The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2) by Alison Goodman
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 to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning 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 even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.
Where to buy it: QBD the Bookshop, paperback $29.99
When can I get my hands on it: Now!
What can I expect: Regency London, paranormal, conspiracy, humour
Can a sequel be as good as the the first installment? Yes, yes it can. I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the first. It was just as exciting, witty and suspenseful as the first while still managing to cover different themes and introduce new characters. I liked that Goodman was able to create a sequel that both incorporated everything I loved in the first novel without making me feel like I was reading the same thing over again. She was able to further develop the original characters and at the same time introduce new ones that were just as compelling.
Pike was a character I loved to hate! He was manipulative, insensitive and selfish and yet he played a vital role in the overall story. The only character I’m still not a fan of is Lady Margarette. I wasn’t too fond of her in the first novel and the second book didn’t do much to change my mind. Every character in this novel had some sort of change and development in comparison to the first novel and that’s something I really appreciate. I don’t like reading series with the same dull characters that don’t change or progress between installments.
A theme I really enjoyed in this book was the cross dressing. Goodman has clearly done a lot of research into early 1800’s fashion for both men and women. The first book gave a lot of detail on the complexity of women’s dresses at the time and the second novel was able to provide a detailed insight into men’s attire, which is surprisingly pretty interesting. But don’t fear, long chapters were not dedicating to describing how people dressed. Goodman weaves the information seamlessly throughout the novel. You’re getting a history lesson without even realising it.
A lot of loose ends were tied up neatly, with a few cliffhangers included to keep you wanting more. The story line was believable (within the context of the world Goodman has created) and the progression of the novel was well paced. One thing I am not a fan of in any book is love triangles. I don’t like them at all. I sometimes feel like including a love triangle can really take away from a novel because the story becomes more about “who will she choose” and less about the over arching themes. The love triangle within this novel was done well. I think the reason it was done well is because Goodman doesn’t give you a bunch of chapters detailing how conflicted Helen is and how can she possibly choose between them blah blah blah blah…….The relationships are not driven by love and affection, they are driven more by personal revenge and social norms. It makes the interactions more interesting and the personal conflict more intriguing.
This was a great read and I’m really looking forward to the third novel!
Final Rating: 4/5