Book Review: Monstrous Design

Kat Dunn

Rating: 5 out of 5.

published: 10th June 2021
spoilers? no


Following the thrills and spills of Dangerous Remedy, the Battalion of the Dead return in a dazzling new adventure, set amid the opulence and squalour of 18th-century London and Paris.

1794, London: Camille and Al are desperately hunting Olympe’s kidnapper. From the glamorous excesses of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to the city’s seedy underbelly, they are caught in a dangerous game of lies and deceit. And a terrible new enemy lies in wait with designs more monstrous than they could ever imagine… Can Camille play on to the end or will she be forced to show her hand?

In Paris, the Duc is playing his own dangerous games. With Ada in his thrall, old loyalties are thrown into question. The Battalion are torn apart as never before, and everything – Ada’s love for Camille, her allegiance to the battalion itself – is under threat.

Galley provided by publisher

CWs: past child abuse, gore

Monstrous Design, the sequel to Dangerous Remedy, is a book that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. The action starts on the first page and doesn’t let up to the last.

The story starts pretty much from where Dangerous Remedy ends. Camille and Al are following after James in England (James, who also gets his own POV in this one), while Ada and Guil are still in France, continuing with leads there.

I loved Dangerous Remedy last year, so Monstrous Design was, by far and away, one of my most anticipated releases for 2021. I went in, fully expecting to love it, and I did. Every part of the first book that I loved, I did so even more here.

Obviously, the characters were the best part. In this book, not only did you get James’s POV (which I did actually appreciate), but also you got more of Guil’s backstory, and Camille and Al bonding (you may not know you needed this, but you do). Pretty much everything got further fleshed out than in the first book (understandable, since this is a sequel and doesn’t need to spend page time establishing the world now).

For the same, sequel-ish, reasons, the plot moves a fair bit quicker. It’s not long before you’re into it all over again, and the 400-or-so pages pass by in a flash. The one comment I would make, though, is that sometimes it feels a little like too many POVs, and those slow the plot down. But in a kind of not hugely noticeable way. And definitely not in a way that impacted on my enjoyment.

So, if you’re looking for a series to get into, please please try this one. And then you can wait a whole year with me for the final book. It’ll be fun, I promise!

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