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The Comet's Curse: A Galahad Book (Galahad Books) Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 20, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—More than 200 years in the future, Comet Bhaktul hurtles past Earth, leaving a deadly contagion in its wake. Bhaktul's disease threatens to annihilate the human race within a decade, but the mysterious illness only affects adults. Scientists worldwide scramble to find a cure, while one scientist proposes a controversial project to preserve humanity, should other efforts fail. Under Project Galahad, 251 teens are sent on a mission to reach a habitable planet free of Bhaktul's contamination. As Galahad enters space, the young people must deal with the intense pressure of saving humankind and the sadness of leaving their families behind. Sixteen-year-old Triana, the ship's commander, must manage daily operations while also dealing with her father's recent death. Matters escalate when, less than a week out, one of the teens spots an adult onboard, a potential Bhaktul carrier. With the help of the Council and the ship's computer brain, Triana does her best to solve the mystery of the uninvited passenger and save their mission. Part space opera, part mystery, the story draws readers in from the beginning with well-placed hooks, plenty of suspense, and a strong premise. The viewpoint alternates between the Galahad crew members and the scientists back at the space station. Solid characterizations keep readers from getting bogged down by the constant shifts in viewpoint, setting, and time. A promising start to a six-part series.—Kim Ventrella, Ralph Ellison Library, Oklahoma City, OK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This first entry in the Galahad series has an irresistible hook: the comet Bhaktul passes Earth releasing toxic particles that are slowly killing everyone over 16, leading the world’s top minds to create a spaceship, the Galahad, to transport 251 of Earth’s finest young adults to the planet most likely to offer the safest environment. It’s one part Lord of the Flies and one part TV reality show, as the young crew comes to terms with the heavy responsibilities of their mission—as well as their raging hormones. Shortly after blastoff, a chilling mystery begins: sensors reveal that an extra person is aboard, leaving behind ominous messages like “This is a death ship!” Sci-fi fans will enjoy Testa’s spare Asimovian plot, but even those leery of the genre will appreciate how each chapter alternates to the past to further flesh out our protagonists. Stealing the show is the Galahad’s mischievous central computer, Roc, who speaks directly to the readers as he acts as a Greek chorus. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Series: Galahad Books
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (January 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765321076
  • ASIN: B0046LUOSM
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,592,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thanks for stopping by! I'm a morning radio show host in Denver (aka Paradise), I write books in a variety of genres because I have a lot of various interests, and I created a non-profit foundation called The Big Brain Club.

We originally described ourselves as an "education foundation," but I've come to believe we're a "student development" organization. We help young people recognize that Smart is Cool. Because it is, you know. Check out my non-fiction book about this subject, titled Smart is Cool, coming in August.

More info can be found on my web site: DomTesta.com

I'm also penning a new mystery series for young adults (the Cooper James Mystery Series) that I think you'll enjoy.

Check out my Galahad series, starting with The Comet's Curse. If you need great party books, you'll love both Mindbender volumes. Oh, and links to the blog posts are over on the right.

Thanks again. Cheers!
Dom

Customer Reviews

The story is intriguing and the characters are all realistic.
Mel Odom
By the end, you're ready to just pick up the next book in the series and continue reading.
kenn
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has a young adult in the house.
David W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom VINE VOICE on February 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't have too much trouble getting into the first Starship GALAHAD novel, THE COMET'S CURSE but reading through the rest of the book required patience. The story is intriguing and the characters are all realistic. The problem is that every other chapter is set before the starship takes off from earth and deals with primarily adult perspectives. I wanted the adventure of outer space and strange planets.

I understand why the chapters are sandwiched as they are. Dom Testa, the author, wanted to show everything that happened that led up to the launch. If he had started there, it would have taken too long to get to the action. And it would have been more about the adults than the 251 kids aboard GALAHAD. Yet, simply launching into the action aboard the ship would have meant missing out on all the emotional turmoil our heroes had been through that shaped them. As well as the problems they're currently dealing with.

