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The Comet's Curse: A Galahad Book Hardcover – January 20, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Galahad Series

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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 (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen; 1st Tor Ed, Jan. 2009/ 1st Printing edition (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765321076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765321077
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #770,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A space ship of 251 teenagers, and no adults, headed to an unexplored planet. What a perfect setting for a YA novel series. The Comet's Curse has something for every YA reading taste. It's a sci-fi that reads more like realistic fiction, a spooky mystery is one of the conflicts, and it has a couple of budding romances. It is also a quick read that disappoints on some levels. It reads more like the introduction to the rest of the series, than a stand alone novel. To explain the background for the conflict (A powerful bacteria from a giant meteor is causing the extinction of humans, yet children are immune from the bacteria until adulthood.)and introduce all of the main characters, would have had to be a novel at least double the length of Comet's Curse. Author,Dom Testa, must be targeting the teen audience that has little patience for lengthy novels. That said, it is a very enjoyable read with interesting characters who talk and act like real teens - except for Roc, the very funny ship computer and unofficial ship therapist. Action is not a huge component of this first book in the series as much of the story is devoted to explaining how and why the characters were chosen for the crew, but there is lots of potential for great adventure and plenty of teen drama and angst in the rest of the series. With 251 teens on board for a mission that will take many years, this series could go on for a very long time.
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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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