Lessons in Demons and Decorum: The Dark Days Club

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
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Release Date: January 26th 2016

Publisher: Penguin Random House

3.5/5 The Dark Days Club is the first of a new series for Alison Goodman. Her previous works Eon and Eona are epic tales involving magic and dragons featuring asian mythology and astrology. This being the first book in the new Lady Helen series ,while having a fantasy element, is in stark contrast to her previous works.

 

The Dark Days Club takes place in London during the Regency era in 1812. Our heroine, Lady Helen, is a part of high society and now that she has come of age is effectively being married off for the best match possible by her aunt and uncle as her mother died in disgrace when she was a child.

What appears at first to be a tale much like Pride and Prejudice detailing English society, Lady Helen is soon drawn to the darker underbelly of London where demons lurk unbeknownst to the general population. As her awareness grows we learn of the demon infiltration into every level of society and how she might be an integral part of the fight for humanity.

This book is a wonderful example of a well-written and thoroughly researched historical fantasy that should appeal to lovers of Cassandra Claire’s Clockwork Angel series, and lovers of historical fiction in general with its rich detail.


 

So the reason I only gave this 3.5/5 and nothing higher even though I thought it was a really good book was because for me it was a little slow. Specifically the first half of the book, the pacing was a bit too slow for my liking. The demon storyline takes awhile to weave its way into the plot. I think there is a lot of world building and setting up in this book for the rest of the series.

Goodman brings her beautifully detailed writing and a head strong, independent female lead that tries to remain true to who she is in a time where everything is against her as a woman. In this book you get the drama of high society England, female friendship, some sizzling almost romance and of course demons! So definitely keep an eye out for this one, I predict it will be a wonderful series.

This book is when Pride and Prejudice meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If this sounds like the book for you, I would also recommend some of these other historical fiction/fantasies I have enjoyed:

 

 

 

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Read ‘Em And Weep: books that made me cry

 

READ 'EMSometimes a book will take your heart and crush it into tiny little pieces leaving you a broken sobbing mess. Here are some of those often satisfying books that somehow made an ocean of tears flee from my eyes and may or may not have emotionally devastated me for days after.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

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What can I say, it was the end of the series, the end of my childhood and the end of Harry’s adventures. I will leave you with these names that make me tear up just thinking of them: Dumbledore, Dobby, Lupin, and Fred.

 

 

 

 

 


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

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I had low expectations when I started this book, figuring that everyone had hyped it for no reason. I WAS WRONG! I knew what was coming but it still destroyed me, I remember finishing this book at 1 am and sitting on the couch crying for a good 10 minutes before I could move. Well played John, you made me care for those lovely kids GOSH DARNIT! I think what hurt the most about reading a story about kids dying from cancer and what John captured so well is the injustice and the lack of control over situations like that hold.

 


 

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

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This is the moving story of a teenage girl dealing with the death of her sister. Following her and her family as they grieve and process the loss of a loved one proves to be an emotional ride. Jandy utilizes scraps of poetry that the main character writes about how she’s feeling at the beginning of every chapter to beautiful affect. This book was a pile of feelings trapped inside a teenage girls body.

 

 

 


All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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This book broke me. I knew going in that it dealt with mental illness, and as a fantasy lover I was hesitant at first to give it a go. But Violet and Finch wormed their way into my heart and while I still feel conflicted about parts of this story it has a heartbreaking ending that left me sobbing even though in retrospect I should have seen it coming. Another contemporary book about young people suffering from some form of illness…see the pattern here?

 

 


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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A Monster Calls is an emotional story of a young boy who’s mother is dying from cancer. Through dark tales with monsters and nightmares, the young boy, Connor, deals with his denial, grief, guilt and acceptance of his situation. This book was visually stunning with illustrations by Jim Kay and a most enchantingly dark and raw story from Patrick Ness. What really tugged at my heart strings were Connor visits with his Dad, as his parents were divorced and how he took care of his mom while she was undergoing treatment. I have dealt with both these things first hand so it really got to me and resulted in a few tears to say the least by the end of this story.


The Host by Stephenie Meyer

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An alien invasion story that far surpasses Meyer’s previous work in my opinion. What made me cry in this book was I think the struggle between Melanie, the host, and Wanderer, the invading alien. The inner turmoil I felt as the two became closer and as one begins to take over. You feel conflicted because you want them both to survive and be happy but as we see throughout the novel, nothing is that simple or easy. A surprising amount of tears for this bad boy.

 

 


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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A whimsical tale of a young boy who is saved from a murderer by chance and finds sanctuary in a graveyard. He is adopted by the ghostly residences there and grows up in the Graveyard. Wildly witty, funny and poignant with classic Neil Gaiman writing, this book had me tearing up on public transit when I reached it’s end. Happy tears mostly. The end of this book leaves you with the bittersweet feeling of childhood reaching its end but the new hope of a bright future, even if people and memories must be left behind to achieve it.


Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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For much the same reasons as the Graveyard Book, Ocean At the End of the Lane took me on a emotional journey back to childhood. A short quick novel, it was of such substance and beautifully written it felt like I was reading poetry. In this case it was tears of wonderment and sadness that this book was over that leapt from my peepers.

 

 

 

 


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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For those of you who have already read the Hunger Games trilogy you know why this book in particular was so hard to handle. To avoid spoilers, the death of a certain character scarred me and left me misty eyed. A few years later when I went back to re-read the trilogy I found that I must have blocked much of Mockingjay from my memories because it was as if I were reading it for the first time and the wounds were new and raw. Needless to say I am still upset over this book.

 

 


Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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The ending of the Divergent trilogy shocked me to say the least. At first I remember being incredulous, thinking that I had somehow read it wrong. Then I was angry, finally my sorrow struck and I cried. I grieved over this book and I am still not ready for the re-read at this point as if time will change the ending I didn’t want to occur.

 

 

 


So there you have it, these are the 10 books to date that have made me cry, please share with me some of your favourite tear-jerking reads. Did any of the books I mentioned above make you cry too, or am I just overly sensitive?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guns and Gold

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman            4.5/5

The best of the west including murder, horse chases, shootouts, a treasure map, gold mines and epic quests for justice.23719270

Basically it’s a jacked up Little House on the Prairie with lots of guns and gold. 


WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Kate is a 18 year old girl living with her father in a very pioneer feeling town in Arizona in the 1900’s. When her father is hung and murdered by a gang known as the Rose Riders, Kate swears revenge. Disguised as a boy she follows the Rose Riders across the hostile countryside intent to kill them all and get her vengeance.


WHAT I LOVED

  • a rough around the edges protagonist who feels little to no remorse
  • prospector vibe
  • AMAZING COVER ART
  • realistic storytelling (they mention how hot it is all the time, how sweaty they get, even sunburnt!)
  • interesting myths and legends are woven into the story
  • some romance that was not the whole point of the story
  • a great twist at the end (*spoilers)

Let me just leave you with the one and only Clint Eastwood to show my approval of this book

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READ ON!