Goodman, Alison. The Dark Days Club. 496p. (A Lady Helen Novel). ebook available. Viking. Jan. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780670785476.
Gr 8 Up –As 18-year-old Lady Helen Wexhall prepares for her audience with Queen Charlotte at Buckingham Palace in 1812 London, she is constantly admonished by her aunt and uncle not to mention her mother, Lady Catherine, to the queen. Helen’s mother and father drowned at sea, a result of her mother’s wild and reckless pursuit of intrigue and excitement. Her aunt and uncle adopted her and her brother, and while her brother is as staid and stolid as they are, Helen shows the same reckless streak, intelligence, and curiosity as her mother. When her lady’s maid mentions that one of the other housemaids is missing, Helen undertakes her own investigation. As she enters a season of parties and social affairs, she meets Lord Carlson, whose family has the ancient duty of investigating a cabal of demons who have infiltrated all levels of London society and want to bring an enlightened world back into a darker age. Although warned against Lord Carlson, she finds herself drawn more and more into his work, which seem to parallel her own and plunge her into greater danger. The first of a series, this Regency romance/supernatural mash-up introduces Lady Helen and Regency London as well as the underworld of the deceivers. Fast-paced, rich in description, with fascinating characters and excitement, this tale from Australian author Goodman will leave fantasy fans wanting more. VERDICT With mass crossover appeal, this genre-pushing tale will be enjoyed by those who don’t usually read historical romances or supernatural works.
This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2015 issue.