjoyed this book, and I'm loving this series. Dare I say this book is even stronger than The Dark Days Club? Perhaps it is. So many aspects of the story are strengthened - Helen, the plot revolving the Grand Deceiver, the journal (not spoiling), the romance (that ONE scene, mercy). There are even seeds about Carlston's wife, and Helen's parents, and a darker matter about Reclaimers and Deceivers. This book sets up for an intense showdown in book three! I highly recommend this series if you like historical fiction, paranormal fiction, steampunk fiction. I'm not a huge fan of Cassandra Clare's books, but this series reminds me a little of The Infernal Devices, in terms of the world-building.

(I like this series SO much better than The Infernal Devices, mind you.)


4 stars. My heart will be shriveled and withered by the time book three is published! I'm not sure I can handle the ending of this book for so long. But I'm trusting Goodman to deliver a fair and good ending, for Helen, and Carlston, and Darby, and Quinn, and the others. I'm looking forward to getting book three in my hands as soon as possible!

Pre-read squees:

EDIT (June 11th): title time! The Dark Days Pact -- cool! Want want want WANT! =)

Well. Now that I've read The Dark Days Club, I can safely say that I WILL DEFINITELY BE READING THIS SEQUEL. Holy guacamole, I need this book. While The Dark Days Club does NOT end with a cliffhanger, it definitely leaves me wanting more!
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews988 followers
November 12, 2018

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

How do you tell a sequel was good?

It is seen in the way a person can’t contain their joy after finishing the book; a restless energy that needs to be shared with a fellow bookworm ; a startling realization, How am I going to survive till the next installment?! Desire to give a book the highest rating and praise it; to convince more friends to read it (pff, 496 pages is nothing when the plot holds you in its grip).

I am sitting in my room, staring at the wall, feeling all of the above and trying to compose my thoughts into something resembling coherence. It is a pity I can’t post any quotes until the release day, or I’d swarm you with mind-blowing lines (there were a couple of them, especially tempting).

It is how one writes a sequel. Bravo Ms. Goodman!

If you read my review of The Dark Days Club, you probably know that I really liked the book, but it was too slow-paced and not yet developed to the extent to make me wait for the next part with little patience and lots of fangirling. Yet, there were hints that promised something GRAND (if you read the book, you know what other meaning the word grand has *winks*). It was either hit or miss: would the author carry out her plan and make readers finally fall in love with her characters (Lord Carlston, no need to worry, you are already loved by me) or admire intricacies of the plot? Yes, yes, yes. Alison Goodman not only managed to developed her story further, raising the stakes in the process, she also managed to weave such a devious labyrinth of a story, I think I might not survive the waiting for the conclusion (if it’s a trilogy).

The story continues in a few weeks after the fateful events of book one. Lady Helen stays in Brighton with friends and learns how to be a true Reclaimer. Needless to say, it is the hardest task a young lady of genteel upbringing can be faced with. I highly appreciated the way author shows the heroine’s struggle. She is not like one of those heroines, who learns everything in a few weeks and aces martial arts or their supernatural powers. Helen’s struggle was real: blood, sweat and ache from the physical and emotional strain.

Then there was a question of disguise. Helen is a lady, and she can’t run about in a dress and fight Deceivers. It’s physically impossible to fight in a corset, unlike some of the Regency or Victorian era heroines, who claim they can. Ha, suck it, girls, it’s impossible! The author simply shows it through quite a detailed description of a lady’s wardrobe in the 19th century. Turns out men’s clothes were no less deviously made, and a gentleman could not dress himself without his valet's help! And here we were laughing at men who couldn’t dress themselves back then. Turns out we laughed prematurely, and the struggle was real. So, for Lady Helen to be a man is another obstacle on her way of performing her duty. Poor girl, I really sympathized with her, and, at the same time, I admired how head-strong she was and never complaint about her fate.

But if you think that by abandoning some rules in order to become a new person, Helen can freed from societies’ expectations – you’d be wrong. She still has a reputation to uphold, and she is a woman, let’s not forget, women depended on their fathers, husbands or brothers financially back then, and Helen is no exception. She has to act like a lady she is on public and care about her image. Another aspect author expertly handled in the story. I mentioned previously that I admire author’s love for detail, and her diligence in researching historical facts. In this one, again, I couldn’t contain my delight. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never encountered a bathing machine before. Granted, I am a sucker when it comes to history, and many of you might’ve read or saw the thing, but for me it was something I’ve never heard about till this book. Such historical accuracies made the story authentic. I am sure many of you will find something informative in the story.

