I got about a couple hundred pages into The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (Viking Books, $23.99) when I realized I was reading a sequel, and I might have the first book in my library. Sure enough, The Dark Days Pact is the follow-up book to The Dark Days Club.

I had a decision to make.

Do I read the first book or do I just continue reading the second book?

darkclub

I choose to read the Dark Days Club, but after a few dozen pages I realized that while I was enjoying it, I didn’t want to read it. I just wanted to continue reading The Dark Days Pact, so I did. (And successfully. The second book stood on its own.)

I love the time period The Dark Days Pact is set in, and while I don’t have a lot of experience with the Regency way of life, it felt very true and realistic – despite demons and the supernatural. The characters are complex, human and wonderful. I love the main characters, particularly Helen, who is trying to be true to herself while also becoming what is expected of her – a warrior, a Reclaimer, who fights energy-welding Deceivers who “whose demonic conspiracy threatens to plunge the newly Enlightened world back into darkness” at a time when woman were not valued, could not be in a man’s company without a chaperone and who could certainly not weld weapons and fight demons.

Spoiler alert

Do you know that feeling you get when you are reading a book and you can see the end is near so you keep reading because you want to know what is going to happen, but then, with only a few pages left, you realize the book is not going to wrap up and you feel disappointed and annoyed because you just want it to end?

That happened.

I realized, with about five pages left to go, I was not going to have a neat little wrapped story. I was going to have to wait another year or so to read more about Helen, the Duke and all the other characters I had come to care about.

Sigh.

I suppose it gives me time to read the first book.

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