- Page Count: 496
- Release Date: January 31, 2017
- My Rating: 3.5 stars
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 think your enthusiasm level for this sequel will be directly tied to how much you liked Carlston in the first book. I just wasn’t his biggest fan and kept waiting for Selburn to show up here (while also weirdly hoping he turns out to be the Grand Deceiver? It works).
If you don’t remember the first book very well, this one sums up a lot of the basics when Helen explains the world to Delia:
“The Compact is our agreement with the Deceivers. It allows the creatures to feed upon human energy by skimming a tiny amount from many people. It is not their preferred way of feeding, of course; they would much rather glut upon the energy of one person at a time… glutting, you see, almost always kills the victim, and the influx of their life force allows the creatures to build the energy whips they use as weapons.”
“Oh my,” Delia breathed. “Stolen bodies, energy whips, feeding upon human energy. It is all so… gothic.”
“Part of the Compact requires them to maintain their anonymity. There are too many of them to destroy, and so we must live alongside them. We cannot, however, have their existence known… the panic would rip apart society.”
The Dark Days Club isn’t convinced that Carlston is loyal or stable after absorbing so much of the energy that would cause him to go mad, so Helen must serve them instead of serving Carlston. And if she informs him of her assignment she’ll have committed high treason. A good part of the story is her trying to retrieve Benchley’s journal, usually dressed as a guy. She still has super speed & strength, the ability to heal, and better senses because she’s a direct inheritor of her powers.
A few parts of this series are just a bit weird to me sometimes, but I do like it overall! And it really does have one of the best historical settings I’ve found. I’m not sure if Alison Goodman time traveled or just really knows her stuff, but all of the details are incredible. So I do like most of the characters and where the plot is heading… but a lot of my attention got lost in the first half. The second half really picked up and had an exciting finish, though!
I’d recommend this series if you liked The Infernal Devices, These Vicious Masks, or any other historical stories with demon hunting!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC! The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon release.