Title: The Quantum Ghost | Series: Quantum Worlds #2 | Author: Jonathan Ballagh | Pub. Date: 2017-4-17 | ISBN13: 9780996713856 | Genre: Middle Grade Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: Cancer battle mentioned | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from the author for review consideration.
The Quantum Ghost
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 with the strange object, and of 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?
The Quantum Ghost Review
The Quantum Ghost is an enjoyable entry into Jonathan Ballagh’s Quantum Worlds series. I had previously read The Quantum Door, and had been very impressed by what I had read. It was a middle-grade (or clean young adult, you pick) science fiction that treated its readers to a world filled with robotic animals with a steampunk flair, an apocalyptic world just beyond our own, and played upon fears we’re (mostly) all familiar with. So, it was easy to say yes when I was asked to give my opinion on this one as well.
The Quantum Ghost gleams with Ballagh’s signature blend of reality-bending science fiction for younger readers. Ballagh is an author who manages to write for that audience without it feeling as such. Don’t get me wrong, there are some clear markers are the fact that this is for non-adult readers. The main character is a kid. Some of the elements are little simpler – more obvious to figure out. It’s a clean read. (No hint of cursing, drugs, romantic interactions, etc.) However, you don’t think “I’m reading a kid’s sci-fi” when reading his work. You just know what you’re reading is good.
You do not need to have read The Quantum Door before immersing yourself in The Quantum Ghost. It functions well as a stand-alone novel. However, I would still recommend reading the first book just to give yourself a bit of a more fleshed out view of the world. (But you can read it after you read this one. They’re in the same universe, but not heavily reliant on each other.)
So many times, the second book in a series sucks. If it doesn’t suck, it’s at least not as good as the first one was. Very rarely does it happen where the second book was actually better than the first. But that was the case in The Quantum Ghost. The small issues with his writing that were present in the first book seem to have disappeared in this one. It’s a much clearer story as a result.
The Quantum Ghost is a well-crafted science fiction story. The pacing is fantastic, the dialogue is solid, and there’s enough adventure to make any little (or big) bookworm happy. I would actually recommend this to fantasy fans as well, because it has a fantasy ‘feel’ to it in a lot of ways. It could very well serve as a ‘bridge’ book to get fantasy readers interested in crossing genres.
Oh, and The Quantum Ghost has robot zombies. Yes. Robot zombies. How does that work, you ask? Well, read it and find out. All I’ll say, as reassurance for parents that might be considering this book, is that there was no nomming of human flesh. It features creatures we were introduced to in Door and introduces a magnificent new one. The main character is a young girl who has already battled her own personal demons and won. And even though she’s afraid – what kid wouldn’t be? – she’s ready to do battle with an outside force to save her friend(s).
Jonathan Ballagh is an author to pay attention to. He has a fantastic imagination and some serious wordsmithing skill. If he is already releasing books of this caliber, I can only imagine what he’s going to deliver as time goes on. The Quantum Ghost sets a new bar for authors of middle-grade science fiction to aim for.
PS: Absolutely wonderful illustrations in this book, few though they might be.