The Picky Bookworm

"Books are a uniquely portable magic." –Stephen King

This book was a slow but steady read for me. It was really good, but for some reason it took me a long time to finish it. I’m finally finished, though, and ready to tell you all about it!

Author: Derek Künsken

Genre: Fantasty/Sci-Fi

Number of Pages: 500

Purchase on Amazon UK

Purchase on Amazon US

The Story

The D’Aquillon family has lived on Venus for years, in a bioengineered habitat, far above the surface. The whole family has been outcasts from the government, and distrusts everyone, with good reason. When George-Étienne, the father, finds a weird situation on the surface, he and his son, Pascal, fly down in a second-hand ship to check it out. What they find is more fantastic than they could have dreamed, so they come up with a plan to actually build a habitat directly on the surface of Venus. They must complete everything without the knowledge of the government, so must be very careful.


I had a hard time finding an excerpt that didn’t tell the entire story, because everything in this story is connected. I hope you enjoy!

“Where does Grand-pére keep his storm?” Alexis demanded. He squinted at the small monitor.

“Grand-pére is chasing it,” Pascal said.

Alexis screwed up his face. “You chase a storm? I thought we stayed away from them.”

“We do,” George-Étienne said. “This one is on the surface. I want to see it.”

“Why?” Alexis said in exaggerated bafflement.

“Because I don’t understand it! Grand-mére and I didn’t come to Venus just to get away from the cities and from an empty life. We wanted to explore, to see things no had ever seen.”

Alexis was getting bored.

“There’s a storm on the surface that shouldn’t be there,” George-Étienne explained. “No one knows it exists and no one’s seen it up close, before today We’re going to look today.”

George-Étienne had discovered it years ago, sending a probe down to salvage lost equipment, and had found it in the same spot over the years. Pascal had inherited his father’s curiosity. Whatever strangeness lay at the deepest depths of Diana Chasma, he wanted to know it too. The chasma cut almost three kilometers into the surface a winding trench system a thousand kilometers long, where the pressure passed ninety atmospheres. They were both captivated by the anomalous weather in those depths.

Pascal expanded the view, but the image could only go so far before pixelating. They’d built the probe from scrap, with only the equipment it needed. Until now, it hadn’t needed a good telescope.

“It’s a funny storm,” Pascal said gently. “There are no clouds and the air is transparent, and it’s too hot for rain, so it’s like an invisible storm, even up close. Sometimes it blows dust around, but most times it’s quiet.”

My Thoughts

The author did a wonderful job of bringing so many different characters to life in this book. I think that was why I had such a hard time reading the book. I have a hard time with character-driven stories. This book, however, was so good. I don’t regret a minute I spent reading it.

I do hope the author gives us a sequel, because the book didn’t give as much closure as I would have hoped. The book builds up to this huge climax, and I was honestly a little disappointed. I loved each of the characters, and I found myself rooting for all of them to get what they wanted. My favorite characters were Pascal, a young man who doesn’t fit in his body, Marthe, the voice of the family with the Colonie, and Jean-Eudes, the autistic brother whose birth sparked the D’Aquillon family’s rift with the government. These were amazing people, and the author wrote them with such feeling.

My Rating

I could only give this book 4 stars. The book was really good, but it took me a while to finish it, and I was confused about the closure I never received. I enjoy character-driven books, but I have to be in a specific mood. It all boils down to the lack of closure in the book. I really hope the author writes a sequel, and continues the story. These characters were really great, and I’d love to see them in other books.


I recommend this book, but please don’t feel discouraged if, like me, this book takes you a bit to get into. Anyone who loves character-driven stories would enjoy this book. I found myself invested in what happened to this family, and loved each and every one of them.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this book in return for an honest review.

Have you read this book? Do you think you’re going to? Please let me know in the comments below! I look forward to discussing this book! Please share with your friends, and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an update! Until next time, bookworms!


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