I am kicking myself for starting this trilogy when the third book doesn’t come out until November. Normally that is enough to deter me--I prefer to start series after they’re complete--but I couldn’t resist the “proper young lady turned demon hunter in Regency London” premise, and I’m here to tell you, you shouldn’t resist it either.
Alison Goodman is a dang good writer. The plot progresses fairly slowly, especially for YA, but it’s because Goodman has taken the time and care to do it right. This is a settle-in-and-get-lost-in-the story kind of book, where every scene is richly described and every character fleshed out. Conversations are measured, each word chosen with intention. Goodman has done such a good job finessing her historical research into her writing that the book reads less like historical fantasy and more like a primary artifact written during the times she describes. Except for the whole magic thing, of course.
The audio version, expertly narrated by Fiona Hardingham, is near perfection. Her lively yet contained interpretation adds so much to the experience. My one quibble is the regrettably nasal tone she employs for Lord Carlston--it would be easier to take him seriously as a dark and dashing Victorian stud muffin if he didn’t sound like his nose was pinched with a clothespin. Nevertheless, it’s made for an immersive few weeks of listening, as I’ve already snarfed up book two, The Dark Days Pact.
The world probably doesn’t need another book-to-TV adaptation, but if Netflix made a series based on these books, I would binge it in a weekend is all I’m saying.