Book Review

Review: The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen #3) by Alison Goodman

Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Audience: YA regency/paranormal, no language, a little romance, violence
Length: 527 pages
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Viking Books
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen’s demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.

Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

In the final book of the trilogy that began with THE DARK DAYS CLUB and continued with THE DARK DAYS PACT, the intrepid Lady Helen’s story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal. 

I JUST…WHAT…No.

Y’all, I started skimming. And we all know, that’s never a good sign. Oh why did this book [mostly] let me down!? I’m a little bitter to be honest. There were some flaws I couldn’t look past. I had a good time, and I’m glad I finished this series. All together it was well done, this last book didn’t seal the deal as well as I’d hoped.

I’m going to try to remain as vague as possible as to not spoil this book for others. I dare say, almost all of my initial inklings were correct in regards to who was what and when. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the twists, but had gathered most of the facts through book two. I wish it would have been all out in the open WAY earlier than it was. The grand reveal [solid pun] is not til literally 90% of the way through this book.

The “love triangle” was so forced, and it has left me feeling sour. Lord Carlston is one of my top book beaus, and I am appalled at how he was treated! And the resolve was two paragraphs. NO NO NO. I wanted this to go a hundred different ways, but instead, Helen was over-thinking the tiniest things and made me completely aggravated at her choices. She’s better than that. And Carlston deserved an actual thought out ending. Not scraps.

The magic system went a little haywire for me and was pushed to its limitations to get a big finale of an action scene. It was fine. I mostly understood what was happening. The initial construct could have been left as is.

There was entirely too much repetition in this book. Of concepts, ideas, conversations, the book could have been 100+ pages shorter without this. I could live peacefully without ever hearing the words: Grand Deceiver, Grand Reclaimer and Ligatus again. Helen was too focused on all of the wedding drama and not her Dark Days Club work so it was a drag. I don’t care about your wedding dress, Helen.

Okay, I went and read this again and it looks like I hated this book. This unfortunately is how I feel literally after finishing it. Some things I did love though were the romance-y things between Helen and Carlston…when they happened. I truly enjoyed the side characters: Darby, Quinn, Hammond, Sprat, even Pike had me feelings things! I love all of the historical aspects that are taken into account to ensure the best accuracy. This was a good series and one I am still happy that I read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult paranormal [demons]/regency
  • No language
  • Romance: a few chaste kisses
  • Violence: physical, knives, gore
  • Trigger warnings: talking about miscarriage, infanticide, murder
Book Review

Review: The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2) by Alison Goodman

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: YA regency/paranormal, very little language, some romance, violence
Length: 496 pages
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Viking Books
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

I WILL RIOT.

I thoroughly believe Goodman won’t let me down. The Duke is totally the Grand Deceiver (my personal opinion, not a spoiler because I have no actual idea) and this whole forcible nature he takes on drives me crazy. HELEN SAID NO, WHY CAN YOU NOT RESPECT THE NO. Men. Sheesh.

Also let’s talk Delia, why is she in this book? She’s too sly for me. I haven’t liked her from day 1. So she’s in on the GD business with Selburn (The Duke). I stand by this assumption. Speaking of people I don’t like, y’all, I hate Lady Margaret. She’s petty, jealous and throws tantrums like my toddler. I was pleased when she dropped out of the back half of this book practically.

“Amore mio.”

Just STAHHHP. If your heart didn’t feel like bursting when this happened. Don’t even tell me. Because mine did. I’m obsessed with Lord Carlston (and subsequently watched Pride & Prejudice because Darcy). His dark, brooding, protective nature has me swooning. And he actually thinks Helen is a capable woman. I live for this slow-burn.

“Yes,” he said, unnecessarily. Was he, too, looking for the chance to touch? Maybe they both wanted to play with fire.”

What’s also the best? How many balls are attended. I thought it very clever how much dancing + eloquent verbal warfare was occurring throughout the book. I love all things regency and this is so great. Goodman has clearly done her research and I love the author’s note at the end that explains the “characters” that are historical figures. I’m impressed by the way she’s added in this Deceiver realm to London 1812.

This book does start off a bit slow (which was my main reasoning for 4*). I marked in my notes that at 55% we still hadn’t fought any demons, or done much of anything besides make threats and plans. Not long after that point, everything picks up. Though, Helen could gain more of a back bone. I think she bothers me sometimes because of the time period so I can’t fault the author for this. It’s really very well to the time period. Helen is continually struggling with being a woman in a man’s world (true I do feel this way now sometimes). Things were more complicated back then for that kind of stuff so I wanted Helen to buck-up and not do the right thing and actually voice her concerns.

Tiny tid-bit. I’m low key obsessed with Darby and Quinn. They are so precious and I hope they get a happy ending too. Darby is one of my favorite side characters. She is faithful to Helen like no other.

“In my experience, life is always a question of courage. Which way do we run when we see danger: away from it, or toward it?”

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult paranormal [demons], regency
  • A little language
  • Violence: physical, knives, guns, demons
  • Romance: an intense kiss
  • Trigger warnings: intense descriptions of brothels, torture, grief