Expected Release Date: August 12, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Pocket Star
Author’s Website: http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/
My Source for This Book: Edelweiss
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Disenchanted & Co.
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Cliff Hanger Ending
Favorite Tropes: Enemies To Lovers, Everyday Magic
In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian (Kit) Kittredge makes her living investigating magic crimes and exposing the frauds behind them. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, as the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. she follows mysteries wherever they lead.
Lady Diana Walsh calls on Kit to investigate and dispel the curse she believes responsible for carving hateful words into her own flesh as she sleeps. While Kit doesn’t believe in magic herself, she can’t refuse to help a woman subjected nightly to such vicious assaults. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks on Diana are part of a larger, more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.
Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of nefarious deathmage Lucien Dredmore and the unwelcome scrutiny of police Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. Yet as she learns the truth behind her ladyship’s curse, Kit also uncovers a massive conspiracy that promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.
What Worked For Me:
- The entire premise of a world where we lost the Revolutionary World, and magic is a constant presence in everyone’s life is simply brilliant, and I gobbled up every detail that I could as quickly as possible. From the Hill to the different classes of mages, right down to warding stones and Kit’s own ability to suss out charlatans faster than you can say “boo”, every bit of it appealed to me.
- This is probably going to sound silly since I listed the cliff-hanger as a negative point, but the melodramatic closing immediately following what was one of the most frustrating cliff-hangers I’ve ever read was absolutely perfect. I knew going into this story that it was going to have a cliff-hanger end, as the “Part 1” bit of the title was a heck of a clue, but I was still sitting straight up loudly voicing my protest at the ending. The beautifully sensational teaser at the end made it worth the while.
- I also enjoyed the ghostly presence, and the mystery behind Kit’s pendant, as well as the very strong hints that Kit’s ability to debunk anything magical is actually something far more than it seems.
- I loved Kit, with her biting animosity towards Dredmore and her somewhat distrustful friendship with Doyle, and her unfailing belief that magic does not actually exist despite the persistent belief of others.
- The side characters really shone. Not only Doyle and Dredmore, but also Rina and Bridget, who were both delightfully surprising in their own ways.
- Though not heavy on the steam, there was one very satisfying scene towards the end (and yes, I mean “satisfying” in the exact way you think that I do. *leers*)
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- That ending! *throws self about dramatically* Okay so this is actually a minor point, since I knew ahead of time that this was going to have a cliff-hanger ending, but just when things were really getting interesting, *bam*, we’re hit with a brick wall. (I think I secretly delighted in the ending, but as I have a deep dislike for cliff-hangers in general, especially when I actually have to wait for the next installment, it had to count as a negative point.)
Look at that first line of the blurb — “In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War…”. Right then and there I was already hooked before I even turned to the first page. Luckily, Ms. Viehl has the unparalleled skill to take that wonderful premise and turn it into an action-packed, slightly gothic, and completely engrossing tale that had me quite literally yelling my frustration at the cliff-hanger ending.
Brilliantly done, and I can’t wait for the next installment, due out in October.