Title: The Quantum Ghost
Series Title: Quantum World
Author: Jonathan Ballagh
Illustrator: Ben J. Adams
Date Added: April 14, 2017
Date Started: April 29, 2017
Date Finished: May 20, 2017
Reading Duration: 21 days
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Mid-grade, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian, Speculative Fiction
Shares Paradigms With: The Matrix, Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger
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?
Mr. Ballagh not only does it again with this second foray into his Quantum Worlds, but he manages to do it better. Any of the minor issues I had with The Quantum Door were utterly absent from novel. The author doesn’t waste any time with the narrative. He jumps right into the action of the book, and it’s instantly engaging.
Remi was an interesting character in her own right even without being a parallel universe explorer. She has some sort of ailment that keeps her home from school and perfectly explains why she was so susceptible and available for, er, quantum entanglement (too good to pass up). I liked that the illness wasn’t really explained, leaving the reader to speculate on its nature, and since this world clearly takes place in the (near) future, it obfuscates it even more. There’s also the question of whether or not Brady and Felix’s (the brother main characters from the prior book) actions might have had something to do with it. They are mentioned in a way that firmly places Ghost as a sequel to Door.
There were some old characters brought back with new motivations and explanations for some of their behaviors in the first book, and there were also some characters that had been more antagonistic in Door that were far more sympathetic in Ghost. The true villain was menacing nor was their identity given away that easily even when Remi first runs into them, and new and prior antagonists were shown to have more than one layer.
Like the prior book, there are clever references hidden in names like Alethea, which means “truth,” and this individual is an integral fount of that. There’s another person named Naveah, which is “Heaven” spelled backwards. I don’t want to say too much about these characters as their identities wade into spoiler territory.
The author has a gift of describing a scene without over-describing it (something I’m guilty of and need to learn to balance), and Ghost (and Door, too) would honestly be perfect for film. I hope one day that comes to fruition (if it’s something the author so desires), because I could see many a Matrix fan adding this to their sci-fi collection.