[616]: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman


While I’ve been a fan of reading Romance in Regency London, there is something about this kind of London I’m not too enthused about: Evil lurking in the dark alleys, soul-sucking demons on the prowl, and a secret society tasked to stop this darkness from spreading. While that may sound enjoyable to some, I found my attention straying a number of times whilst in the cusp of this 496-page tome from Alison Goodman.

All told, I was bored. There was no sense of urgency given the severity of what was facing this exclusive club (and the world for that matter). Steampunk has never been my strong suit. And since you can taste a bit of that in this book, it added to the overwhelming feeling of ennui. The story moved in the most sluggish pace that I could tolerate. I kept hoping that there would be something great to look forward to around the bend, but everything was irritatingly flaccid and predictable. There were no valleys or peaks. Even the confrontations between Reclaimers and Deceivers fell in a resounding thud.

If you’re looking for any romance, it might be best if you look somewhere else. The characters held no personality whatsoever, and at times, the tensions between Lady Helen and Lord Carlston seemed forced. I admire the struggle that Lady Helen went through in order to make a decision on what she needed to do, but it took her forever and a day to come to a conclusion. Her waffling didn’t help any either.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m so glad I don’t live in that time when I’m expected to be subversive, mild-mannered and dependent on the menfolk. I probably would’ve ended up in the dungeon if it were the case.


  • If you’re a fan of Regency London.
  • If you like reading about demons and the secret society that can defeat them.
  • If you wouldn’t mind waiting for a heroine to come into her powers (which might happen in the next book because she was sorely disappointing in this one).
  • If you like slow burn romance.
  • If you enjoy steampunk(ish) reads.

    GOODREADS SUMMARY | Viking Books for Young Readers | January 26th, 2016 | Chapters | Amazon

  • Rachel

    I’ve just finished this one. I have mixed feelings on it – it was SUPER slow to begin with, right up until the halfway point or more, and I contemplated DNFing it multiple times, which is RARE for me to do. BUT, I did love the Pride and Prejudice meets Shadowhunters vibe, and the last quarter of the book had me pretty gripped. I’m really looking forward to the next one, but do think some more heavy editing would have helped the pace and enjoyment of this one. I am completely in agreement with the sexism and whatnot of the time period, I’d have been in trouble! Lol R xx

  • Ahhh it’s a shame you didn’t enjoy this one! I was bored at the beginning due to the level of historical detail in this, but then I started appreciating the nuances of historical society and a fun paranormal read. Lovely review Joy!

  • Haha! I’d be there with you Joy! A shame you didn’t enjoy this one.

  • I’ve only read one other Steampunk novel, and while I enjoyed the aspect of it, the book bored me to tears. I can’t even remember the title, but it was a Cinderella re-telling. Ring a bell? Anywho, this was never a title I absolutely NEEDED to pick up. Maybe I’ll pass since nothing is urging me to read it. I have no time for MEH books these days.

  • While I do love a slow burn romance, I’m not the biggest fan of a book that has slow pacing in general. Hmm, I’m conflicted!

  • RO

    YIKES! Nothing like being bored while reading a 496 page novel, right? (lol) I like the cover, and I could probably cope with not much romance, but a book that moves in slow motion would have killed it it for me. Glad you got through it, and loved your review! Hugs…

  • I’ve heard a lot of excitement about this one, so it’s interesting to read a review from someone that didn’t like this book at all! I’m actually not the biggest steampunk fan either- it’s probably the genre I read the least- so that definitely makes me a little more hesitant to pick this book up. Additionally, I’m SO not a fan of sluggish plot lines- I love fast-paced books where things are moving, and that doesn’t seem to be the case here. You also didn’t really seem connected to the characters, which is a no-go in my book. :./

    Sorry to hear you didn’t like this one much, Joy! <3 I'll have to really see if I want to pick up this one after all.

  • Sara Walker

    This book has been getting such mixed reviews. I feel like those who really enjoy this particular genre (steampunk/regency) are loving it, but those who could take it or leave it, are leaving it. Myself, this isn’t calling to me.

    Thanks for the review!

  • I find that steampunk generally doesn’t tend to hold my attention, largely due to the time period it’s set in. It has have a flipping brilliant plot to keep me interested! Doesn’t sound like this one would work for me, for similar reasons.

  • Oh that’s such a shame you didn’t enjoy this one! I really enjoyed it although it did take a while to get into mind you, but the end was well worth it. Lovely honest review. 🙂

  • Aww sad to hear you didn’t enjoy this one Joy. I thought it was great, and I liked the pacing because it gave a chance to build the world. Understand this is not one for everyone though!

