Title: The Dark Days Club
Author: Alison Goodman
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
Series: Lady Helen, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I'll start off this review by saying I may have picked up this book just a little bit biased. I read Goodman's first novel, Eon: The Last Dragoneye, and I loved it. My husband read both Eon and its sequel, Eona. But that being said, the debut novel in a new series--being pitched as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jane Austen, mashed together--really, really packs a punch. (For all of you Jane Austen loving-skeptics out there, it's worth reading, I promise!) This is the first new book I've read for the new year that came out this year, and I'd been looking forward to this novel ever since before it came out.
Where do I start? I loved the pacing--it was breakneck, and I was sucked into Helen's darkly glittering world immediately. The world-building in this book is where it could have gone wrong, but Goodman, as I expected, pulled it off. And I haven't even started on the characters yet. As if I was not already in love with this book already, the characters were the part of this novel that really made me love this novel. It was dark, meaty, gory, and utterly fantastic. I loved every single moment of it.
Lady Helen Wrexhall is an orphaned young woman who wants everything a girl her age is supposed to want: Marriage, a house, and some children. Sounds like a typical Regency upbringing, right? Well, that all changes when she discovers that there is another world entwined with her own, full of darkness, danger, and company she isn't supposed to be keeping. I loved Lady Helen--she was a worthy heroine in this book. She was independent, witty, and couragerous--in fact, she reminded me a lot of a few of Austen's heroines. And then there's the mysterious, darkly handsome Lord Carlston, who seems to know more about her and her family than she does.
It was also really fun to see the Regency era, documented in such beautiful and lovely detail. You can really tell from the writing that Goodman has done painstaking, expansive research on the era and the culture that stemmed from it. This book was like Jane Austen on steroids, complete with political intrigue, and with a lot of dark, frightening creatures, twists and turns, and of course, secrets aplenty!
This book has something for everyone: glittering balls, a lot of food descriptions, handsome young men, a kickbutt heroine, darkness and evil around every corner. Honestly, as I said, it's probably my favorite book of 2016! Absolutely amazing! Next on deck: The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee!