Her Ladyship's Curse
Release Date: 08/12/13
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.
My thoughts on the book:
I was hoping for a good Steampunk story with this novel, but unfortunately I was disappointed. The writing isn't very good. The characters fall flat. The plot is boring. You get the idea. Nothing about this book appealed to me.
Kit isn't a very likable character, and she doesn't have much of a personality. Many of her actions don't make a lot of sense (like why she gives money to people who insult her). Also, she felt kind of robotic to me. I think it is Viel's writing that made Kit come across with no emotion, but I just could not connect to her at all. The secondary characters are cliches, even though the author tries incredibly hard to make them unique. Lucien is repulsive, and Thomas is obnoxious. I didn't like a single character in this novel.
The plot is kind of nonexistent, and Kit spends a lot of time just wandering around. I think this is Viehl's attempt at world-building, but it didn't work for me. Also, Kit's tone is overtly racist against indigenous peoples, but I also understand that is because of the time period. However, it really disgusted me to read some of the things she said (a "shaman" (only Inuit tribes from Alaska practice any form of Shamanism, by the way) killing a rat because of something to do with a farm animal - I can't remember the details - wouldn't happen and makes indigenous peoples look more barbaric than they ever have been). Also, the fact that the men in her life basically sexually assault her and that turns her on is really messed up. There was just so much wrong with this book. I'm pretty sure I scowled for the entire time I read it.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone. I love a good Steampunk book, but unfortunately, this isn't one.