Discover what lies beyond the Quantum Door. 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…
Song For This Book: Sleepyhead by Passion Pit
Why? The song seems just crazy enough to fit. Plus, electronic music is really the only thing suitable for a book that revolves around technology.
I was provided an electronic copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Before we start, can we please take a minute to admire the cover of this book? Because I think it’s awesome. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to this review, shall we?
So, this book follows two brothers on their adventures as they get new neighbours and all sorts of crazy stuff starts happening. It starts with simple stuff, like power outages and strange things happening to their technology, and begins to get more complicated and amazing that either of the boys could have ever predicted. This book was written by the author in order to get his children interested in science fiction, which is one of the best reasons I’ve heard to date regarding why a book happened.
The Quantum Door is an addictively fast-paced middle grade novel that is a true science fiction novel in every sense of the word. Don’t think that just because it’s geared towards younger kids that you’re going to get a watered down story with simple technology and alternate universes. We’re talking Star Trek levels of complication here, just with material that won’t scare away middle grade aged kids. Even as an adult, this book was incredibly satisfying, because you get so much more than you’re bargaining for.
The Good Points of The Quantum Door:
The world building is done very well. It’s a fairly short book, but Ballagh uses his words well to give us the perfect amount of detail without telling us more than we needed to know.
I enjoyed the relationship between the two brothers. Because they’re isolated a bit, they pretty much have to be friends in order to survive. But that doesn’t stop them from alternatively worrying about each other and being annoyed with the other’s decisions, which only makes it more fun.
This book does not let up for a moment. As soon as one issue is solved, something else is exploding, literally or figuratively. From the moment you meet Brady and Felix, you’re chasing after them, racing to the end of the book to make sure that they make it out okay.
This book is not written for children. It uses intelligent language and doesn’t dumb anything down to be ‘at a child’s level’. It just happens to be suitable for kids and include middle grade aged main characters, so it’s plunked into that category. The writing style is easy to read, but well written.
The Downsides of The Quantum Door:
I honest didn’t realize this book was set in the future until I was a good 50 pages in. I was super confused why these fancy technology things existed until I caught on. It would have been great if there was some indication of this, because it would have saved a lot confusion at the beginning.
There are some complicated technology terms used in this book. I had to find a dictionary to figure out what some were. While I’m all for not dumbing things down, my non-technological brain could have used a glossary or some definitions for some of the concepts. This is totally a personal preference though.
I think this book would have been better if it had stuck to a single point of view, or if chapters alternated between Felix and Brady when necessary. Again, personal preference, but it would have been nice to not know what all the characters were feeling, and get to see how one of the brothers interpreted one of Nova’s reactions or something like that.
All in all, this book was fantastic, and I highly recommend it. Even if sci-fi is not really your thing, this is a great gateway book into the genre: simple to understand, but not watered down. Ballagh’s definitely going to be on my radar now for any future books, because I need more of this.
Oh, incase you’re wondering, it hasn’t yet gotten his kids into the genre. I had to ask. But I’m sure they’ll come around eventually, because this book is great.
If you’ve read The Quantum Door, make sure you let me know in the comments below, because I want to discuss this with someone!