Today I am posting a review of Jonathan Ballagh‘s The Quantum Door – an upper-middle-grade to Young Adult science fiction novel! This is the first middle-grade novel I have read in a long time – the last one having been Mister Monday by Garth Nix. It was really fun to take a trip back into my younger-self’s reading mind and imagine first experiencing the science fiction genre as a young reader (rather than as a 21+ year old, heh heh).
The Quantum Door by Jonathan Ballagh
Title: The Quantum Door
Author: Jonathan Ballagh
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: August 31st, 2015 by Jonathan Ballagh
The mysterious woods behind Brady and Felix’s house have been deserted for years. But things change when a fence goes up and the brothers notice strange things happening at night. From the moment they dare cross the fence, the brothers enter a world of dark technological secrets that will rock the foundation of everything they know to be true. And once they enter, there’s no turning back.
Some places are better left alone…
About: Jonathan Ballagh
“Jonathan Ballagh is the author of the new Sci-Fi thriller The Quantum Door. He has been writing software since he was five, created his first online game at fourteen, and has a deep love of all things A.I. and robotics. He currently lives in Virginia with his wife and three kids. Follow him on twitter @JonathanBallagh or email him at email@example.com.”
The plot was unique and enjoyable. Ballagh created an interesting world in The Quantum Door in which parallel universes existed, and the world-building was good. Because the characters did not actually travel to a different world, the reader is able to visualize earth but with some differences. There was a lot of mystery in this story, and the revelations and twists were ones that I, someone who does not frequently read sci-fi, thought were unique and unexpected. Because this story is written for younger readers (middle grade to early YA), there is no romantic aspect which I thought was very refreshing. The plot-line was easy to follow, but I did have a hard time grasping the climax of the story because there were multiple false-starts; however, it was obvious when it occurred.
The main characters are Brady and Felix, two brothers who live with their widowed mother. Brady, to me, was the main main character, as I felt like we read most of the story through his perspective. He’s kind but skeptical and not as intelligent or brave as his younger, tech-wizard brother Felix. The characters all had their own personalities, and yet I sometimes felt that through dialogue it was difficult to discern who was speaking, and I found this true for all characters. The dialogue was written very consistently, and I didn’t really feel like each character had their own voice. There were also robotic animals who played roles in the story, and I thought that was very cool. It was nice to read about mechanical animals who had their own feelings, thoughts, and desires.
I think this is a very good book for its intended audience. The writing was easy to read, but still presented younger readers with a new range of vocabulary. However, on this note, I think that some more context could have been given to some of the larger words. Particularly so that younger readers could learn the words’ meanings through that surrounding context. But a dictionary will always come in handy. This story would be an excellent introduction to sci-fi novels for young readers. Particularly because of its interesting subject matter. Plus relatable characters, and the fast-paced sequence of events which kept me interested.
I give The Quantum Door 4/5 stars.
*Disclaimer: I was sent this book for free by Jonathan Ballagh in exchange for an honest review.
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