Review: The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh

On a cold autumn night, twelve-year-old Remi Cobb makes a startling discovery—a mysterious object floating on the pond in her backyard. With no idea where it came from, or how it got there, Remi is compelled to unravel its secrets. Her quest for answers takes her on a perilous journey across realities, where she finds a crumbling world—and the dark forces behind its ruin. Here she learns the truth about her connection to the strange object, and how there are those that will stop at nothing to destroy them both. But even if she can find a way to survive, can she find a way home?


Song For This Book: Crystallize by Lindsey Stirling
Why? This song played in my head the entire time while reading this. Not sure if it’s related or coincidental, but we’ll go with it.


I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

When I heard that Ballagh was coming out with another of his middle grade, science fiction books, I couldn’t wait to read it. I loved his last book, and had very high hopes when it came to this one. I haven’t heard of too many hardcore science fiction books for middle grade aged kids, so it’s always great to see more being added to the list.

And I was definitely not disappointed. This book exists in a similar world to that of his previous book, The Quantum Door, but with a brand new protagonist and a whole new story. The boys from the previous book are mentioned in this one, but don’t worry if you haven’t read that one, because you can read this one on its own. The author explains everything you need to know, and the previous story only has a minor effect on this one.

The Good Points of The Quantum Ghost:

I’d had a few technical issues in the last book with understanding what the time period of the story was, with the changing points of views, and techno-talk that confused the heck out of me. But none of this was an issue in this book, whether it be intentional or just because of a single protagonist or whatever the case may be.

The pacing in this book was perfect. I read all but a couple of chapters of this book in a day because the pacing and twists just keeps you hooked into the story, desperate to know what is going to happen to Remi in the end.

The world building in this book is brilliant. There’s only so much you can fit into a relatively short book, so there are always some gaps, but you get a really good picture of the places that Remi and friends visit, as well as the sort of creatures and robot that you find there.

The artwork in this book is great. The images scattered throughout the book add to the world building by giving you a little glimpse of what the world is like, and adds to the science fiction atmosphere.

The Downsides of The Quantum Ghost:

It took me a while to figure out which creature in this book was supposed to be the ghost. I did manage to figure it out, but the word ‘ghost’ wasn’t really in there, and it got confusing for the short term. It is entirely possible that this was just me, though.

I wish the family relationships had been worked on a little more. We didn’t get to see Remi interact with her siblings a whole lot, and so I didn’t have a solid idea of how they got on, which got confusing when the siblings came up later.

All in all, I absolutely loved this book, and am so glad to have gotten to go back into this world. Ballagh has middle grade writing down so well, and he introduces the genre to that age of kids beautifully. I’m sure it won’t be long before I start seeing his books displayed in my local bookstore. If you enjoy science fiction, robots, robot animals, and crazy adventures, you’re gonna love this book.

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