Even though there is a constant flood of backstory throughout the novel, Testa manages to convey genuine suspense and tension. And there is a decidedly creepy subplot concerning a possible stowaway aboard the ship. I enjoyed reading about the characters, watching them get to know each other and figuring out how they were going to relate to each other. After all, there is that whole five-year journey ahead of them. A lot can happen, and hopefully will.

I also enjoy the technology that Testa has created for his series. The idea of the Spiders, the all-terrain vehicles created for the ship's crews during exploration jaunts, is cool and I can't wait to see them in action. I wish a blueprint of the ship had been included with the novel, but maybe that will happen later. (You'll find more information at [...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By coskier on January 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this book when it was self published by the author, and there is a reason why it got picked up by Tor. It's a fantastic journey of survival in space filled with suspense, humor and creative technological concepts in sports, medicine and agriculture. Oh, there's a dash of romance too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By But I Digress on August 6, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
I had heard this book was great, so ordered it for my Kindle2. It was everything the fans had said and I really enjoyed it. Funny, clever, and a real page turner! I was a bit skeptical because it is classified as Youth Fiction, but it was adults who recommended it. This book is for anyone who enjoys skillful writing and a great story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) on April 15, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story is told from the point of view of the super advanced computer, nicknamed Roc. This storytelling device really didn't work for me. For one thing, he (I know he's an it, but whatevs) wasn't present for everything he describes, which can be explained by people having told him later but would have worked better in a normal omniscient narrator scenario (especially since Roc makes sure to point out that he can't be everywhere and see everything). The other problem with Roc is that, much as all the characters love him and as much as he adores himself, I find him exceedingly irritating. His insertions into the narration, denoted by italics, always made me want to punch his computery face, especially the one in the last chapter.

Roc aside, the book was fairly predictable and standard. There's a love triangle, which, frankly, is the most absorbing part of the plot. The mystery of who is causing trouble on the ship is so obvious for most of the book that it provides little excitement. And, the final showdown cannot be that worrisome if you know there are two subsequent books. The writing is okay, but not inspirational

The most interesting aspect of the novel is the set up of the dystopia. There aren't too many environmental ones, which I am somewhat glad of after having read Life as We Knew It (shudder!). You have probably figured out how much I love dystopias by now, especially if they cover some new territory.

I recommend this to fans of Life as We Knew It and Gone (which I actually have yet to read, but I'm fairly confident that they're readalikes), young teens looking for an easy science fiction read or dystopia enthusiasts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David W. on January 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After 3 days of my daughter giving a daily book report at the dinner table, my curiosity got the best of me and I began reading, "The Comet's Curse," while she was at school. I couldn't have been more surprised that after 30 minutes with it, I was hooked! Not only is the story engaging, but the characters are well balanced and genuine.

The basic plot *no spoilers* follows a crew of 251 teenagers aboard a spaceship. More than a spaceship really, an "ark" of sorts, as these teenagers are mankind's last hope. A comet passing through the Earth's atmosphere has infected all of the humans with a disease that in short order decimates the population, with the exception of those under 18 years of age. Realizing that civilization as we know it is doomed, the world leaders create "Galahad" - a spaceship that will carry a specially selected crew of 251 teenagers to a distant planet to keep the human race alive. Without giving too much away, the crew of Galahad soon realizes that someone aboard the ship is attempting to sabotage the mission.

While the story itself is interesting, the characters are likeable while still being believable. Even though they are suddenly forced to grow up and act maturely and rationally, they are still portrayed as teenagers with typical adolescent insecurities, the desire to fit in and the crush on the cute guy or girl that the world seems to revolve around (anyone who has teens or `tweens knows what I am talking about). There's also a good dose of humor, generally administered by "Roc," the ships computer and the closest thing the kids have to an adult on board.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has a young adult in the house. It has the action and suspense to keep the boys interested and great characters that the girls will relate to. If the author can maintain the quality of this tale in the rest of upcoming series, it's likely to become the next "Harry Potter"
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