Dangerous Remedy was already on my list because I’ll read practically anything set in Paris. Add a historical fiction slant to it and you might as well pre-order the book for me. Keep reading this book review of Dangerous Remedy to find out what I thought about a magical historical fiction view of Paris!
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
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Dangerous Remedy begins with an explosion. Featuring a group of outcasts, with the majority of them being queer, Dangerous Remedy is a story about found family and standing up for what’s right. It is a book that celebrates choice and the power of our own agency. I was immediately hooked within the first chapter because of the action and intrigue – a girl with magical powers? Quickly I began to fall in love with the characters – whether it be Al’s quirkiness, Ada’s clever mind, Guil’s strength, or the way Camille must deal with the burden of responsibility – and the rest was history.
Al has escaped his family who has turned their back to him because of his attraction to boys. He’s quirky and always quick with a retort, but he’s also hiding this pain and uncertainty of where he fits in. Ada is this intelligent and clever girl who loves Camille and so desperately wants to be chosen by someone. Guil has this quiet fortitude. (As a whole, Dangerous Remedy is mostly focused on Ada and Camille, so I wish we had more detail into Guil and Olympe). And Camille, my precious bi-leader. Camille feels all this responsibility on her shoulders as the leader, but she’s hiding secrets of her own which could threaten her plan, her found family, and her relationship with Ada.
But what I loved, thematically, is how Dangerous Remedy empathizes choice. How our powers may be considered dangerous, but it’s about what we choose to do with them. Weapons can be used for good or bad, it’s about who is wielding them. At the end of the day, when we feel boxed in, we are the ones who can choose to fight another day. Dangerous Remedy also focuses on found family, on friendships which turn into our family. When our family has forsaken us, choose not to accept us, who can we turn to?
I came for historical France, and stayed for the chaotic gays. There’s an almost Frankenstein-y feel to Dangerous Remedy, in the sense it talks about creation, choice, and if we are taught to think of ourselves as dangerous. Do we have the strength to not let other’s fear, disdain, and hate influence how we see ourselves? Our potential? Our future? Dangerous Remedy also asks if we have a duty that goes above what we want. A duty to our country, our future, and our cause, that could surpass our own desires. Secrets always poison the foundation. And can our band of outcasts navigate them all before they explode?