The Quantum Garden, Derek Kunsken – Book Review

Hello Humans! Last year I raved about a science fiction book that felt a bit like being punched in the face by a physics textbook but in the best way. Well, to my surprise there was a sequel coming and I was lucky enough to be approved to read a digital advanced review copy of The Quantum Garden.

Spoilers ahead for The Quantum Magician but spoiler-free for The Quantum Garden.

The Quantum Garden

Goodreads Summary:

Days ago, Belisarius pulled off the most audacious con job in history. He’s rich, he’s back with the love of his life, and best of all, he has the Time Gates, arguably the most valuable things in existence. Nothing could spoil this…

…except the utter destruction of his people and the world they lived on. To save them, he has to make a new deal with the boss he just double-crossed, to travel back in time and work his quantum magic once again, tracking down the source of the wormholes.

If he can avoid detection, dodge paradox and stay ahead of the eerie, relentless Scarecrow, he might just get back to his own time alive.

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

As the summary suggests, we’re once more in the thick of it with Belisarius after the events of book one. Does this mean you need to have recently read The Quantum Magician to appreciate this sequel? I’d say it’s not a need but it might be worth taking a moment to at least refresh your memory as to who the various characters are. I chose not to and it’s possible I would have connected more with the side characters if I had. That being said, you can basically grasp ‘people who have just finished a heist’ and get on with it and you won’t have a bad time.

This book is shorter than The Quantum Magician, the first book in the series was around 180 pages longer than this sequel – so anyone who found book one too beefy might have a better time with this one? Personally, I feel there were aspects of this book that could have benefitted from a bit more development. I’d have liked to have connected more with characters other than Belisarius – but perhaps that’s because Saint Matthew is my favourite character and his quirks weren’t really explored as much in this story. That’s not to say I don’t like Belisarius – quite the opposite – and I did like the way his story went – I just wanted MORE!

As before, I can’t comment on the accuracy of the physics in this book and I’m not sure I want to do the research to fact check, but I will say it made sense to my layman’s mind (laywoman?). I may be wrong, but it felt like this book delved more into deeper quantum physics concepts, for instance, time travel is much more of a thing in this book than it was in book one and some of the ways it is used (or experienced) were very cool but I have no idea if they are based on current science.

Basically, I thought the science was good, but I have no idea if a scientist would think that.

I won’t spoil it for you, because it’s something to be experienced, but the parts of this book with the eponymous Quantum Garden are absolutely the highlights. I had a lot of feelings about these segments and I’d suggest people read this book if only for those moments.

Overall, I’d say this is a solid sequel. Though I wasn’t totally sure the first book needed one. This book doesn’t necessarily build on the characters from book one (besides Belisarius), but I don’t really mind because I like the world that Kunsken has created and I like to see people playing in it.

I checked, there is no book three on Goodreads but Derek, if you’re reading this, give me more Saint Matthew.

My rating: 4/5 stars

I received a free digital advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

The Quantum Garden publishes October 15th!

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

What say you? Is this something you’re interested in? Let me know in the comments below!


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