Quantum Door, by Jonathan Ballagh

5_3_17 Quantum Door

4 stars

 

Saturated by an overload of hackneyed tropes, the young adult genre needs more to stand out. Somehow, Quantum Door does exactly that.

 

Brothers Felix and Brady use a drone to take a peek inside their neighbor’s yard. A door opens and they’re no longer in Kansas. What door, you ask? Why the door to another dimension, of course.

 

It’s an interesting take of the “kids transported to another world and become embroiled in their conflicts” trope. There’s a modern Horizon Zero Dawn feel to it. What I like most is that it doesn’t succumb to the stereotypical landscape. In the parallel dimension, where machines rule, things are still bright. Steel and industry aren’t a major theme, natural reclamation is. I picture the landscapes of The Last of Us when describing the setting.

 

Wow, two video game references in one review? Quantum Door was visual in all things but characters. While I have no problems imagining the scenery, characters are a little harder. Their descriptors make them feel pretty generic. Personalities weren’t generic, their appearances were.

 

Personalities read great. Characters were different from one another. Brady and Felix didn’t fight a lot, which was amazing. Oftentimes internal conflict gets taken out on family and friends. It leads to constant arguing and hostility as an overused plot device. The “broken family” trope, if you will. Male and female interactions weren’t romanticized, which was so awesome. I love reading books that allow characters to be friends and nothing more. It allowed Nova, the girl, to have thoughts and personality beyond only a boy. She was her own person, and not tethered to another character.

 

Style was well-suited. It feels like a young adult novel, but is still appealing to adults. The plot never gets too complicated. There’s plenty of conflict to go around. Plot twists happen in logical ways. Story progression and character development go hand in hand with pacing. The reader never feels like there’s an information dump–they’re drip-fed background information. We, as readers, get to learn and grow with the main characters.

 

Quantum Door also breaks out of the “machines take over the world” trope in an interesting way. I love where this novel deviates from the norm. It’s enough that it feels different, yet still holds true to an age-old formula.

 

An excellent young adult read. Well written, full of rounded characters, and a plot that ties things up neatly. Very fulfilling.

 

Buy it here!

 

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