The House of Styx

Solaris. (Venus Ascendant, Bk. 1). Apr. 2021. 500p. ISBN 9781781088050. $27.99. SF
Künsken (“Quantum Magician” series) starts a new series set in the skies of Venus. A colonist from Quebec, George-Etienne D’Aquillon established a family business harvesting minerals, electricity, and plant life in the clouds above the planet. The intense heat, pressure, and the acidic environment require constant focus and ingenuity. George-Etienne has already lost his wife, daughter, and son-in-law to the dangerous conditions. He fears that the colonial government, with few laws and fewer resources, that is run by off-world banks, will soon requisition what little equipment he has left, leaving his family destitute. After a lifetime of hard choices and sustenance living, a discovery made down on the surface—a place few have ventured—could change forever the futures of the D’Aquillon family if only they can reach it.
VERDICT This electrifying planetary adventure features a hardscrabble family that earnestly addresses issues of addiction, gender, sexuality, and disability while surviving storms of all sorts in the hostile clouds of Venus. Highly recommended.

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