13 January, 2017

{ ARC Review } The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman
Lady Helen, book 2
Published January 21 by Viking Books for Young Readers
June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen and her maid, Darby, to spend the summer season in Bristol, where Helen can sharpen her Reclaimer powers. Then the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work take hold, and his sanity begins to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are ever higher for Helen, and her decision will truly change the world…


My Review

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ 

I don't know when I will be over this book because a few sentences ruined me and also Lord Carlston. MY HEART!

It's been a few weeks since the thing at Helen's birthday ball. She's now with Mr. Hammond and his sister, Lady Margaret, in Brighton, where she's learning to become a Reclaimer. She has to learn how to walk, talk, and overall, be a man—but that's harder than it seems when her mentor, Lord Carlston, is struggling with troubles of his own. Helen isn't sure how to help him, but to make things worse, she also has to focus on how to get a dangerous journal back before a Deceiver gets it, even if it means keeping secrets from Carlston.

Alison Goodman is an amazing writer. (She's also ruined me, but more on that later.) She's done an amazing job with the historical setting for this series, to a point where it feels so authentic, there's no doubt that every single detail is accurate. She's beyond meticulous with the details—everything is there with no awkwardness in her descriptions. She truly brings 1812 in a vivid light. I'd like to think that if somehow, some way, I was transported back there, I'd have a slight idea on what to do.

Let's hope that stays impossible, though.

Anyway, as much as I love all of that, it makes for a very slow paced story. There aren't many jumps in the plot—it's mostly a day-to-day ordeal throughout. It's slow going, with each scene aptly described and whatnot. Normally, slow books are hard for me to get into, but! This series doesn't bother me because Goodman, the brilliant woman she is, truly brings out her characters.

They all feel so real, despite the fact they exist over two centuries ago. None of them feel flat or boring—and they're all crucial to the story, and Goodman adds amazing depth to every player.

The relationships are wonderful! From Darby and Helen to Carlston and Helen, Goodman has created amazing friendships (and more) in this novel. The strong female partnership between Helen and Darby makes me so happy! They'd truly do anything for each other and always support one another and it's amazing. Although I wish there was more of it—I'm always wishing that—I've no doubt Goodman will do an amazing job with book 3.

There was more romance in this book than its predecessor. I LOVED IT. EVERY SINGLE THING. Even though the players caused me SO MUCH PAIN. Unimaginable PAIN. As much as I would love more physical interactions, I totally get why, if a little painfully, as to why the book wasn't full of them, despite the obvious reasons (training, missions, DANGER, and all that wonderful jazz). Still, this made each and every single interaction all the more exciting! Helen and Carlston do not have it easy at all but god, I love them with all my heart.

There is a fair amount of action in the novel and Goodman shines in this aspect as well. Though they were somewhat limited, each scene was amazingly written and still kept me hooked. They had the perfect balance of danger and suspense. It was hard to predict what would happen—I never know what to expect!

Also, can I just say how much I love Helen? She's so levelheaded and caring and strong! She's sensible and one of the most brilliant main characters I've come across. She always tries so hard! She's had to give up so much more than her family for the duty of being a Reclaimer and still, she doesn't complain and stays true to her job. Her struggles show throughout the book and Goodman wrote it all so realistically. Nothing was easy for her—not the training, her feelings, or the decisions she's had to make. Helen is admirable and capable and so strong in her own ways. No matter what, Helen doesn't give up and it makes me adore her all the more.

So guys! If you love historical novels, please, I beg of you, give this series a try! Even if you don't like them, it's worth checking out. It's brilliantly written, with great characters and a nice blend of action and fantasy as well! Also, there's Lord Carlston. Broody and amazing Lord Carlston.

Overall, ALL THE STARS. I demand book 3!

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