Title: Disenchanted & Co: Part 1 – Her Ladyship’s Curse; Part 2 – His Lordship Possessed
Author: Lynn Viehl
Length: approx. 400 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From: An ARC from Pocket Star
Plot Basics: Charmian Kittredge, better known as Kit, doesn’t believe in magic. In fact, this private detective makes her living by busting magical myths that plague this alternative American history. Kit expects that investigating the mysterious ailment afflicting Lady Diana Walsh to be more of the same. Instead, Kit finds herself drawn into a plot larger than anything she could dream of.
Banter Points: Fans of Gail Carriger will find Kit to be an opininated heroine in need of some finishing school reform. But! Kit is living in America, post-Revolutionary War, in a alternative universe where American didn’t defeat the Brits and are still subjects of the Queen.
Kit rebels against the rules of polite society by refusing to marry and sets-up shop debunking magic that everyone else believes in. Her dis-belief is justified through a couple of small cases that illustrate how easily one can explain anything through magic.
The Walsh Case takes some digging and is quickly solved. The intriguing part is what the plucky girl learns about her position in polite society along the way.
I would say that it is less steam punk and more historical romance with magic. The mechanics typically found in steam punk were a side effect and didn’t necessarily add to the story in the manner typical for the genre.
Bummer Points: The information dumps and back story – yikes. Viehl has more than 50 titles to her name. She is a generous and gracious author who rewards her fans. I really wanted to like this book and I struggled with the awkwardness of Part 1. Bethany has raved over other titles and I was eager to dive into this one.
Based on the Acknowledgements Section, I believe that Viehl wrote this as part of a NaNoWriMo challenge. Editing afterwards is a bear, and I believe that Part 1 suffered because of it. Part 2 cleared up and was more in line with what I would expect an author of Viehl’s experience to write like.
Stacie’s Recommendation: I enjoyed the book and it entertained me for the weekend. The world is interesting. The romantic interest – Dredmore – has more secrets to be revealed. Viehl ventured into a new genre with this title and I’d like to see what she does with it.