The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman tells the story of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall trying to make her way in nineteenth century London, England. Any girl Helen should want nothing more to marry, establish good connects, and do nothing to damage one’s personal reputation among polite society. This has been difficult given the circumstances surrounding the death of her parents, specifically her mother, who was marked as a traitor and whose life still remains a mystery to Helen and her brother, Andrew. Now with the presence of the infamous Lord Carlston and the growing dark forces that are beginning to infect London; Helen is finding it harder and harder not to fall into her mother’s footsteps.
I was interested in this book the minute I heard about because I any period setting, especially if it has a fantasy/paranormal element to it, is an instant buy for me. However, I didn’t want to get it right away because there was so much hype around it, but now I see why. Goodman does an excellent job of creating an authentic feel to this world and the time that it’s set in. Such as despite they are from the same family the expectations for Helen and her brother, Andrew, very different such as regarding marriage, reputation, and more. She emphasizes that even more with the presence of Helen’s Uncle who seems to be one of the main foils for Helen. He just one of those characters your meant to hate the instant you meet him and it just build throughout the book. Same with Lord Carlson, but you find out that he has more of a history with Helen and her family than even she is aware.
I’m also a reader that really cares about world building as well as the lore author’s use to build their setting and the characters. Goodman does a really great job of not giving too much away, but I felt like there was stuff it would have been nice to know in this first installment in the series. Without getting into spoiler territory, it’s said pretty much in the first few pages of chapter one that Helen’s mother was and is considered a traitor to the crown among other things. You learn more about Helen’s mother in certain points, but it’s only when your about I want to say 75% you spend your time getting to know Helen and the world she has landed herself in, but then it’s laid out for you, but not how she was named a traitor. I don’t know that was something that just stuck with me and hopefully that will be revealed later in the series. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. As far as rating it, I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I really recommend picking up if you are looking for a period set fantasy young adult novel.
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