Review - Monstrous Design by Kat Dunn

 Review - Monstrous Design by Kat Dunn


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.



I really enjoyed Monstrous Design. Following on from Dangerous Remedy, it was really interesting to see the repercussions that adventure had for the Battalion of the Dead. 

The protagonists were divided, both physically and emotionally, with some of them dealing with betrayals, others torn between competing loyalties, and with the Battalion scattered across England and France. This led to some very interesting storytelling, seeing things unfold from the points of view of players at odds with each other. One of the best things about this approach was that it was clear to see that although they may be choosing different sides, everyone was doing it for reasons they thought were important, no two-dimensional bad guys here. The complexity of character, along with the growing complexity of the plot, gave this novel a lot of depth. 

It is exciting too! There was a lot of daring action too, and a very real sense of peril as villains closed in from all sides, leading to a most thrilling climax. 

The setting is a really dark and fun mix of the Terror period of post-revolutionary France and sci-fi invention in the vein of Mary Shelley. The feeling of uncertainty and fear of that period, where things didn't quite unfold as anyone hoped or expected and no one knows what's going to come of it all give this book a wonderfully unnerving tone.

With its pacy action and complex morality, and its mix of real world history and fantastical invention, Monstrous Design is a thrilling book.

🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

Monstrous Design by Kat Dunn is out now, published by Head of Zeus.
I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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