Rating: Four stars
Age Recommendation: Probably directed at children aged 10-15, but with the level of science involved, any young adult readers could appreciate the plot.
“I always feared this would happen. You know that the door leaves a signature behind it. Others will be able to find it — and us.”
The Quantum Door, by Jonathan Ballagh, tells the story of two brothers named Brady and Felix, who wander into the yard next door and end up getting into a mess that is extremely over their heads. Nova, their mysterious neighbor, initially tells them not to venture into her yard again. When she finds herself in trouble, however, it is up to Brady and Felix to jump in, head first and do what they can to help. Of course, nothing is quite as simple as it seems, and their adventure takes them across a curious, alternate version of Earth as they try to return home.
I am not usually a sci-fi lover, and I don’t think that the The Quantum Door was intended for my age group, but I thoroughly appreciate the creativity of the plot and the types of beings created for this novel. Around part three of the novel, I was wishing it had been made into two separate books, but the closer I got to the end, the happier I was with the way it was done. Several things are explained and events start happening very quickly (although the majority of the novel is quite fast-paced).
Something I had trouble with was the architectural terminology used throughout the book. I haven’t a clue what a couple of them mean – though it has convinced me to look them up, so I suppose that’s good! Other than that, the text was very easy to understand. A part of me wished for a bit more description when it comes to the characters, or maybe a bit more of their thought processes as the events were happening. A lot of it is how they react externally, which is also interesting, but I personally find the internal bits just as fascinating, if not more so.
Ballagh has created an interesting world that young readers with any interest in science can appreciate. In thirty or forty years, will technology look like the things in Ballagh’s novel? I actually hope it does. Ben J. Adams, who has created illustrations for the work, provides another step into the world described, and each image is as beautifully designed as the last. He also made the beautiful cover for the novel.
The Quantum Door, released in August of 2015, is sure to catch the attention of many young readers, and I hope that it drives many of them to love reading as well as science.