The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

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I just finished listening to The Dark Days Pact. This YA novel was written by Alison Goodman, and it is the sequel to The Dark Days Club. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the series, imagine Regency England- but with demonic creatures who have taken on the guise of everyday citizens and living amongst the general populace. The Dark Days Club is tasked with maintaining order, and eliminating the “Deceivers” who threaten the social order. Right before her Presentation at Court, Lady Helen Wrexhall discovers that her late parents were members of the Dark Days Club, and that she has her own connection to the Club.

The Dark Days Pact picks up several weeks after the events in the first book. Lady Helen is spending the summer in Brighton, residing with her new friends in the Dark Days Club. She plans to spend her days learning more about the Club and preparing for some additional initiation rituals. Unfortunately, the enigmatic Lord Carlston appears disjointed and more mercurial than usual. Lord Selburn shows up in Brighton, still determined to rescue Lady Helen from what he perceives to be an ignominious situation. And then there’s the mysterious journal that Lady Helen has been tasked with recovering.

This was a wonderful follow-up to the first book. The story is expanded, secrets are revealed, and questions are answered. Lady Helen must delve into the seedy underworld that she never could have imagined existing before leaving the sheltered world of Proper Society. Goodman’s use of period details adds layers to the narrative, enhancing the reading/listening experience. Also, love triangles are a fairly common staple in YA fiction, but it works well here. There are some interesting plot elements that complicate matters, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next book. Ultimately, Lady Helen prioritizes herself and doesn’t rely on either Lord Carlston or Lord Selburn any more than necessary.

I would absolutely recommend The Dark Days Pact. Readers should start with The Dark Days Club; the backstory is an invaluable resource for understanding the backstory. This book is full of action and intrigue, and I am certainly looking forward to finding out what the future holds for Lady Helen and her friends.

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