Book Review: The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman ★★★

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“Yet what I had learned is that love is a leap of faith. A leap that not only takes you towards the person you love, but also towards the truth of yourself. Whom you love and how you love them will tell you more about yourself than anything else in this world.”

Alright, so the conclusion of the Lady Helen series! I’m glad I read this series so quickly; it was very fun and enjoyable. It was light and did not take much of an investment, honestly, which is absolutely what I look for sometimes. This final book in the trilogy was good, but a little disappointing as a finale: 3 stars.

I felt, overall, that the ending was solid, but a little lackluster. The book was a bit too drawn out, in my opinion, which had some parts of it dragging. There were also a few things that irked me about how everything wrapped up.

For the most part, though, the interesting character dynamics and intriguing storyline kept me engaged. I was wondering how everything would play out after the horrible marriage proposition from the Duke in the last book. Y’all know I am no fan of his (rightfully so apparently). I was glad to see that Helen knew it was a matter of necessity and not where her heart truly was, but hearing her try to convince herself how good and honorable he was over and over again grew tiresome. And frankly, it painted her as a weaker character than she was presented as before, bowing down to his whim and rule like that. I liked how they played into the Duke being jealous over Helen and Carlston’s time together at first, but again that became a redundant plot point. I felt that, too, was dragged out unnecessarily.

The magic in this one was bigger and more complex than either of the previous books, but it was honestly more confusing, also. There wasn’t a very good explanation for how it all worked or what was going to happen if the Grand Reclaimer (Helen and Carlston) failed. Goodman didn’t really bother to go too in depth with all that. In fact, it felt like as a whole, the action kind of took a back seat to the social scenes in this book. I know that Helen was getting married and whatnot, and I do find those details interesting, too, but it seemed so trivial compared to what the Dark Days Club was facing. I don’t think that those in charge of the Club would have been okay just sitting back and waiting for Helen to pick out laces and taste cakes, in the midst of their Deceiver war. It was another thing I wanted Helen to be stronger about, too. She chose her Dark Days Club duty, and her shirking it for the Duke and for some silly wedding was irritating.

The points of the plot that were about fighting the Deceivers, the political intrigue, and saving humanity were very good. Delia’s shocking death, the discovery that the Grand Deceivers can move through bodies at will, trying to Reclaim Pike’s wife, the Bath Deceiver, the conversation with the Queen, Lady Margaret – all of these scenes were great! I liked how there was real sacrifice from some of the characters and actual high stakes for everyone.

That being said, it did seem like some of the Deceiver lore and power, much like Helen’s new blue flame magic, was just kind of tossed into the story willy nilly. Not all of it really made sense or appeared planned out from the get-go, which makes for a rickety plot structure. I enjoyed the twists, but I also want them to be believable. This also made the ending feel pretty cheap to me. There was a “false ending” which I rarely like, where the good guys thought they were triumphant, only to later discover they were duped. I didn’t like it. It made Helen and Carlston come across as gullible and distracted really, and it made Helen seem pretty useless in the end.

The great, evil Deceiver mastermind the whole time was the Duke?? That’s actually so annoying! Yeah, I had called that from book one, but then the characters were constantly telling us how he was not a Deceiver because of his light and how they would know if he was one of the enemy. For the author to then be like, “There was a way, he was the Grand Deceiver the whole time, haha got you!!” is rather annoying. And in the end, in the true showdown, Helen really doesn’t do anything. She just happens to get lucky in killing the Deceivers and then has to get rescued. She should have been more suspicious of the Duke the whole time, I think. It just wasn’t very satisfying as a conclusion.

Another thing that wasn’t satisfying!….That freaking romance. Seriously?? We wait three whole books for some payoff to their slow burn, will they/won’t they romance, and then it’s summed up in half a page at the end of the trilogy? Ugh. It was very obvious that Goodman was working so hard this book to keep Helen and Carlston away from each other, and to keep the tension alive, going so far as to create that whole Deceiver lie about his wife and child, and it just felt like too much. The readers deserved more than just a hint of a romantic future between the two. I wanted more. Especially after having to suffer through the Duke being “romantic” this whole book! 🤢

I feel like this review is a little bland, but honestly, so was the book. It was good, I liked it, I enjoyed the trilogy as a whole, I read them very quickly, but it was not super memorable. None of the books really rose above a 3 star rating for me. And that’s fine (they were still really fun!), it’s just not really a series I will dwell on or rave about.

If I had been there, I would have sniffed out the Duke for what he was! And then I would have scratched him!

Thanks for reading!

Title: The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen #3)
Author: Alison Goodman
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy | Historical Fiction | Paranormal | Romance
Publication Date: November 20th, 2018
Page Count: 534
Buy It:  Book Depository Wordery

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