12 June 2017

Dark Days Pact // I Loved Almost Everything About It

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Published: 26th January 2017
Source: Gifted
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating:
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…
Recently I reread the first book in this series, The Dark Days Club, and remembered it was a great book but it definitely suffered from some poor pacing. It meant I had been quite nervous about actually reading the second books, despite forcing my brother to buy it for me on my birthday, because I needed it. It was only when Danya messaged me about doing a buddy read did I pick it up, though. I mean, I’d intended to read anyway but having someone else to drive you to stick with it helps because I thought I might need that if the pacing was as slow in this one. Turned out there was no need to worry.

For anyone who has read the first book, you will know what I’m talking about. There was a whole lot of setting the scene in that book and not a lot of action so certain reservations were understandable. I know the book picked up quickly by the halfway point but I had to worry over whether or not the pacing would continue in the second. It did, so folks who are nervous about reading do not fret!

Helen is now staying with Lady Margaret and her brother Mr Hammond in Brighton for the summer whilst she begins are Reclaimer training with Lord Carlston. She has accepted her abilities and is now trying her best to access all of her abilities so she can help in the fight against the Deceivers and also be finding out more about the Grand Deceiver. I mean really, after the way the last book ended I should have known this one would be all action and plot and basically what I wanted in the first book.

We are introduced to a couple of new characters in this book, and a couple of others get to play larger roles and I really liked that. This books was all about plot development and bringing forth characters who are going to play greater roles in the story. I liked that fact. I mean, we had a great character in the form of Pike who is a total douche, he was awful. He was this horrible misogynist who thought Helen needed men to balance out her impulsive womanly ways. But he was great with how he was a terrible person on the side of the Reclaimers. I loved that sense that this was not a simple black and white battle between good and evil and that was never more obvious than when you saw those on either side. It’s like I loved that a Deceiver was in this book who actually became a source of information for our little group and I really liked him. It was brilliant how Goodman muddied the waters between good and evil because it is never so black and white as all that and I hope it leaves greater potential for what happens in the next book because I don’t believe all Deceivers are bad much like all the Reclaimers haven’t been good so far.

One thing which I really enjoyed was the growing relationship between Lady Helen and her mentor, Lord Carlston. Both are fighting their attraction for different reasons but I enjoyed the tension between the two, especially as they had to get more physical this time around. It wasn’t them simply at balls and dancing together, it was that, but also they had to learn how to fight and get within close proximity to one another and that really added to it. Especially as Goodman threw in a couple of extra barriers between the two, I won’t say what, though, that will spoil things.

The only reason I didn’t give this book five stars is because it featured one of the douchiest of dickhead characters in the form of the Duke of Selburn. I hated him on so many levels. I thought I was being irrational in my dislike for him in the first book. After all, Goodman is very good about sticking to historical facts and making her books pretty accurate and so his view that he could help protect and care for Helen was accurate, even if it grated. But in this book I loathed him. I want a badge making me founder of the ‘I Hate The Duke’ club. It’s like Danya says he is the worst kind of nice guy character. You can’t say he’s a terrible person because he comes across all nice and kind but he’s a dick thinking he knows best and can in anyway dictate how Helen is to act. The burning rage I felt for him throughout the book culminated in the way it ended. I know me saying that is a spoiler in itself but it’s true. Read it and then come back and talk to me. He is the only reason for me rating this down.

I feel like I can;t say all I have to say in my review without spoiling everything but it is safe to say this was a brilliant read. It is also a quick read despite being 500 pages long. You won’t notice the length once the story gets going and it does that almost immediately. I could respect the effort which went into the historical accuracy of this book. Sure, I did question how Darby, Helen’s ladies maid and candidate to be her Terene, was quite so eloquent and educated with some of the speeches she gave to Helen, but as a whole, I feel like a lot of work went into this and I can respect it. I do need the next book in my hands sharpish because I need more but I will wait sort of patiently for it.

Have you read this, what did you think? Do you find yourself becoming irrationally enraged about certain characters in a book or is that just me?

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