The romance part was not as absent as it was in book one, though there we had a very slow-burning romance that started taking shape only in the end of the book. In The Dark Days Pact, we still have a slow-burning romance but the key-word is burning. It was hard not to burn my heart, following Lord Carlston and Helen’s relationship. They respect each other, doubt each other, burn (I really can’t find a more suiting word to describe the thing between them) for each other. One particular scene in the bawdy house (yes, yes, what is it about Regency or Victorian heroines and brothels? They always visit one in historical fiction, I kid you not.) made me giddy with exhilaration – best brothel scene I’ve read so far.

The only thing that dimmed my happiness a little is love-triangle or better say -- a seeming love-triangle. It wasn’t so obvious as to consider it a solid full-on love-triangle, but it still was a little bit irrational for me, but, maybe, it’s only me, because I am a well-known triangles hater.

The first book did not reveal who The Grand Deceiver was, and this book continues its predecessor’s tradition and tortures us with the unknown. Weather the answer will be given or not, you’ll have to read the book to figure it out..

The Dark Days Pact is full of twists and turns I didn’t predict, and every following page gave me more material to mull over. I swear, Ms. Goodman has a devious mind, because every time I thought I got it, more stuff happened and I was dumbstruck again. I have no idea how the author will untangle the web she’d woven, but I sure am can’t wait to find out.

Profile Image for Stacee.
2,711 reviews703 followers
December 22, 2016
After reading and loving The Dark Days Club, I knew I would be devouring the sequel as soon as I could. And when I saw The Dark Days Pact available, I legit screamed and downloaded it.

Lady Helen is still just as awesome as she was before. She's stronger this time around and I really enjoyed seeing her work out the new facets of her powers. The rest of the gang is all here and they're definitely in for some changes.

There are a lot of twists and revelations in this book and I was on the edge of my seat for the last quarter of it. I just couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Be prepared for anything and everything, but it's the ending that just might kill you in the most delicious way.

The third book has quickly become a title that I would do horrible things for. I can't wait to see what happens next.

**Huge thanks to Viking Books and Edelweiss for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,244 followers
February 7, 2017
The Dark Days Pact is set in Brighton 1812 where Lady Helen will be spending the summer with Lord Carlston so she can continue her training to be a Reclaimer. Part of her training is learning to disguise herself as a man convincingly since woman are restricted to the places they can go among other things. Lady Helen is put in an interesting predicament when the Dark Days Club give her an assignment to find Benchley's journal and not to tell Lord Carlston who may be slipping into madness.

That's as deep into the plot that I'm willing to go (because spoilers). Delia is back! And so is the Duke of Selburn. A lot of the secondary characters are back. The historical accuracy is still phenomenal. Except this time with the story set in Brighton, we're getting something a little different than Lady Helen in gowns at balls doing the Regency London thing. Besides the fact that she is dressed as a man a good amount of time allowing her to go around town freely, get a beer at the bar, or say...enter a brothel. There are also fun scenes going into detail about bathing machines and dipping with Martha Gunn, the most famous dipper in Brighton (yes, in real life). The people, places, and moments in history that show up in the book were once again my favorite part.

The romance becomes a much bigger focus in the second book. I liked how it stayed somewhat in the background in The Dark Days Club. It was slow-burning, but now that it has sort of gotten there...it's taken over the plot a bit more. I don't exactly care who Lady Helen "likes" because there is a much bigger situation among us. She doesn't have time to kiss him or the other guy for that matter. Not to mention, I just don't care much for romance.

Also, Lord Carlston is a larger character in this book than he was in the first. I enjoyed how mysterious he was, but now that we know him...he's not my favorite. It was definitely personal preference that made me enjoy this one less than the first. I still liked the story. I just didn't enjoy it as much as I would've hoped. If you don't mind Carlston as a character or a bit of romance to spice up a novel, you won't have these issues.

If you enjoy well-researched historical fiction with a paranormal twist and don't mind romance, this would be a great series for you to try out.
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,501 followers
September 17, 2020
I’m sorry but not sorry about the unpopular opinion that’s about to be typed onto this review: I cannot get on the Carlston fan-wagon. I am so team Selburn and I will forever dream of him winning the hand of Helen. Carlson just is way to broody, which would usually work for me but man is he a guard dog. Selburn is/was/still is too but his isn’t as like animalistic to me? I’m not sure. All I know is Carlston is still technically married and that should be a red flag to Helen.

The Dark Days Club still absolutely loathes Carlston (which I think kind of draws Helen to him even more than usual) and they are wanting to do anything to get him out of their neat little club even though he is the best they have. But at the end of the last book, after some unfortunate events, he is becoming a little... darker. He can’t really control it either, but The Dark Days Club will use anything they can to get what they want.

I just liked the parts including the brothel (and no, nothing like weird about it. I just like the neat little preteen we meet).

This series is really unique and I am going to continue! It’s just really thick with details and sometimes I’ll find myself thinking of something else and realize I didn’t really miss that much.


