Title: The Comet's Curse
*Series: Galahad #1
Author: Dom Testa
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: Paperback; 240
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love science fiction; reluctant readers
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
When the tail of the comet Bhaktul flicks through the Earth’s atmosphere, deadly particles are left in its wake. Suddenly, mankind is confronted with a virus that devastates the adult population. Only those under the age of eighteen seem to be immune. Desperate to save humanity, a renowned scientist proposes a bold plan: to create a ship that will carry a crew of 251 teenagers to a home in a distant solar system. Two years later, the Galahad and its crew—none over the age of sixteen—is launched.
Two years of training have prepared the crew for the challenges of space travel. But soon after departing Earth, they discover that a saboteur is hiding on the Galahad! Faced with escalating acts of vandalism and terrorized by threatening messages, sixteen-year-old Triana Martell and her council soon realize that the stowaway will do anything to ensure that the Galahad never reaches its destination. The teens must find a way to neutralize their enemy. For if their mission fails, it will mean the end of the human race….
I feel the need to have a slight fan girl moment. I've always been a big fan of the science fiction genre. The sad part is that it's tough to find younger aged science fiction that is appropriate but doesn't speak down to its fans. This, my friends, is great young adult science fiction. It is young adult science fiction that is engaging, unique, and so well written! I had only just picked up The Comet's Curse to skim the first page, and I found myself completely enthralled. A little over an hour later I set the book down and finally had a chance to breathe. Let me tell you, Dom Testa has my heart now.
Now that I have that out of my system, let's talk about the book. The Comet's Curse shows us a world that is suffering in the aftermath of a deadly virus. What's different about this story is that no human engineered this virus, nor was it a result of animals. No, it is a simple comet that has brought about the end of mankind. As the story opens, scientists are scurrying to find a way to preserve what is left of the population (the teenagers) before they too meet an untimely end. If that isn't a great way to start a book that will keep your interest, I don't know what is. Unless of course you add in the fact that the plan is to send these teens into space. Now do I have your attention?
What I loved most about this book, truly, was the characters. Each one of them was so real and deep. Dom Testa allows his characters minds of their own and, love them or hate them, the characters in this book act and think like real teens would. Triana (Tree) was without a doubt my favorite. Without any adult interaction, it falls to Tree to be the sound of reason during the mission. I just couldn't fathom having that much responsibility, no matter how smart she really was. I loved her resilience, her honesty, and most of all the way she sometimes just felt lost. I don't know how you could be millions of miles away from your planet and not feel that way. It's real, and it's wonderful.
As I was falling in love with the characters, I was also introduced to life aboard the ship. The descriptions are vivid, and there were points where I felt like I was actually there. When things took a turn for the creepy, I was pulled right on in. Personally I just adored being able to close my eyes and envision the setting. There is also a lot of room for the reader to think really heavily about what they would do in the situation that these characters are in. Sure, there is a certain amount of improbability to some of the story, but I think to enjoy science fiction you have to let go of reality and just get lost.
I'm rambling I know. I could go on for days about the cute romance that doesn't at all overshadow the story line. Or about the awesome technology that is created. I could even tell you about Roc, the coolest computer ever. However I'll leave that to you to find out when you pick up a copy of The Comet's Curse. Suffice it to say that this is a series that I know I'm going to love! Lucky for me I already have the next book in the series handy, because I'll be diving back in as soon as I can.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.