I had been looking forward to The Dark Days Club from the moment that I first heard about it several months before its release. I had a copy from the library, but when I found out that if I bought the Kindle edition, I could add the Audible edition for only $4.50 or so. Sold!
The Dark Days Club is the first entry in a Regency-set YA series by Alison Goodman. Lady Helen Wrexhall is preparing for her presentation at court. Lady Helen lives with her aunt and uncle. Her parents are dead, and Lady Helen doesn’t know much about the accident that led to their death, other than that it was Very Scandalous and should never be discussed. Ever.
Lady Helen meets Lord Carlston at her presentation, and she is instantly drawn to this enigmatic young gentleman. He has recently returned to England after an extended sojourn on the Continent, following the death of his wife- an event with which he is suspected of being involved. Lord Carlston tells Lady Helen something incredible: that the world is filled with demons in human form, and that she is in possession of the skills needed to stop the infestation.
And so, this Young Miss finds herself using subterfuge to meet with Lord Carlston, where discovers more about the nature of her powers, the demons who walk amongst Polite Society, and even the truth about her mother. Lady Helen is torn between her duty to protect her country from demons, and the desire for a normal life.
The Regency era is my favorite genre of historical fiction. I don’t read a lot of paranormal fiction, and I was very interested to see how the two genres would work together. The result was nothing short of spectacular. I loved the concept of demons blending into all levels of English society, and only a handful of people were capable of stopping them. I especially enjoyed the camaraderie between Lady Helen and her maid Darby. Darby is the perfect foil for Lady Helen; at first she is wary about the revelation that Lady Helen has enhanced abilities, but she accepts these developments with stalwart resolution.
I would absolutely recommend The Dark Days Club. It’s clear that Goodman spent a great deal of time researching the era; the story is infused with tiny details that enhance the narrative. This book doesn’t end on quite as much of a cliffhanger as it could have, but that does not diminish my excitement about the second book in the series, scheduled for release the end of 2017!