Slow burn... but good burn. RTC.
Profile Image for Kiki.
193 reviews8,457 followers
January 25, 2019
Just so good. My sister and I have a running joke about this series; if one of these books is left unattended, lying on a table or the couch, one of us will holler to the other, “Lud, Lady Helen has been left here unchaperoned! Most irregular!”

It’s the tense, frustrating, heartbreaking ultimatums between the characters themselves that makes these books so gripping; it’s not just a case of “let’s fight demons” but also their impossible conflicts of the heart, so well drawn and slow-burning, filled with tangible emotion. And Lady Helen is not only a distinctive, admirable character, but also authentically a woman of her era. I’ve read and hated enough unrealistic, cartoonish renditions of this time period to recognise a good one. The author is not afraid to push the boundaries of history, but to remain true to it. As a result, Lady Helen’s regency world is immersive beyond belief. It’s a rare thing to be so wholly sucked into a story and a setting, but here I am, genuinely worried for the fates of these characters as if they were my oldest, dearest friends, and that’s something special.

This is one series that I’ll be sorry to leave behind.
Profile Image for Kuroi.
276 reviews133 followers
February 25, 2017
London, 1812

To Lady Helen,

My dearest friend, I have been following your adventures with anticipation for quite some time now. When you told me of a secret society that vanquished demons hiding among the populace, no one was more thrilled than me that you were to be a part of it. I lived vicariously through your missives for a while, and I was proud to call you a friend.

Then, of course, we could not communicate for a few months, and I must confess, some of the details of your trials slipped my mind. I hope you will not judge me too harshly when I say that I had difficulty recalling names and events. When you spoke of losing the Colligat, I had to sift through my old letters to bring it back to mind.

That said, since I will be judging you quite harshly from now, perhaps you would be fully justified in berating my poor memory. I do not know what it is that induced such a noticeable change in your personality during your stay at Brighton, but I do not remember you being such an indecisive soul. Nor quite so preoccupied with the Bible. I appreciate your devotion to god and country, but perhaps you could save the repeated sentiments for someone else? I believed that you were a pragmatic person, not one steeped in religious fervour and prone to believing whatever she was told.
Surely you of all people know that one must keep an eye out for agendas.

I am sorry to say that your maid, the inimitable Miss Darby, sounds a thousand times more sensible than you. She, for one, is not constantly in denial about her feelings. Keep your thoughts to yourself, Helen, but do not lie to yourself. It ill becomes your intellect. I somewhat sympathise with your keeping secrets from everyone, but you cannot play every side and hope to win. Your lack of conviction in your comrades is disheartening, to say the least. As for the Earl, the less said about that, the better.

The incident at the tavern was equally appalling. I cannot, for the life of me, tell why you would attempt to punish a Deceiver that was clearly not doing much harm. They do not sound pleasant, but you must know when to wage your battles. There is merit in diplomacy, even when the enemy is involved. I thought you would realise this when you met the Comte, but sadly you continued to disappoint me with your unilateral thinking. I do not ask you to abruptly alter your principles, but when new knowledge comes your way, do take the time to ponder it.

Finally, with regards to your latest experiences, I have noticed that it seemed less adventurous altogether, though admittedly the stakes were higher. If I have not misunderstood it, you spent most of your time at Brighton, keeping secrets from other people and worrying greatly over the state of affairs. On several occasions, you foolishly revealed yourself to the public, but again, nothing of import occurred. Then you suddenly went through some truly shocking events in the space of a day or two and ended up engaged to the Duke of Selburn. I find myself at a loss here. That last incident was clearly caused by your own unjustifiable recklessness - why in the world would you attempt to avoid attention by jumping into a stable? Walking away would have been the easiest route, but for some indiscernible reason, you nearly killed a stableboy and yourself by taking that needless leap. It is hard to feel sympathy when you insist on acting so impulsive, my dear.

I would say, as a friend, to be cautious of the Duke. That man is clearly the Grand Deceiver when his every move reeks of an ulterior motive. And if I am incorrect about this, it is all the more disturbing that a normal human would choose to ceaselessly pursue a woman who has rejected him more than once. He hides behind propriety while breaking it. Do not trust him, Helen. Fairer faces than his have hidden black hearts.

I hope my letter, brutal as it is, will bring you back to yourself. I wish only the best for you in the days to come, and want more than anyone else for you to find happiness. I only worry that it would be impossible in your current state. And last but not least, there is such a thing as an annulment. I would advise you to keep your options open.

Wishing you the best,
Ms. T. Rious
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
March 7, 2017
An Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

We're back in the Regency Era with Helen and Carleston. The second book usually ends up being the "filler," but even though this was the second in the series, it didn't feel like that. The book progresses along and even if it was a little slow, I still enjoyed it. There's so much to digest, that you won't be able to put this book down. I just love Goodman's writing. She writes with incredible detail that paints a very vivid picture of the world she has created.

