Disenchanted & Co., Part 1: Her Ladyship's Curse

Disenchanted & Co., Part 1: Her Ladyship's Curse - Lynn Viehl


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This was coasting along; a decent, if shallow, alternative history steampunk.... until that non-ending reared its head to frustrate me. Her Ladyship's Curse has an intriguing enough premise - a supernatural steampunk story set in "Toriana" (Provincial Union of Victoriana), a version of the United States where the Revolutionary War failed - but execution was shallow if serviceable. For the most part... but I will get to that in just a minute.

I wanted more from the worldbuilding early on. The idea at the heart of the novel  is a good one - far too few steampunk novels turn their focus outside of Great Britain - but the author failed to provide enough detail to flesh out her alternative history. The book is decent if far from stellar at several things: plot, pacing, writing, and creativity. However, the author's clear lack of detail works against Her Ladyship's Curse. The mystery element is pretty weak, but since Kit is a dry, amusing protagonist I was content to ride along with her and see where it all ended up.

And then, after two hundred pages of nondescript writing and very little characterization -which I was more than willing to look past because the novel was engaging enough - we get to that "ending." And I am being generous with that description. The last chapter is utterly frustrating. The cliffhanger resolves NOTHING. There is NO resolution to the main plot, just a clear ploy to buy book two. UGH. It was a cheap way to end a novel - regardless of how short the book may be. There are no answers, just an interlude THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PLOT that just.. terminates. It's over, and it's far from a good stopping point.

I can't say I will pick up His Lordship Possessed because of how terribly Her Ladyship's Curse ended. There are plenty of supernatural steampunk mysteries already published to keep me busy, and at least they are concerned with satisfactorily wrapping up plots before attempting to solicit more money from their readers. What had been a shaky 3-star read quickly downgraded into a 2/5 and just convinced me to never pick up this series again.

This is a cheap buy for $2.99 for ebooks, but how much enjoyment others will derive from it...  I cannot predict.