The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

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Title: The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #1)
Author: Alison Goodman
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers 
Pages: 496
Source: ARC provided by Penguin Random House Canada
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Overall: 4.5 STARS

The much-anticipated sequel to New York Times bestselling author Alison Goodman's acclaimed The Dark Days Club—a smashing combination of Buffy and Jane Austen!

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 takes 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...  

Lady Helen Wrexhall is back and ready to prove her mettle in Alison Goodman's The Dark Days Pact, the anticipated sequel to The Dark Days Club. A few weeks ago, Lady Helen's only concern was deciding what gowns she would wear in the endless social whirl of the London Season. Now she's defying everything she was taught as a lady—risking her reputation by disguising herself as a man and learning how to fight demons with her new inhuman strength.  

Lord Carlston has arranged for Helen to spend the summer in Bristol with Lady Margaret and her brother, Mr. Hammond, where she can focus on her training as a Reclaimer. But after giving her oath to serve the Dark Days Club faithfully, more complications arise for Lady Helen. Mr. Pike, Lord Carlston's colleague and rival, has ordered Helen to find Benchley's journal before it gets into the wrong hands. It not only contains sensitive Reclaimer information, but it's also thought to be a Ligatus.

Helen must tread carefully in searching for the journal, for she's been tasked to do it secretly without Carlston's knowledge. Mr. Pike has seen the signs of Lord Carlston's recently deteriorating mind, one of the long-term effects of hunting demons and reclaiming souls, and called his loyalty into question. Helen would do anything to protect Carlston, but now one wrong move could mean betraying a friend or committing treason. 

Everyone is expecting so much of Helen, but no matter how hard she tries, it still feels as though it's never enough. Lady Margaret feels Helen isn't committed enough to her training. Carlston is still withholding information and keeping secrets, though he expects Helen to be dutiful to the Dark Days Club. And awful Mr. Pike, who doesn't believe a woman will be ever be as strong or capable as a man, only cares about using Helen to retrieve the journal. I was a little worried that Helen would fold under the pressure, but she deftly shows she's not willing to be coddled or easily controlled anymore. She just bides her time, waiting for the right moment to assert her authority.

I liked The Dark Days Club, but I absolutely loved The Dark Days Pact. Danger, intrigue, forbidden romance—there was more of everything in this installment. The pacing was faster, the storyline more compelling and addictive, and the high stakes made me both anxious and excited at the same time. And I'm still in awe of the rich historical details of the Regency era that bring this series completely to life. And the ending! It was absolutely thrilling, tense, and dramatic. The Dark Days Pact left me aching to read book three right away.

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  1. Yay, I'm so glad you liked this! I really enjoyed it too, I think I agree with you that it may even be better than book one. And the ending! I can't believe we have to wait another year for book three.

  2. Totally random person stopping by to say you have a GORGEOUS blog <3

    And this looks like such a badass story! A lot of secrets and intrigue! Wonderful review :)


  3. YAY! I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! I also loved it, even more than The Dark Days Club, like you. Lord Carlston! <3333 I really hope things work out for him and Helen. The ending of this book was so O_O Book three could not come soon enough.

    Great review, Liz! Have a lovely weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!