I like how the era is represented, where lords and ladies dance and their relationships aren't on full display. How different woman were treated in a man's world and how high society versus low class was managed. It was wonderfully researched. Oh and don't forget about tha epic ending. I need book three? Ahhh my mind is full of questions and fears and what ifs!!!!



I think that everyone is of the belief that a woman's world is always lesser and smaller than a man's. (239)

We cannot defer when we must act. We cannot follow when we must lead. We must make our own rules. (240

He is not the man to help you become what you need to be. (374)
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,179 reviews617 followers
October 21, 2019
This is an excellent sequel to the first book in this Regency fantasy series, The Dark Days Club, where Lady Helen Wrexhall discovered she is a Reclaimer, a rare person who can detect and stop the vile creatures, known as Deceivers, who live amongst humans sucking their energy. After the disaster that was her coming out ball and the scandal of her broken engagement to Lord Selburn, she is now living in Brighton and has begun her training as a Reclaimer with the dark and handsome Lord Carlston.

The world building and character development is terrific in this very original series. Lady Helen is a tough and feisty woman and more than a match for the brooding Lord Carlston, who is becoming increasingly unstable due to absorbing too much dark energy from the Deceivers. The Dark Days Club must retrieve a journal written by a fellow Reclaimer who went mad if they are to help Lord Carlston and prepare for the battle they know is coming with the Deceivers. In addition to learning to fight, Lady Helen must also learn to dress and walk like a man so she can move unchaperoned through Regency society, leading to some lighter moments as she visits bars and brothels in search of the journal. There are little gems of historical fact and glances of real people that make this such a delightful read. I can't wait to read the final episode in this trilogy The Dark Days Deceit.
Profile Image for Kassidy.
339 reviews11k followers
October 12, 2017
I really enjoyed this sequel! I loved the development of the characters and the darkness of the story. The plot definitely picked up in this one.
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,126 reviews2,165 followers
January 14, 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I think The Dark Days Pact might be my favorite of all Alison Goodman's novels to date. This sequel picks up promptly where The Dark Days Club left off with Lady Helen in Bath for the summer, having been cast aside by her aunt and uncle. Now that Helen has discovered that she is a Reclaimer, she is under the tutelage of Lord Carleston as he trains her to join the Dark Days Club. But nothing is quite as it seems... Lord Carleston is prone to illness, a strange Lord Pike is stirring trouble, Helen is confident she's seen a Deceiver in town, and the Duke of Selburn has followed Helen to Bath to renew his offer of marriage. Add to the mix Helen's best friend, Delia, who escapes being sent to an asylum to join Helen and Helen's new vows as a Reclaimer, which compel her to follow the King's orders--even if that means listening to Lord Pike--and The Dark Days Pact is a hell of a ride.

What I love most about this book is the fact that Helen is caught between her upbringing as a noble woman and her duties as a Reclaimer, which demand her to dress and behave as a man on more than one occasion. As the only female Reclaimer in the Dark Days Club, Helen is an anomaly and watching her navigate the constructs placed upon her gender, while keeping to her vows as a Reclaimer, was a wonderful journey. Goodman excels at capturing the intricacies of gender--the fact that the men of the Dark Days Club see Helen as a noble woman despite her strength and contributions to the society--and I loved watching Helen re-define the boundaries to fit her.

Of course, in Victorian England, there is constantly a push-and-pull of societal expectations and the heart, and this comes to light particularly in the romance. The Duke of Selburn can give Helen a good name--something her reputation rather needs--but Carleston understands that she needs freedom and trusts her to follow her instincts instead of constantly protecting her. It's not a love triangle, because it is clear who Helen favors of the two men, but the war between love and duty is one that becomes even more clear in this novel. We see that not only Helen but Hammond, his sister, Helen's maid Darby, and even Lord Carleston are all battling this same war.

I particularly loved getting to know more about Lord Carleston, who is too much of an enigma in The Dark Days Club. We finally unravel the many secrets of his past and, what's best for me is that we see Lord Carleston out of his element. Enemies from his past, such as Lord Pike, plant doubts in the mind of Lady Helen and as Carleston's "illness" gets worse, he acts rashly and out of turn. Carleston isn't entirely in control of his actions and to see him go from a confident leader to a weak figurehead, of sorts, is a twist--one that is as difficult for him as it is for the secondary characters and Helen, especially. I loved seeing the changing relationship dynamics that this brought, though.

