Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn
From Goodreads: Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?
In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.
First up, thanks so much to Netgalley for sending me an ARC of Dangerous Remedy. I never got around to reading it before it was released (thanks pandemic) but I did eventually pick it up when Illumicrate included it in one of their boxes.
And I really loved it. From the very first page, it was a rollercoaster. The back and forth between the characters reminded me strongly of the kind of comradeship/friendship group in Six of Crows, and since that was one of my favourite things about that duology, I was so excited to see Ade and Al having a back and forth discussion in a fricking hot air balloon that was falling out of the sky. From then on, I knew I was going to get along with this book just fine.
The other characters are just as intriguing. Camille is clearly the leader, but I love how often she struggles to accept putting the others in danger, even when they’re happy to help. Guil is probably the least well-developed of the group (at least in my eyes) but I thought he was a pretty cool character. Al is my favourite, I think. He’s a stuck up aristocrat one moment, and a human boy afraid of the Revolution the next. You think he’s just a rich snob, but then he does something kind or brave, and it reminds you why he’s part of the group. And Ade is so brilliant and intelligent. I definitely thought they were a great group of characters, not only because each one has a lot of depth, but because they work so well together on the page.
I especially loved the romance between Ade and Camille. Dunn did such a good job with those characters, and I think she does a stellar job of showing both the good and bad bits of their relationship. A relationship is never completely smooth sailing, and I think showing some of the flaws in the bond between the two served to really make me root for them because they did their best to overcome the challenges they faced together. There are some beautiful, tender moments that made me outright squee with joy.
The witty banter (often over coffee) also did a good job of alleviating some of the tension and lightening some pretty dark moments. I was honestly a bit uncertain if I should include some content warnings for people tempted to pick up this book- there are some pretty gruesome moments, and some mentions of gore, torture and human experimentation throughout. I don’t think it ever gets too dark, but there are some super creepy moments.
There’s also a lot, and I mean a LOT of plot twists, drama, angst, and high-stakes tension. The pace is breakneck through most of the book, and there was always a reason to keep reading. There were a few moments when chapter cliffhangers didn’t quite live up to their full potential, but I did think the book did a pretty good job overall to keep me hooked and wanting to find out more. I mean, it makes sense that setting a book against the backdrop of The Reign of Terror was almost certainly going to be a very tense book, but it really didn’t relent for very long. If you do pick up this book, be prepared to not put it down again until the very last page.
Overall, I’m giving Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn a 9/10. I thought the setting, pacing, and characters were brilliant, and I loved the romance between Ade and Camille. There was the odd moment when the plot didn’t quite live up to its promises, but overall I thought the book was amazing and a great debut novel. I’m super excited to read the next book, and shall be buying a copy as soon as it comes out.
Has anyone else read this book already or plans to? What do you all think of it? Let me know in the comment section down below ❤