  • What a bummer! I can’t say I’m not a fan of regency England, but it would bore me too with a slow moving book that large.

  • I’ve seen some mixed things about this one. While I still look forward to reading it, it’s still a shame. I’m not into really REALLY slow books which is the vibe I’m getting from those who’ve read it. Sorry this one didn’t work out all that well for you Joy, thank you for the review!

  • I’ve heard that this is super slow pace wise :/ I have it but I’m not sure when I’ll get around to reading it (maybe within 5 years?) I’m curious about it…but I’m not that curious lol

  • Jasprit

    Hahaha you make me laugh Joy, I’m definitely glad I wasn’t around this time either. I’ve been reading some really praising reviews of this book so far, so its always great to get a different perspective, I’m sorry that this book didn’t work out for you Joy, with the reading mood I’m in I don’t think this will be the right book for me now. Thank you for the honest review!

  • Oh, I’m curious about this now! I do like Regency novels, and I am a fan of paranormal, but I always worry that the paranormal bits can be, uhhhhh… tacky in historical novels, you know?? But this just sounds… complicated, I guess!
    Beth x

  • Melliane

    I’m glad I don’t live in that time as well! I heard great things about this book everywhere so I confess I was curious! Sorry about your felling

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I definitely agree that this is a slow-burn in terms of plot and romance… But I love Goodman’s writing and could read about the most mundane activities her characters perform so I enjoyed this probably more than it warranted. I’m still glad you gave it a try, though, Joy! Wonderful review!

  • Sadly, this book never really caught my eye. Now I’m glad I didn’t request it. Sorry it was a bummer for you.

  • shootingstarsmag

    Sorry this didn’t really work for you! I am still really curious. I’ve heard some good things and it sounds like something I might actually enjoy. haha


  • Hmmm… It’s a shame this was a boring read for you… I got to have great romance in my reads… sounds like this will fall short for me too.

  • Sorry it didn’t work of you! I hate when there’s plenty of things to be urgent about and the characters are just blasé about it.

  • Oh, goddamn it. I am SO SORRY that you didn’t like this book Joy 🙁 SAD FACE. I wanted you to love it. As I have heard so many amazing things, lol, and I have yet to read it.. now I’m nervous. Hmph. I understand all that you had issues with, though. Ack. But hoping I will end up loving it 🙂 Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  • Sorry this didn’t work foe you

  • I’ve seen quite a few glowing reviews for this one Joy, but to be honest, I just haven’t had the inclination to purchase it. Regency London hell yes! But it seems strange to mix that in with demons though. I struggle with historical at the best of times, but books like this one, The Diviners etc, I really struggle with. I like historicals to be purely contemporaries, not urban fantasy. But if you were bored by this, that’s enough for me not to bother wasting my money. Sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed it more Joy, but wonderful review nonetheless <3

  • kindlemom1

    It does sound super interesting to me but you aren’t the only one I’ve seen who was bored with this and for that reason alone, I think I will be passing on it. 😉 Wonderful honest review!

  • Sorry to hear about the lack of romance

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    Hm. I like a slow burn romance for sure Joy, but the waffling makes me nervous. I don’t like heroines who waffle. JUST MAKE A DECISION AND STICK WITH IT:) This one seems to be largely hit or miss with people, I’ve read mostly love it or hate it reviews for it, not much in between. Sorry it was such a sluggish read for you, those are the worst for me!

  • Jazmen

    I like slow burn romance. I do. But I don’t know. I’ll think about it. Nice review, Joy!

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    Great review! I just finished this one last night and feel the same as you about many things. It was so darn slow in some spots and you are right–no sense of urgency! I would have struggled as a female living during that time as well…although I do like to read about the time period.

  • I’ve been seeing so many people love this one it is pretty interesting to see things from the other side of the window. I do like my steampunk – but there is always more to a story than that. It bothers me that the romance is so minimalised and of course, I don’t want to be reading a slow book. Despite having already read so many great reviews I haven’t actually added this to my TBR yet because there wasn’t an element that stood out as something I would fall head over heels in love with. I sorta doubt that I will now :/

  • I was excited about this one and I usually books like these, so I’ll still give it a shot, but I’m sad you were bored while reading it. Your comments about the romance especially worry me because I usually need it to be a stronger part. I’m sorry this wasn’t all that for you, Joy.
    Great review!

  • Demons…eh nah

  • Well, this type of book is usually the hardest for me to get into, so it hasn’t really been on my radar anyway. And now I feel no guilt about skipping it.