Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Blog Tour: The Dark Days Club By Alison Goodman
Review + Giveaway

Tour organized by Penguin Teen
See the full schedule below

The Dark Days Club
by Alison Goodman
Read: January 15 - 18, 2016
January 26, 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers 
Source: Penguin (THANK YOU!)
Category: YA, Historical-fantasy, Regency era
Series: Lady Helen #1
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound
Follow the Author: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Book Description: 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? 

My Thoughts: 

I love historical fantasy, and one of my favorite aspects of The Dark Days Club is that it seeks to be very present in 1812 Regency London. From Helen's dress to the social customs of the Regency period, to even encountering some real historical characters, it is clear that the author did her research. I also love how the time period played against all of the supernatural elements in the story. 

Lady Helen Wrexhall is a day away from being presented to the queen, the event that will formally welcome her into society, announcing her as an adult and eligible for marriage. Once presented, Lady Helen will fill her days with social gatherings, promenades and evening parties - all in the quest of a husband, and all while adhering to the strict social codes that her station demands. Although Lady Helen is unsure she wants to get married quite so soon, she is eager for her adult life to begin. Except it isn't exactly the life she expected. 

What I love about Lady Helen is that she doesn't feel like a modern person put into a historic setting, as I sometimes find books set in past time periods. It is clear that Helen possesses great intelligence and wit, and the reader can see a restlessness in her being, but she is also a lady of her time and eager to find her place society. However, Lady Helen soon realizes that she is something other in a world that values conformity, especially from women who are supposed to make a good impression but not stand out too much. Where does Lady Helen fit into her world, when she discovers this new power within her? 

This tension within Helen - coming of age in proper society at the same time she is learning about her connection to The Dark Days Club, a role that is decidedly not in keeping with what is expected of a marriageable young lady - is written so well in this book. How does Lady Helen contend with these two parts of her life, when one hint of scandal could ruin all of her prospects for a happy (normal) future? Does Helen even want to become part of this darker supernatural world, and does she even really have a choice in the matter? I greatly enjoyed watching Helen's self discovery throughout this story, as she begins to decide the person she wants to be, and how this strict Regency time period heightened all of that.  

Part of Helen's awakening in this story is romantic - one of my favorite parts of any book. This is where Lord Carlston enters the story, an Earl with a scandalous reputation who has just returned from several years abroad. Lord Carlston is very much at the center of the shadowy side of Lady Helen's new life, as he is the person who directly introduces her to the hidden world of demons and her new role as a Reclaimer. There's always something appealing about a dark and mysterious man, and Carlston has a lot of mysteries. From their first meeting, Lady Helen and Lord Carlston have a great deal of tension between them and it only builds throughout the story. I had a great time watching them together, and am excited to see where this tension is headed. I also still have a lot of questions about Carlston that I would like to see answered. 

The Shorter Version: I talk more about the romance below for those of you curious, but overall The Dark Days Club was an exciting beginning to a new trilogy. Lady Helen is definitely being set up as a Chosen One - as she is unique in the way she received her abilities and appears to be both a foreshadowing, and also the possible means of eradicating a super villain. We also have 3 powerful objects hinted at, that when in hand, could spell destruction for the other side. These are not negative aspects of the story, though they are ones I've seen before. What set The Dark Days Club apart for me, and got me excited about this story, was the rigid Regency Era London setting, and how that played against Lady Helen's self-discovery and the supernatural/fantasy elements. I also like Lady Helen a great deal, and think the romance is shaping up very nicely - I don't mind a slow start to it - as long as it avoids love triangle traps. I'm eager to see where the story goes from here. 

Love Triangle Factor: None - Mild. 

Depending on your perspective. I believe there is only ever true romantic tension between Helen and Carlston. However, for various reasons, including his scandalous past, he is decidedly off limits to Helen. At the same time, her aunt and uncle are working hard to make a match for her. Although I knew it was coming, it took me until over 50% to realize who the alternative would be. I think Helen liked this other guy as a person and was flattered by his approach of her, and the idea of making a solid match. But I never thought Helen was actually falling for him. Any tension from this other guy's side was the pull of duty/society vs Helen's new supernatural calling. I also thought the ending pretty solidly ended anything going in that direction. But I've been wrong before (hopefully, I'm not here), and the strictest love triangle haters might want to watch this series until the next book for confirmation. 

Cliffhanger Scale: Low. The first installment ends solidly. But this is part of a trilogy, and, at the end of this book, there is some set-up and anticipation of what is to come. 


Tour Schedule:

1/18 - Guest post 
1/18 - review
1/19 - review (you are here!)
1/19 - Would You Rather?
1/20 - Top 10 list
1/21 - Book soundtrack
1/21 - review
1/22 - Interview
1/22 - review
1/25 - Guest post 
1/25 - review
1/26 - Interview
1/27 - 25 Random Things About Me
1/27 - review
1/28 - Interview
1/29 - Character Playlist



Win one of 5 finished copies of The Dark Days Club


  1. I have a copy of this one and I have to say I haven't felt like picking it up for some reason, but your review is making me ridiculously excited to give it a shot, Lauren. I already really like the sound of Lady Helen. And her tension with Carlston sounds delicious. Thanks for clarifying the romance too. I hope I'll enjoy this one!
    Lovely review, Lauren.

  2. This does sound like a book I'd greatly enjoy. The idea of the Dark Days Club is different, and I think I'd like Helen and especially Carlston as characters very much...
    But, I think I'll wait for the next book just to make sure no triangle emerges. :)
    Great review!

  3. Goorgeous review Lauren :D I am thrilled that you liked this book a lot. <3 I simply cannot wait to read it. Feels like I have waited so long already, lol. Romance seems awesome and the plot seems exciting :D I don't think there will be a triangle. So I don't think it will bother me :) Fingers crossed. So happy you loved this one :) Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3


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