Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review: The Comet's Curse by Dom Testa

The Comet's Curse by Dom Testa
Series: Galahad #1
Genre: Sci-Fi
Add on Goodreads

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….

Confession time: When I was younger (okay, not that much younger) I thought about decorating my bedroom to look like the berth compartment of a moderately nice space liner. (That really doesn't pertain to the review, but I felt that was something about me you should know before I review this book about teenagers in space.)

Samples collected from the atmosphere during the pass through the comet's tail revealed microscopic particles unlike anything ever seen before. Something in the gaseous exhaust of Bahaktul had contaminated the planet, and its effect on human beings was fast…and fatal.

I actually found the basis for the plot quite frightening. (And not good for the part of my brain that obsesses over mortality.)

If you were older than eighteen, Bhaktul was coming for you.

Instead of eighteen signifying becoming an adult, it was basically a death sentence. And, I really think this book handled it beautifully.

First you need to know that the story starts with the launch of the Galahad - at least once the wisecracking AI gets done introducing himself. From there, the story is mostly told in rotating chapters with things in the past like how the plague spread and how the Galahad was commissioned and the 'current' storyline of the teens aboard the Galahad. By the time the book ends, the two storylines have caught up with each other, so I'm really curious to see if something like this continues in the next book.

I love the way that's done because it doesn't give you a big block of background information to wade through to get to the point that we all know is going to happen from the synopsis - the launch. Also, each chapter kind of ties to the next one where neither the past nor the present chapters are totally disconnected from the others.

"[…]To doom the race to living out its existence in small, cramped domes would be brutal[…]"

This book know what story it's telling - and it's not a happy one. This is a story about the death of the human race as we know it. But…

"So, I will never say that this is 'hopeless.' It's anything but hopeless, Tyler. It's the embodiment of hope."

This is science fiction the way I dream it all would be: sounds depressing, but with a shiny, golden strand of hope that lights everything up.

Not enough of a reason to read the book? How about this:


There is a five member 'council' aboard this ship. They're kind of the leader's (also a member of the council) advisors and heads of departments.

Well, of those five teens, we have one originally from China, one from Mexico, one from Sweden and one black from Britain as well as one white from the States. Of these five people, three are girls - which, obviously, means two are boys. (There's also quite a few other nationalities mentioned: Japanese, Indian and Italian that I specifically remember.)

The characters are all different, but we haven't really delved into their personalities thoroughly yet. I'm very much looking forward to getting to, I tell you. And I also want to know if the rather abrasive, blunt Swede stays my favorite.