Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Quantum Door

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Title: The Quantum Door

Author: Jonathan Ballagh

Publisher: 2015 by Jonathan Ballagh (self-published)

Pages: 288

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Obtained: author gave me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Summary: A fence and "no trespassing" signs go up around the woods in back of Brady and Felix's house.  So, what would anyone want to do?  Find out what was behind the fence of course!  What they find is a fantastic adventure involving lots of cool technology and remarkable beings.

Thoughts:  This was a really good book!  The best part of the book was the unique worlds created by the author. I don't read many science fiction books, but I felt like these worlds were something new.  The book was reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe because in all three of these books kids enter another world and go on a magical adventure where they meet beings that could be either friend or foe.  They have a mission to complete in this world before they return home.
     The main characters were presented right away and I felt I knew them immediately.  The other characters were introduced as they were encountered.  They had distinct attributes and all had believable personalities.  The only thing I felt that was missing was some quirk Brady might have, or some special interest.  He just seemed like your average fourteen year old.  He was well-developed, but I wanted him to be more interesting.
     The author's writing style was simple and straightforward, not wordy or flowery at all.  The technology was described in a way that non-technological people (like me) could grasp and actually understand what was happening.  The author wove the explanations into the story masterfully.  I did not have to reread any part to understand it.
     There was just enough description throughout the book so that the settings and characters could be pictured, but the author focused more on the action which I believe is perfect for fifth grade and up.  The story was not predictable.  It was great not knowing what was going to happen.  This is one of those books that can be read by almost any age and enjoyed.  Also, although it is a science fiction book, it has a really good story to it, so those that are not huge science fiction fans would also find it entertaining.
     Throughout the book, there are groups of 0's and 1's sectioning off different sections of chapters.  I am assuming these are binary codes.  I couldn't figure out any meaning from them.  If anyone reads the book and figures out that the numbers mean anything, please let me know!


Company: Teema Teas

Tea: Ginger-Lemongrass

Obtained: purchased

     I purchased the gift pack from Teema Teas.  Today I sampled the pre-measured pack of caffeine-free ginger-lemongrass tea that came along with it.  I cut open the package, ready to put the tea into my teapot and to my surprise, there was a teabag in the package!  It was a pyramid shaped bag that could be seen through.  Inside were long yellowish brown leaves, some yellow curly pieces and chunks, and some yellow leaves.  The scent was of lemon with subtle ginger in the background.  The dry tea was very pretty.
     I poured 12 ounces of boiling water over the tea bag and let this steep for 3 minutes.  The liquid was a pale, cloudy yellow with a ginger scent.  There was still the lemon scent as well, but that was now more in the background.  There was also another scent mixed in that I just could not place.  When I tasted the tea it was of sweet lemon with a ginger background.  Again, that other scent / taste was still there.  I really tried to place it, but still can't.  The only way I can describe it is a corn oil taste.  The tea did not have an oily texture at all, it was just something I could taste.  It was not bad, just different.  If anyone tries this tea, please let me know if you can place the smell/ taste!
     My favorite lemon ginger tea is still French Lemon Ginger from Art of Tea.  Teema Tea's ginger-lemongrass tea was not bad, I just like the Art of Tea blend much better.  I did think the dry leaves and packaging were prettier in the Teema Tea ginger-lemongrass tea, but the taste is more important to me.


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