Disenchanted & Co.
By Lynn Viehl
a steampunk world in which the United States lost the Revolutionary War
and people believe in the evil power of magic, Kit stands out.
is an independent woman, a rarity, who makes her own living. She is
more feisty and more spunky than any standard romance heroine, with
quick wits, a sharp tongue and a network of friends. She doesn't believe
in magic. Kit actually makes her living as an investigator disproving
the existence of magic and proving the existence of charlatans and
But in accepting the case of Lady Diana Walsh, a
noblewoman suffering unexplained cruel words carved onto her at night,
our intrepid heroine may well have gone too far. Her client's powerful
husband is dead-set against the investigation. So is Lucien Dredmore,
another powerful man who may present a very personal challenge to Kit.
Lucien is wicked and urbane, the complete opposite of Kit's childhood
pal, Inspector Tommy Doyle. So it's easy to predict who Kit is drawn to,
even as she fights him off.
This is the set-up of the
full-length novel of Lynn Viehl's story, which sets up the beginning of a
gloriously realized steampunk world in which magic and the Industrial
Revolution collide in what is now the western United States. Disenchanted & Co.
also sets up Kit's own journey from a female adventurer to a deeper,
more feeling character with a backstory she is just discovering for
herself as the narrative unfolds.
The only problem with the novel
is that Viehl apparently wrote herself into a corner with the plot
machinations and pulls a twist near the end that didn't have the same
swashbuckling, clever tone as the rest of the novel in which Kit is the
mistress of her own destiny and rescues herself. Once that point is
passed, however, Viehl sets things up for a series that can appeal to
steampunk, mystery and romance fans. It's certainly a series that
deserves a look at the second novel, The Clockwork Wolf.
©2014 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Books Reviews and reprinted with permission