And, of course, the plot just continues to thicken. Though we get many answers in this sequel, there are just as many questions remaining and Goodman wastes no time in elaborating upon her world-building. We meet so many more members of the Dark Days Club, understand the bond between Reclaimer and Terrene better, and even have our assumptions about Deceivers put to the test. This is such an intriguing world and though variations of this idea may have been done before--namely in The Infernal Devices--Goodman still manages to make her world wholly unique. I couldn't anticipate the grand majority of plot twists in this novel and the ending threw a knife in my gut; my emotions are a complete mess and I desperately need the sequel to know everything is going to be okay. Goodman doesn't hesitate to do away with characters we're starting to love--or already do!--so I can feel in my gut that the grand finale to this trilogy is going to be an emotional roller coaster for sure.

For fans of The Dark Days Club, this sequel doesn't disappoint in the least. It's a wonderful blend of gender roles, romance, action, paranormal, and plot twists. Helen's difficulty in mastering her Reclaimer skills and fitting into the society of the Dark Days Club--so different from the life of a noble women--is utterly realistic and I love, love, love this strong-willed, determined heroine. The secondary characters--a wonderful blend of genders, sexual identities, and class hierarchies--all make this a historical fantasy novel rooted in diversity and I am eager for more of Goodman's work. I, personally, love the Victorian Era and can never become tired of being thrown back into Jane Austen-esque novels with paranormal twists, so this is among my favorite series. But, even if you aren't as obsessed with Victorian England as much as I am, give this series a shot--it's absolutely worth it and you'll discover a new go-to author as a result.
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
1,007 reviews782 followers
Want to read
November 3, 2016
Well I was in denial for a while, but now with the cover officially up on Goodreads I can safely say I'll be opting for the ePub
 photo 7e1ee7b02beee22c0cb59ac8bd9f6932_zpsh6iy4uji.gif

But I totally respect people who still plan on buying the physical copy, not everyone is a picky/judgmental about covers and consistency as me lol


Yup it really seems like they're going with the plans for a cover change. Which means they failed me, Vikings books why did you fail me?

 photo IMG_4564_zpsvbqf2saz.gif


I'm just over here praying that the VikingBooks doesn't go through with their decision to add cover models to this series

 photo raw_zpsw9stu0bc.gif


When are we going to get an official release date on this!!!? I need to know this information!

 photo new-5b1_zpsaly9ksk4.gif

And also what is it with people rating books that have not even been released yet? Unless you've gotten an ARC, and read the book before we even get an official release date, why are you already rating the book? That is just unfair to the author and fellow readers.
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
534 reviews654 followers
February 1, 2019
*4,8/5 stars*

Loved it! The Dark Days Pact is even better than its predecessor - there's so much more action, no slower parts like in book one. This novel is deliciously dark and suspenseful, gripping and ominous.
I love the beautiful writing style and rich world - the amount of research Alison Goodman has done for this series is simply astounding. I also couldn't help but notice the amazing character development Lady Helen has gone through in this book. I loved her in The Dark Days Club already, but now she exceeded all my expectations of her and became such a strong willed woman, true Reclaimer and who knows, maybe even a future leader.
With every new novel written, Alison Goodman secures her place amongst my favourite authors of all time. I need the last book in my hands asap, it will be a long wait for me to finally find out all the answers.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
512 reviews298 followers
November 28, 2018
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner!

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: Gun violence, physical violence, blackmailing using a character's sexual orientation, blackmailing threatening treason, and a fair bit of gore.

It's been a few weeks since Lady Helen has decided to work with The Dark Days Club. Lady Helen has been spending her with Lady Margaret and her brother Mr. Hammond. Thus far Lady Helen has been presumably ill to the rest of society. Under Lord Carlston's orders Lady Helen has begun training. And will start attending parities and such as she needs to integrate herself into society. 

Much to everyone's surprise Mr. Pike a figure in the government has requested a meeting with Lady Helen and Mr. Hammond. Whilst Carlston is away on another government meeting. Mr. Pike reveals that Mr. Benchley's partner in crime is going to sell Mr. Benchley's journal. The journal contains important information that Mr. Pike and such members don't want to get it out.

Mr. Hammond argues that they can't really give an answer as Lord Carlston isn't present. Mr. Pike then uses the fact that Mr. Hammond is gay as blackmail. He also blackmails Lady Helen stating that her family will be once again framed for treason. Mr. Pike also instructs the two of them to spy on Lord Carlston. Most of the government officials still don't trust him and want proof that Lord Carlston is on their side. Lady Helen and Mr. Hammond now have to lie and spy behind everyone's back.

The story written in third person limited following Lady Helen. At beginning of every chapter there was a date, month, and year. It helps track how many days pass. There are chapter numbers as well. At the top of each page there is a lace like pattern printed. Which is so pretty!

The Dark Days Pact was an amazing sequel! It became more political and action packed. I really enjoyed all the heist and espionage elements. And was thoroughly happy that we were presented more information regarding The Dark Day's Club. And wow those twists! Not at all what I was expecting. The romance was definitely better as well.

