The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman
SPOILER FREE FOR THIS BOOK. However, since this is the third book in a series, there will be spoilers for the first two books.
From Goodreads: Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.
As several of you may know, the Dark Days books are some of my favourite at the moment. I’ve been obsessed since picking up the first book before YALC two years ago and falling in love with the Regency romance and fierce demon hunting. So I felt equal parts excited and mournful when I picked up this book.
Initially, it was a little bit hard to get into. Like many YA fantasy books that are second or third in a series, Dark Days Deceit does throw readers in at the deep end. It doesn’t start in media res, but it does drop a lot of character names and specific information straight away, which left me just a little bit muddled. I don’t blame the book at all for this, because y’know the author has to assume people are familiar rather than trying to catch up, but I do wish sometimes that books would have a quick recap this late in the game.
Anyhow, one of the things I love most about this series is how awesome the characters are. They’re all so well developed and stand up on their own. Lady Helen has to be one of my all time favourite YA heroines because she’s so intelligent and badass but she’s been written in a way that balances that edginess with the regency era of the book. On one page she’s kicking demon butt and on the next she’s showing off her hostess duties and planning parties. It’s really something. And I think it’s utterly unique too.
And then there’s Carston. Ahh, I mustn’t be the only person to read this and swoon every time he appears on the page. There’s just something so compelling about a brooding gentleman character. Not to mention that simmering chemistry between him and Lady Helen. More than the other books in the series, Dark Days Deceit really packs a punch with this. Since Helen is engaged and this is the regency era where changing your mind this far down the line results in scandal and ruin, it seems that the characters are in a very big tangle. So if angsty, star-crossed looks across a room is your cup of tea, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Some of my favourite laugh out loud moments came from Selburn and Carston exchanging insults at each other over Lady Helen. The one-liners were perfect and sassy and again very in fitting with the whole period. Throw in some surprise secondary characters for good measure and you’ve got so much tension you could cut it with a glass knife.
Though the whole thing goes beyond who will win Helen’s affection though to some interesting read-between-the-lines points. I liked how the romance wasn’t just about attraction, but about greater issues like freedom and debating where a woman belonged in society. Selburn is determined Helen will be his wife, a Duchess, and a mother to his children. Carston is confident that Helen will remain a Reclaimer, with all the risks and scandal that could entail. The book debates the whole issue really well.
There’s more to this book than just the romance though. There’s obviously the Grand Deceiver to destroy before it can unleash a gigantic demon hoard on humanity, and boy does this book not hold back on that drama. Expect lots of twists and turns in the plot, and some pretty big consequences for each and every choice made along the way. I guessed one of the two major plot twist points [just who is the Grand Deceiver dyad?] but I was NOT expecting the other one and almost fell out of my chair with surprise when I saw it. Yikes 😀
After the first initial chapter or two and finding my feet again, Dark Days Deceit did prove to be a quick and thrilling read. So much so that I repeatedly risked travel sickness to read it on the coach and a tram and a bus because I couldn’t stand having to put it down for five minutes. It’s a thrilling end to a series, and Alison Goodman has absolutely made my list of authors to immediately buy the books of whenever they’re released [sorry, no matter how I phrased that in my head, it sounded awkward].
Overall, I am giving The Dark Day’s Deceit a 10/10 stars. I loved the characters so much and all the drama and romance angst, as well as how it debates several serious societal issues between the lines. And those plot twists were simply masterful. Can’t recommend it highly enough.
Has anyone else read this book or plans to? What did you all think of it? I love to hear your thoughts and feelings on books I review so please feel free to leave a message in the comments section below ❤
Until next time guys,