Monstrous Design

Written by Kat Dunn
Review by Mike Ashworth

1794. In Paris the French Revolution is on the brink of collapse. Chaos looms while dark forces gather, determined to take power. A small group of young people, outcasts called The Batallion des Morts, find themselves facing new enemies and old. Olympe, a mysterious aristocrat with dark and dangerous powers, has been kidnapped and taken to London. Camille and Al find themselves in the city’s seedy underbelly in a desperate attempt to find and rescue her. In Paris, Ada finds herself involved with an old adversary as he makes a bid for nothing less than becoming the next king of France.

The story follows directly on from Dangerous Remedy, the first in the series. It can be read as a standalone as there is sufficient backstory to guide a new reader. The plot is tight and totally believable and the characters are strong, while the culture and times of both revolutionary France and London form an exciting backdrop. The relationships between the main characters, both male and female, are sensitively handled, and contribute to the character development. This is YA at its best. I’m off to buy the first instalment of what is going to be a very popular series. Recommended.