With every book in this series my love for Lady Helen grows. She is such a strong character. She participates in The Dark Days' Club without giving up her girly behaviour. I truly wish there were more female characters like her. Her friendship with Darcy and Delia was so sweet!

Feeling bad for what has occurred with Delia, Lady Helen decides to tell her everything. Thus begins Delia's involvement in The Dark Days Club. It also helps that her parents want nothing to do with her. The Duke of Selburn also makes an appearance. He spends the majority of the book trying to dissuade Lady Helen from Lord Carlston. He does get involved in The Dark Days Club but not in a way you would expect. It was really amusing how you got to that point!

I really enjoyed reading about Lady Helen and Mr. Hammond's escapades! Their relationship even grew throughout it all. And they became really good friends! Some of the information they found out was shocking and very insightful. It really cleared up a lot of things. There are even some new characters introduced who play an important role in the plot.

Mr. Benchley's journal provided much needed Intel. I still stand by my opinions of him, I have to admit he was very intelligent. While he was alive he had spies everywhere and had information on everybody. This really explained how he was able to get away with so much. 

Lord Carlston is starting to become uncontrollable and more rash. Mr. Quinn is having a hard time controlling him. Mr. Quinn enlists Lady Helen's help several times. Lady Margaret has been fretting the most openly. Lady Helen and Mr. Hammond start to find it hard to keep this from Mr. Pike and his threats still looms over their heads.

Goodman's character work really impressed me! In the first book I didn't really like Lady Margaret or Lord Carlston that much. Whereas in this book I came to really like them! I finally started to understand their side and grew to respect them. 

The romances were so much better in this installment! Mr. Quinn and Darcy start a relationship. Which was so cute! The chemistry between Lady Helen and Lord Carlston grew and I actually liked them as a couple. Of course the love triangle has remained. The Duke of Selburn is still in love for Lady Helen. Lady Margaret and Mr. Hammond are in love with Lord Carlston. I do admit it's a bit much, but the romance never takes away from the plot. And isn't the center stage.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this installment! I can't wait to read The Dark Days Deceit. I highly recommend this series!
Profile Image for Lata.
3,614 reviews192 followers
June 2, 2017
The second instalment goes a little deeper into the characters, and shows us some of Helen's physical training so she can take on her role as a Reclaimer. I enjoyed Helen's chafing to get started, all the while having to learn about the restrictions placed on her behaviours in this role, thanks to her oath to the Crown. These restrictions often conflicting with the already ridiculous societal restrictions placed on gentlewomen. I found it amusing and understandable that Darby was better able to understand how to integrate her lady's maid role with her role as Helen's Terrene (I kept thinking soup tureen every time I saw that silly term!)
Alison Goodman has again done a terrific job showing off her research into the Regency period; I particularly enjoyed the details the author provided around sea bathing for women. I'd been curious about this ever since I read about Lydia Bennett's desire to go sea bathing
I'm so glad we got to know more about Carlston's inner circle, and Hammond became quite a sympathetic character over the course of this novel.
I did not enjoy this instalment as much as the previous one as I found some of the situations that arose over the course of the story to be a frustrating, as many of them would never have happened if people had just bloody well communicated with one another! And to deliberately throw the Oath in as a way to very conveniently prevent discussion between characters who've all sworn to the Crown as members of the Dark Days Club was again too easy a way to throw impediments in front of Helen. The final thing that totally didn't work for me was Helen falling down in front of the biggest gossips of her acquaintance -- nope! Did not work for me, as she's been through weeks now of intense physical training, so she would actually be much more graceful than the average gentlewoman, and not prone to fall as if she were a massive klutz, a behaviour she had never displayed till that moment.
So, I'm still on board for book 3, and I'm hoping that no more of the things that irritated me in book 2 appear in book 3.
Profile Image for Bee.
430 reviews854 followers
October 30, 2017
This book has definitely pulled me out of my reading slump! I managed to get through it in only two days, and like with all sequels, I regret putting it off!

It followed a similar pacing structure to the first book, my review of which, you can read here, and subsequently, I liked the first half a lot more than the second...even though that's where all the action is. I've just read a bunch of regency fiction for one of my university modules happening next semester and so the day-to-day goings of of the high society were actually more interesting to me than the plot.

There are quite a few terms to remember and the lore of the world is pretty complex, which isn't helped by the characters having similar names that all seem to start with either C or D because I kept mixing up who was who! Still, by the end I got it all sorted out in my head, and I think I understand how the stakes have been raised! From the ending of this book, I don't think there's going to be as much of the cutesy court life I love so much in the final book, but I'm okay with that as long as I don't have to wait too long for it!
Profile Image for Asma.
196 reviews56 followers
February 6, 2017
This was so so sooooo much better than the first one (which was also incredible) and while I'll probably never get around to properly reviewing this, EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ IT RIGHT NOW. OR START THE SERIES IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY.
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,179 reviews438 followers
April 23, 2017
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

The Dark Days Club was one of my favourite books I read last year. Goodman managed to perfectly recreate the Regency Era, adding her own twist with the Reclaimers. I was dying to get my hands on the sequel, and as soon as my copy arrived, I dove straight in.

