Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Book Review: The Quantum Door (Jonathan Ballagh)

The Quantum Door

By: Jonathan Ballagh
Genres: Fiction, Sci-fi, Young Adult

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...

Hello, my lovely readers! I am so very excited to review this book! It'll be the first review to go up on our blog that was requested directly from an author! So much excitement!!

Onto the important things....When Jonathan emailed us ('us' being the blog email), I knew that The Quantum Door would be something that I'd enjoy reading, and, in all honesty, I DID enjoy reading it!

Before I really get into it, I need to say that, no matter where or who a book comes from, my views and opinions on it will remain unbiased. I wouldn't say that I like a book, just to please an author/publisher. That's just not my style.

Okay, wow. This book...Thisssss book. I've been in a reading slump for the last couple of weeks. I just couldn't find a book that wasn't EXACTLY like every other book out there. Boy meet girl, one or both have supernatural abilities, boy falls in love with girl falls in love with boy. Gah! It was so frustrating. Every writer tries so hard to produce a book that's similar to other people's works, just because they're popular books. This book was insanely original. There was no romance....what a relief.

The only reason it took me a couple days to finish this book was because Supernatural season 10 is coming on Netflix tomorrow and I decided to re-watch all the episodes. You know, just so Supernatural can take a couple more of my days away.

The whole "Mysterious forest" thing is a really great hook.  This book kept me saying "Waaaaaaaaaaaattttttttt", so many amazing plot twists and, just, wooooooaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. With The Quantum Door, you skip the "we have to let this character develop properly, and in, oh, about 3000 pages they'll be ready to begin their adventure!" and very nearly go straight to the "Yay! Adventure!" It's really refreshing.

The book wasn't set in some crazy mechanical world that you can't, for the life of you, picture in your mind. It was mostly set in a backyard just like mine. I think that the simplicity of the setting really helped with the overall feel of the book. at least in the beginning,  before the REAL adventure begins. When the boys aren't in their backyard, the author does a crazy amazing job with descriptions,  whether he's describing the scenery, or the creatures he thought up, he painted an amazing and detailed picture in my mind.

Le characters.. Well, when referring to the main characters that are with you from the very beginning, Brady and Felix are your average young boys; curious and adventurous. A teeny bit later, you'll meet Nova, Achilles (who I adore), and Thorn. Nova is actually a pretty complex character...just like the place she 'moved' from. I won't go too far into it because spoilerrrssss.

For a first time author, he wrote an awesome book. I guess some people just have the 'gift'.

I brought this to the authors attention, so I figure it's important enough to bring to yours; the illustrations in the book were absolutely amazing. They really set the feel of the book.

Personally, I got this book for free, with my KindleUnlimited, but (disclaimer), for Naomi and Sophie, he very kindly provided a copy of his book, in exchange for an honest review.

As I was reading, I came across a word, so, I present to you, my favorite word from the entire book: 


Definition:to place close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
Use in the book: ".......a hodge-podge of arches, points and spindles, juxtaposed together in an abomination of style." (I cut out the beginning of the sentence to avoid spoilers)
Close Seconds:
high-tech wizardry

I asked the author a couple questions about the book, so I'm going to share them with you guys:

Where did the idea/inspiration for The Quantum Door come to you?

I'm really into artificial intelligence and the ideas and theories that go along with it.  I've wanted to write a book since I was young, but never really got around to it.  I have three children and remember how inspired I was when I read my first full-length novel, which I believe was The Dark is Rising.  The right book can really help your imagination take flight.  So I had this crazy idea that I could take some of the concepts that fascinate me the most and try to boil it down into a modern novel they could enjoy (or at least read -- hopefully!).  Time will be the judge though.

Will there be a second book?

Absolutely!  I'm hard at work on the sequel and hope to have it ready by next summer.

The numbers you used as section breaks, did they symbolize anything? They caught my attention from the very beginning. 

As you suggest, there may be a deeper meaning to the numbers (section breaks), but no one has figured it out yet.  

What was the most difficult part about writing The Quantum Door? What was the most time consuming aspect of getting your book 'out there'?

Ha!  Finding the time to write with young children running around.  Other than that, as a first time author, I never expected to spend so much time editing.  There were many, many rounds of revisions.  Fortunately my editor was kind enough to put up with me and guide me through the process.  I think part of the reason is that I learned as I went, and so by the time I reached the end, there were significant swaths earlier in the novel that I wanted to tighten up.  Hopefully it got there in the end.

Regarding the illustrations:

The enormously talented Ben J. Adams did the artwork and I'm very fortunate that he worked with me on this project.  He really elevated the book.  His cover and illustrations helped set the tone and mood, and are just abstract enough to paint a picture and let your mind fill in the gaps. I was speechless the first time he sent me the cover.

This was a rather long review! We're really excited to be working with authors! I'm really excited for the second book of this series to be released. I must apologize if my post is a little erratic....Blame Supernatural, it's distracting me.

*Not review related news* We're going to pause on Sensible Book Sunday for a couple of weeks. When/if they DO go back up, it won't be every week, either. Sorry, guys. I feel as though our blog has more SBS posts that reviews, so, just bare with us for a bit.

Blog you later, lovelies!

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