Title: The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Viking Books (January 2016)
London, April 1812.This is yet another review book that completely took me by surprise. I might have been drawn to that gorgeous cover, but I would probably have quickly set it back on the shelf in favour of other books.
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?
I just have this weird repulsion for Regency books. I tried Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series but it just never really grabbed me. Though that had the Steampunk element tossed in too.
Dark Days Club, however, is an oddly compelling story. This in spite of pacing problems and a whole lot of not much going on in the first half.
Helen is charming and feisty for her day and age. Her observations of others are thoroughly entertaining and amusing to read and I adore her strong loyalty to those she holds dear.
I also felt like this book was so immersed in the setting and time-frame that there was little doubt in my mind that Goodman had researched every single element to the nth degree. It was actually rather refreshing to not question the authenticity of the world that is being presented to myself as a reader.
So if you don't mind a plot that simmers more than boils and you have a thing for great characters and settings, give this one a try!