In The Dark Days Pact, Helen is recovering from the fall out of her coming out ball. For the summer, she's fled to Bristol, in order to get away from the gossip, and come to terms with her new found Reclaimer powers. Being the first true female Reclaimer is a learning curve, and she has to work harder than her peers to get over the stain of her mother's past, and to prove to the others that she is as good as them, if not better. However, Carlston, her mentor and friend, is suffering from the after effects of Reclaiming, and whenever he's around Helen it seems to be worse. Now that they know the stakes are higher than ever, they can afford for anything to get in the way, even if they both know they want to be with each other. Helen has to fight to ensure Carlston isn't punished, or worse, and to juggle the Duke of Selburn, who, somehow, still wants to marry her.

This book started just after the events of The Dark Days Club, and the action seemed to be there from the very start. We had just some time to deal with the change of scene - which Goodman described wonderfully - before the plot fully took hold, and we dove right into the story. Helen keeps getting problems thrown at her from every side possible, and it's a wonder she managed to deal with them all, and not collapse. That's part of her charm, as she is vulnerable at times, and knows she has some weaknesses, her sex being on important one, but she will do anything she can to protect those she cares about, even if that could bring about her own downfall.

There's a bit of romance, and again, there is a love triangle, but I'm still definitely on Carlston's team. Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with Selburn, but Carlston and Helen's chemistry is off the chain, and I hope, in the finale, they get together. With their interactions in this book, they fell more and more, and I need them to be together, please?

The ending of the book was cruel, and, once again, I find myself dying for the next book. Why is 2018 still so far away?! Hopefully Lady Helen #3 will be a January publication. If you enjoy fantasy and history mixed together, with a Pride and Prejudice feel, this series is definitely for you!
Profile Image for Jennie Damron.
467 reviews60 followers
November 29, 2018
WTF!!! I reject this ending!! Nope, I absolutely forbid it. What in the world just happened? Ok, I'm calm, I'll try to make sense. Right, so this book was amazing and well written. Lady Helen is still badass and Lord Carlston is just everything. The plot moved well and the story so fast paced I couldn't put the book down. But the way it ended... I refuse to accept it, that's right. Oh my heart is in pieces and it hurts.
Profile Image for Allison.
489 reviews186 followers
October 13, 2016
SOMEHOW BETTER THAN THE FIRST BOOK. I love Helen so so much and I just want to hold her to my bosom and CARLSTON IS EVEN MORE CARLSTON. 2 CARLSTON 2 FURIOUS. ETC. This is still such a slowburn romance-wise but......phewwwwwwwwwwwwww the wheels finally start rolling more and oh man. I LOVE HAMMOND AND DARBY AND QUINN AND DELIA. Everyone is amazing. Someone hold me.

Also, I cried? It's just such a TENSE book. The whole thing is tense. The ending is AMAZING. Book three will be even better.

Hats off to Goodman, AGAIN.
Profile Image for Jillian.
79 reviews50 followers
October 29, 2018
I love this series. I love how in the end she explains how she wove real people, places and things that happened in to her fiction story . She is a phenomenal story teller . I love how Helen has to try to balance the 2 worlds and I really can’t wait for the last book in December.
Profile Image for Emily.
699 reviews2,025 followers
January 16, 2017
Hm ... while this is still as compulsively readable as the first Lady Helen novel, I didn't like it quite as much. A lot of that has to do with the main plot, which has the members of the Dark Days Club dealing with problems that they somehow all have to keep secret from one another. I found it confusing after awhile, and somewhat stressful to read. I think I also personally reacted to the more misogynistic undertones present in the sequel, like . Regency England is, of course, a highly misogynistic society, but the book feels less violent - however true this may or may not be - when the Duke of Selburn is insisting on the need to protect women's fragile sensibilities, versus Lowry . I am also not Lord Carlston's biggest fan. If you're here for him, you'll probably enjoy this more than I did.

I did like that this was set in Brighton, since it allows Alison Goodman to yet again display her encyclopedic knowledge of the period. The descriptions are a little more clumsy (Helen is frequently pausing to admire specific structures as they pass them), but the inclusion of elements like the bathing machines is so fun that it doesn't matter. The mechanics of dipping in the ocean had me reading with my mouth open for several pages.

Helen spends much of this book masquerading as a man so that she can learn to fight as a Reclaimer. I have to admit that I prefer Lady Helen as herself. The descriptions of Darby dressing Helen in men's clothing are fabulous, of course, but I think this development pulls the book more firmly into the paranormal. Alison Goodman does great work convincing us of the reality of her regency world, which is why I loved the first book so much, but for some reason Helen masquerading as a man without any of her Dark Days Club compatriots so much as raising an eyebrow makes this less believable. Apparently demon plots are realistic, buckskin trousers are not. Who knew?

Other thoughts:

Anyway, I really like the Lady Helen series and am consistently impressed with Goodman's writing, the overall arc of the books so far, and just how much fun they are to read. I am very excited to go to Bath in the next book!
Profile Image for Veronique.
1,234 reviews169 followers
May 28, 2017
Having enjoyed the first book, I had high expectations for this novel, and I am happy to say that all were met :0)

Goodman gives us another compelling and intense story. Once more the Regency setting is portrayed by a plethora of true historical details, from figures and places (Brighton shines) to clothing and how to wear it, and many more tiny little touches that depict a vivid, colourful, and believable world.

This instalment felt a lot tenser, and this was not just because of the thrilling scenes. The stakes have been increased exponentially and our heroine is faced by many impossible situations. Not only is she trying to carry on with her Reclaimer training while trying to save her social image, but she is constanly faced by prejudices of the time and the odious manipulations of Mr Pike, who is in charge of the Dark Days Club. And let's not forget the threat of the Grand Deceiver and the evil plans of many who would appreciate Helen's demise.

As expertly as the action scenes are choreographed, the author hasn't forgotten about the characters and their development, and I do believe this is mainly due to the time she took in the first book to flesh them out properly. Carlson of course, but also Darby with her feistiness, and Hammond, who becomes much more interesting. I really appreciated the addition of Delia too.

I am truly loving this series and cannot wait for the final instalment.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,264 reviews222 followers
June 1, 2017
Lady Helen's story continues in this Regency Urban Fantasy.

Lady Helen Wrexhall has moved to Brighton and is staying with the household of Lord Carleston and training as a Reclaimer. However Carleston is becoming increasingly unstable and the hostile leadership of the Home Office is against him, including disbelief in the very real threat of a Grand Deceiver. Lady Helen herself still chafes against the strictures of being a woman in Regency society and how it conflicts with her role as a Reclaimer.

As with the first, the star of this novel is the impeccable research into the Regency period which Goodman brings to the page brilliantly, including some real mysterious events that she has incorporated into the narrative with her own spin. I do rate it down slightly from the first book, partly because it's more of the same from the first book, and partly because I felt there were some pitfalls put in Lady Helen's way that just felt a little bit too coincidental or contrived. (Particularly including a pratfall for the otherwise lethally competent Lady Helen in front of the worst gossips of English society).
Profile Image for Mara YA Mood Reader.
336 reviews268 followers
July 19, 2019
No second-book syndrome here! This one far surpasses the premise of its predecessor! And to think I *almost* gave up during book one *gaaaah*

I’d say this series is *kind of* like Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices but NOT similar in a way that it feels like a cheap knockoff and with older, more mature characters.

The characters are supposed to be 18-25 but they read and act much appropriately to their time in Victorian England and feel easily relatable to me at 33 yrs old.

Especially the male characters—Meaning at times when I am reading I forget that they’re only in the early 20’s; they come off as older but I like that.....

(I read a lot of YA but lately I’ve grown tired of reading teen characters and am beginning to seek out characters *closer* to my age—Does this mean that I am finally maturing in my 30’s???!!!—but I’m just so not ready for actual adult books like they bore me??! Please tell me you get me?!!!)

So yeah by now you know there’s demon-hunting but I never once thought of my precious Shadowhunter babies like I said it’s not similar although the main concept is along the same plot. And I especially enjoy the historical aspects that Goodman incorporates into the story with actual historical events and people!
Profile Image for Ellie.
575 reviews2,121 followers
March 24, 2019
I love this series, but I do get so rankled by some of the historically accurate but still frustrating ideas about women and their place in the world. It makes me want to break out a tennis racket and start whacking people 🙄

Helen is such a woman of her time, which is really great and interesting - until it becomes frustrating when you wish she would step up and be badass. I’m still not the biggest fan of Carlston *cough* though I don’t dislike him; I like Selburn but he’s just so o v e r p r o t e c t i v e (but also a product of his time, and he is very chivalrous) and so my favourite is Mr Hammond. He is a cute bean.

I do actually really respect the author for keeping the characters quite historically accurate, especially in their mindsets, because it would be very easy to “modernise” these characters and give them more progressive & contemporary views to resound with readers. The fact that they are “historical” in their thoughts makes the whole book feel more authentic.

> 4 stars
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,039 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.